Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Past, Part 3 (Christmas in Chicago, England, and South Asia)

Dating in Chicago was wonderful around Christmas time. We would walk and talk on Michigan Avenue, which is covered in gorgeous lights. We would go ice skating in Millennium Park and get hot chocolate on the way home. Chicago was just SO festive. Our first Christmas married was when Narnia came out, and the day we were going to watch it the skies absolutely dumped a HUGE fluffy wonderful snow on the ground. Our walk home really was in a winter wonderland, with quiet white streets and drifts that were feet high, and glowing street lamps that looked like the Lampost. It was wonderful.

Christmas lights in Chicago
(not my photo, click on it to get to more from the photographer)
Chicago Art Institute Lions with Christmas Wreath: 4

This is a German Christmas market in Chicago. It's a little kitschy but so much fun - fun to go and wander around freezing cold, looking at the decor and food from around the world and just enjoying the festivities.
Christkindlmarket at Chicago's Daley Plaza: 1

Millennium Park Ice Rink
This skating rink, surrounded by skyscrapers and playing Christmas music, is just so much fun as well. I don't even like skating that much, it's just the aura of it all that is fantastic.
Early Ice

millennium park ice rink

Christmas in England
So I married a man that grew up in England, and his parents still live and work there most of the time. This is a VERY good thing for me, because it means I get to go to England, which I LOVE. Below is the fam sitting in Trafalgar Square in London and recovering from sightseeing.

From childhood

Thus I have been introduced to all the random British and family traditions, like having Christmas poppers at the Christmas meal, which you pop open and out comes a little present and a paper gold crown, which everyone wears for about five minutes.

From childhood

Random but fun. My in-laws always have clam chowder on Christmas eve. And my mother-in-law is an amazing cook in general, which makes the Christmas meal and really all of the meals extra-amazing. She always has stacks of cookie tins filled with cookies. These are called "just becuases" because we always have one after a meal, "just because".

From childhood

The church that Isaac's parents have worked at since I've known them (which they just moved away from) has the most adorable children's Christmas plays on Christmas Day, and they sing the Christmas hymns differently at church, and it's so fun. They serve mince pies and tea after the service... Oh, and they use thick English cream to make the most delicious coffee ever.

It's always a little surreal doing Christmas in England, because my mother in law is is from the South (of the US) and her design themes are so southern/country/farm. To have that set in England is is sort of a contrast, but somehow it works beautifully. Check out our stockings. She cross-stitched all of them and they are GORGEOUS. Mine is best. ;)

From childhood

Last year's South Asian Christmas with my family was singularly unique. You can read about it here. It was wonderfully fun.

From childhood

Isaac and I haven't had a Christmas on our own, which is great, but we have created our own little traditions, some drawn from our families and some our own. We always buy nuts in the Christmas season, we love decorating the tree, we drive to see Christmas lights, and I always make a crock pot of my mom's hot apple cider. I love Christmas as a married couple - the celebrating TOGETHER is great.


- This year, we'll be in Cincinnati with the hub's family. Too bad we're not in England, but this is cheaper. :) We will be adding a new Christmas memory by having a murder mystery just before we leave to come home. Isaac and I are super excited.

For other posts on Christmas (it's been a theme!) see:
It's Beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Growing up overseas - Christmas past
Successful Christmas recipes
Christmas at the White House
Christmas Pig Feasts in Indonesia
Christmas at the beach (in Indonesia)
Christmas in Pakistan


justaweeblether said...

Christmas in Chicago was so much fun. We were such a nerdy couple and always loved studying at Bloomingdale's after they got the huge tree up.

I loved the tradition of having a Christmas "do" in Scotland and going to see a show (they called it a pantomime). I never had crackers, but I heard of and saw lots of them. I loved that Boxing Day was a bank holiday so we had the day after off, but I can't remember if Christmas Eve was a holiday. I don't think it was...

Alice said...

First off, I can't believe how many Christmases you can remember! I've really enjoyed these posts. I can't wait to hear about the murder mystery!

Spudart said...

Thanks for linking to my Christmas photos! :-)