Once Upon a Christmas

Scrooge looking through window

There is no time like the holidays to cuddle up with classic Christmas stories. I still remember when I first saw A Christmas Carol as a young girl. Seeing Goodman Theatre's A Christmas Carol this month gave me the same thrill. Wanting to continue that magic, I was inspired to re-read this classic Dickens tale. Though there […]

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Rudolph, the Most Famous Chicagoan of All

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

President Obama and Nancy Reagan are very famous Chicagoans. However, the most famous Chicagoan of all is a youth who overcame adversity to become an international leader. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer's story was first told by Robert Lewis May in 1939. The Montgomery Ward Company commissioned May to do a children’s storybook. The book was […]

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Who’s Your Favorite Scrooge?

Illustration from the Christmas Carol of Scrooge and Marley's ghost

Alastair Sim isn't the first Scrooge I ever loved, but over the years he’s become my favorite. Likewise, I consider his 1951 Christmas Carol the Christmas Carol. I especially love Sim's giddy, irrepressible joy the morning after the spirits visit, when he realizes he’s been granted a second chance at life. Favorite moment? When after dancing about the room he says, “I must stand […]

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Jolly Helpers

Elf on the shelf in hot air balloon

It's almost that time of the year again! Santa's workshop is in full swing as they get ready to deliver presents all over the world and children everywhere are on their best behavior to be sure to make it onto the nice list. We always think about dear old Santa, but what about all the others that […]

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Laughing All the Way

Elf doll and Christmas lights

Christmas is right around the corner, and I'm experiencing my annual anxiety about how this year I'm going to do the holidays just right! Thanks to my expert planning, amazing baking and flair for decorating, I will truly be the hostess with the mostess! Sadly, this tableau exists only in my mind. The reality of […]

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Grin and Bear It through the Holidays

Source: pagedooley, Flickr

Ah, it's the time of year that your phone lights up with calls and texts about holiday plans—an argument or two may even ensue. Your partner is not thrilled to spend another Christmas with your crazy clan that's called family and you're even less elated to sit through another dinner featuring Aunt Gertrude's green bean casserole […]

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Christmas by Hand

Source: Nevit Dilmen, Wikimedia Commons

For some people, the best part of the Christmas season is the decorating that goes along with it. If that is true for you, then you will not be disappointed in Treasures for the Christmas Tree.  Something about this book speaks to the true meaning of Christmas. It has simple but beautiful ideas for creating […]

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Bing-le Bells

After seeing White Christmas at the Music Box's Annual Christmas Show this weekend with my family, I remembered how much Bing Crosby's holiday songs warm my heart this time of year. Of course the title song is great, but my favorite Bing Crosby song is his version of "Jingle Bells" performed with the Andrews Sisters. I challenge anyone to stay […]

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Sugar + Spice = Delicious Cookies

snowflake-shaped gingerbread cookies

The season of ugly sweaters, holiday parties, gingerbread house building competitions and cookie exchanges is upon us. We can always use a little inspiration that goes beyond traditional oatmeal raisin cookies and thumbprint cookies—or perhaps you're looking for a classic recipe reinvented? Or maybe sorting through mom's box of cookie recipes on flour-covered index cards isn't exactly […]

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Holiday Crafts and Decorations for Admirers and Crafters Alike

house and yard decorated with Christmas lights

Now that we're already into mid-December, lights and decorations are a regular sight in the city. If you like to admire decorations rather than put up your own, The Best Christmas Decorations in Chicagoland is the book for you. Not only do you get to see the best lights, you don't even have to go out in […]

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