Sunday, December 22, 2013

(a few) dates of christmas: the classics

it really truly, honest to goodness, feels like just yesterday that i was sitting on this very couch jet lagged and bleary eyed, blogging thoughts on the start of the new year.  the rate at which 2013 has blown by me... MAN, GUYS.  the boyfriend has adorably said, "let's open presents now!" at least twice a day over the last week, and it somehow hurts my heart a little more each time.  no way, jose; the sooner we open those gifts, the sooner christmas is over! 

december sped by just as quickly as i'd begged it not to, and mark and i both sort of submersed ourselves and our home in the season in an effort to stave things off just a bit longer... christmas movies and music 'round the clock over here.  we watched white christmas together last friday night, and i insisted there be hot cocoa and socks and the perfect lighting, because that movie is a family tradition of mine, and mark hadn't seen it before!  yesterday he reciprocated, showing me national lampoon's christmas vacation for the first time.  home alone's been on a handful of times (right now, in fact!), and we'll be graced with 24 hours of a christmas story (my faaaaaavorite) in a couple days.  we've also been digging through the thrift store vinyl bins like fiends for old christmas records, and we found a bunch of the classics our collection was lacking, and then some.  carols with cracks and pops forever.  lou rawls' merry christmas ho! ho! ho! is spinning now, home alone on mute.  :)

as for the christmas dating extravaganza, we've kept things much more low key this year than last, but our dc trip will be a big extension of the holiday, and i can't wait to hang around my old stomping grounds and gaze at every national tree with my man.

i hope you have a very beautiful end to the year, my friends.  chinchin, and i will see you in 2014!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

(a few) dates of christmas: art basel

two saturdays ago mark and i were up early and off to miami for art basel 2013.  the way we did things last year kind of wore us out, so we decided to spend most of our day at the convention center for the main showcase this time-- after grits and bloody marys at yardbird, of course.  it's things like this (and direct international flights!) that remind me how special our proximity to miami is.  people traveled from all over the world for basel, and we just sped down i-95.  as long as we live in south florida, art basel will always be a standing date of christmas.  i never wound up pulling my camera from my bag, but i did snap a few photos with my phone while we were there.  forever obsessed with that period, i of course gravitated to the basquiats, harings, and warhols, and a favorite memory from the day will certainly be realizing that mark was thoughtfully studying a basquiat shoulder to shoulder with serena williams at one point.  i'll let you guess which of the two was more likely to purchase it.  :)  things didn't seem to be quite as bright and flashy this year as last, but they were certainly lovely and we spent a nice couple of hours slowly walking through the huge exhibition together. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

(a few) dates of christmas: the annual house

mark and i have been dreaming and scheming a lot this week about what our christmas day will look like.  this is our third christmas as a couple, but next wednesday will be the first time we wake up in our own place together on christmas morning!  we both love tradition, so imagining that how we spend our day will be replicated for years to come is pretty cool.  we know we'll do pizza on christmas eve for sure; last year we ducked into a random pizza spot in paris before midnight mass at notre dam (sigh), and without really realizing it, a tradition was born!

our first and favorite tradition?  the gingerbread house!  (year one // year two.)  we mixed it up this year and found the raddest 3d puzzle that we started working on the night before thanksgiving.  it ended up being a christmas date that spanned a few days, but we love the finished product!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

(a few) dates of christmas: the 100ft tree AND ALSO pilot santa

last year we had every intention of heading downtown for the lighting of delray beach's famous 100-foot tree, but ended up skipping the grand festivities and checking out the tree a few days later.  not this year.  this year i left work a bit early so we'd have plenty of time for a leisurely outdoor dinner and people watching along atlantic avenue.  the tree lighting is serious business in our little community! traffic's rerouted, hoards of tented food vendors peddle all the best-smelling fried things, and the locals come out in droves to skate on the makeshift ice rink, ride the carousel, and wait for santa himself to ARRIVE IN A HELICOPTER.  homeboy lands, lights the tree, and christmas officially begins in delray beach.  mark and i were both glad to have experienced all the fanfare this year-- a favorite date of christmas for sure.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

ho ho hi

despite living in the snow-free palm tree tropics, i find this to be the most photogenic time of the year!  all the sparkly lights, the smart holiday branding on every to-go coffee cup, evergreen (real and fake) in its many incarnations.  i love it all, and i've been wielding my camera like a champ the last few weeks.  above, case in point.

oh and a favorite?  this year's white house christmas card, which i received at my office address.  it's especially exciting and timely since mark and i chose washington, dc for our holiday winter-chaser destination this year.  we'll be in dc the week between christmas and new year's, and as always, restaurant recs are much appreciated!  i lived there for five years, but mark's never spent any real time in dc, so we've got lots of smithsonians and monuments on our tourist itinerary.  fingers crossed my december snapshots will see some snow after all!

Friday, December 6, 2013

(a few) dates of christmas: decking the halls

to me, decorating our little home will always count as the sweetest date of christmas each year.  we keep things pretty simple and it doesn't look much different than it did last december, and we love it this way.  waking up in the morning and immediately lighting the tree for the day is the best, and mark and i find ourselves wanting to spend more evenings at home when it's all christmas-y in here.  we definitely continue to add small touches here and there as the month goes by, making it sort of an ongoing date! maybe i'll report back on december 26th to let you know how the place has turned out.  :)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

(a few) dates of christmas: extreme dating

mark's and my dates of christmas got off to a rather epic, trippy, XTREME start this past holiday weekend.  i splurged on the fancy leather recliner theater seats to see the hunger games: catching fire in XD wednesday, and my goodness- worth every penny.  (you'll remember i'm a nerd who read all the books years ago.)  we chatted about the movie over beers and french fries afterwards, and agreed that it was GOOD.  damn good.

friday afternoon, in a state of shouldwedosomething? whatshouldwedo? post-thanksgiving lethargy, we discovered that trans-siberian orchestra was in town and playing that night.  those responsible for gothing up carol of the bells into what's surely my favorite rendition of my favorite christmas song.  oh yeah.  we were going.  someone with fantastic seats sold their tickets last minute for a fraction of their worth and we happily scooped them up.  it was definitely an experience; i see why people go every year!

friends, december is finally here and my christmas-loving heart couldn't be happier.  i only hope time moves a little slower this month, and it doesn't flash past us the way the rest of 2013 seemed to.  happy holiday season and happy dating!

*i dug up this post from last year to play christmas eve/sarajevo as i wrote this.
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