There is this little white table at my favorite coffee shop downtown. It doesn't match any other table, but that's OK because they are all different. This table, straight out of the 1960s, has one single drawer in the side. In this drawer are dozens of notes left by coffee drinkers for strangers. Most of the notes are sweet hellos or quotes for the next person who opens the drawer, but some are slightly goofier. This idea is so simple but so cute. It reminds me of Katie's antics at Color Me Katie. She constantly leaves reasons to smile around New York City. I have yet to write a note for the drawer, but I have to soon. 

{image via}


little notes

dear children at school, 
i know i teach you how to share, but i would really prefer that you keep your germs to yourself. i am not excited about being sick for christmas. 

dear eggnog, 
i love how much better and more "christmas-y" you make everything taste. i wish it was acceptable to drink you all year long. 

dear my oven/stove, 
sorry for making you do so much work lately... cookies, fudge, party appetizers... i want you to know that i truly appreciate you.

dear massive pile of presents i bought,
you would really make me happy if you could somehow figure out how to wrap yourselves. thanks. 


Welcome, Elijah.

I have to say a belated CONGRATULATIONS to my friends Jake and Laura on the birth of their son Elijah Dean. He was born on  December 7th at 4:13 a.m. Mother and son are doing wonderfully. As is Dad. I am so happy for Jake and Laura, I just know they're going to be amazing parents and Eli is lucky to have them. 

I met Eli just yesterday and he is absolutely perfect.


Christmas movies

I finally have extra time to enjoy the holiday season so I'm going to spend it watching Christmas movies. There are a few Christmas movies that I could watch any time of the year, but most I save for December because they make it feel like Christmas time, officially. My favorites {somewhat in order}:
  1. The Bishop's Wife
  2. White Christmas
  3. Miracle on 34th St {both versions}
  4. A Charlie Brown Christmas
  5. It's a Wonderful Life
  6. Home Alone
  7. How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  8. Santa Claus
  9. Holiday Inn
  10. Muppet Christmas Carol

*I know many people would put "A Christmas Story" at number one, but I think it was shoved on me too much as a kid to ever fully enjoy it. Remember, this list is of personal opinion and not created based on cinematic merit.


Classroom advent calendar

To make Christmas a bit more special for my very young students, I stayed up very late on night to make a classroom advent calendar. Since we don't have school on Saturday and Sunday, we'll have to do an extra one on Fridays and Mondays. I was worried that my kids wouldn't understand how the calendar, or worse yet not be interested, but they seem to be really enjoying it so far. Every morning, we take down one envelope and read what the little surprise the day is going to bring us. They love it. 

A few classroom appropriate ideas... 

  1. Open a new book to read today.
  2. Grab a blanket, stuffed animal and cuddle up for a holiday movie.
  3. Baby, it’s cold outside. Warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.
  4. Decorate Christmas cookies for Santa.
  5. We need a little more Christmas, add some cheer to the tree.
  6. Make a special craft for Mom.
  7. Must be Santa, let’s write him a letter.
  8. A special Christmas treat.
  9. Make Christmas cards.
  10. Spread the holiday cheer, go caroling around school.
  11. Let’s rock around the Christmas tree, dance party!
  12. Read a new Christmas story.
  13. Learn about holidays in another culture.
  14. Let’s walk in a winter wonderland, decorate the windows.
  15. Deck the halls. Decorate the hallway for a special holiday lunch.
  16. Color a Christmas picture.
  17. Read ’Twas the Night Before Christmas
  18. Learn a new Christmas song to sing to a friend.
  19. Celebrate Christmas.
  20. Pretend you’re outside and go ‘ice skating’ in your socks.
  21. Make a paper chain of our favorite part of Christmas
  22. Be a little silly and paint your faces.


Christmas in Chicago

As stated previously, I'm a Christmas nut. So to jump right into the holiday season, a few friends from out of town drove in to Chicago to start enjoying the holidays. We had big plans for the day. We were going to start by getting peppermint hot chocolate and go ice skating in Millennium Park. Unfortunately, thanks to the fickle Midwestern weather, it was raining instead of snowing... in December! We still tried to find other ways to begin the holiday season: Christmas flavored coffee drinks, shopping on Michigan Avenue, perusing the window displays at Macy's, enjoying the twinkling lights on Christmas trees... And when the disappointment of the crappy, non-Christmas weather hit us, about 20 or more Santa's ran down Michigan Ave. That was enough to bring a smile to even the grumpiest face. I had a great time. Nothing says holidays like spending time with loved ones.


So little time, so much to do.

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love everything about it: decorations, cheer, giving, egg nog flavored everything. It's fantastic. To ensure that I don't miss any joyous part of the holiday season, I've made a little checklist. I hope I do everything on this list and more. 

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