The Christmas spirit finally made an appearance, starting last Friday!
After giving up on making sure everything is done to perfection, I just decided to let go and enjoy the season and not worry about what doesn’t get done. That said, if you usually get a Christmas card from us, don’t think you didn’t make the list for some reason when you don’t see a card this year.
Last Friday was a half day at work. Ever since the economy tanked, the company has given us a half day instead of a holiday party, which is fine by me! Beats eating grilled chicken and cold bread rolls from a buffet line while trying to make small talk with people I only know from the elevator or cafeteria.
Me and my work BFF, Emily, decided to spend our half day finding some Christmas joy. We strolled down State St. and looked at Christmas windows then headed to the Walnut Room. The Walnut Room is a Chicago institution and having lunch there is a must-do thing every Christmas season. It’s at the old Marshall Fields on State St. (which was bought by Macy’s a few years ago, but I refuse to call it Macy’s, even though I have nothing against Macy’s) I usually go there every holiday season with my mom, but she didn’t make it to town this year.
Every year the Walnut Room has the Grand Tree that is in the center of the room on a round stage. The tree is decorated with a different theme each year that usually corresponds with the windows. This year was “Make a Wish” and in addition to the Grand Tree, smaller tree circling it were sponsored and decorated by various celebrities including Donald Trump — his is the gold tree you’ll see in the picture to the right, below.
The ambiance is always lovely, the food is hit or miss. Lucky for me, it was excellent this year. I had a butternut squash ravioli and lobster bisque soup. The cocktails are always festive and good. I had a poinsettia, a champagne and cranberry cocktail served in a champagne flute.
We were also entertained by a lady sitting across from us who had a tad too much brandy and decided to regale the crowd by singing along with the woman playing Christmas carols on the piano. It was sort of cute until she sat back down and knocked over her brandy which splashed all over my arm and the people sitting to the right of me. It’s not Christmas until someone makes an ass of themselves, so I took it all in stride. 🙂 Hey, it wasn’t ME being an ass, so I had no choice but to take it in stride!
After lunch, I strolled through the Christkindle Market, an outdoor German market that is set up in Daley Plaza from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Vendors sell handmade goods from various European countries in little chalet-type booths that you can browse through while sipping hot chocolate.
This is also the site of the city’s official Christmas tree, which was a little pathetic this year unless you’re into a Charlie Brown-themed Christmas 🙂
But, pathetic tree aside, it was a wonderful afternoon and did the trick to put me in the spirit. Since then, it’s been a mad rush to get the gifts purchased, bought and sent (which is why this post is about a week overdue!), but I was able to find some joy in those “chores” once again … as it should be.
Besides a little baking left to do (the new oven arrives today — yay!) I am pretty much done with all the running around and am ready to enjoy some quality time with friends and family, starting this afternoon when I get to see my oldest and dearest friends Tonya and Lisa, and Tonya’s brother and family, who are here from Orlando. Bring on the Christmas joy!!