I hope everyone had the BEST time celebrating this holiday season! I was wholeheartedly going to post about all the Christmas festivities that Nathan and I did this year individually….but clearly that did not happen. So, I am just going to cram it into one post and try not to bore the hell out of everyone! We are usually in Disney in December so it was a nice change to be able to do some PNW firsts!
Zoo Lights was first up which would have been better if I learned to wear proper footwear! It was one of our coldest nights in Portland and I am walking around the Zoo in Toms…. killer choice. A lot of firsts happened this night. We took the MAX to the Zoo which is the mass transit in Portland. I have been here for four years and never have ridden the majestic beast but I did… and it will probably be my last. Ha, just not my cup of tea. While crowded, the Zoo Lights were unbelievable and I cannot wait to do it again if we are in town next year! (Also, please disregard whatever my hair was trying to do. By the end of the night it looked like it had taken on a part time job of escape artist and was trying to break free of the knit headband prison.)
We had Nathan’s company holiday party which for it being at a different location was a lot of fun. We spent way too much time in front of the slow motion camera and photo area. It was a night of laughs, catching up with friends and it felt like the best Christmas party his company has ever had. If only they would add some music so we could waltz the night away… (next year, eh?)
On one Friday that we had off together, we planned on going to Pittock Mansion to see all the beautiful Christmas decorations. However, they only decorate the inside… So after walking around the grounds and taking absurd amounts of pictures, we decided to go have lunch and shop in the Pearl District. We walked up one side of the street and came back down the other. We walked into every store whether it was a hole in the wall or upscale. We went into a hat shop that had the most random purses I have ever seen in my life (like a taco and hot dog shapes… no lie) to one of my personal favs Pottery Barn. One of the best things about our relationship, is we have fun even when we are going the most random mix of nothing. It’s the best.
If anyone knows us on a personal level, you know we love to celebrate. We have anniversaries for everything. We have the normal dating one, but we celebrate our first Disney trip, my move up here, the time Nathan burned the fondue (V-day), and the list goes on and on. Recently we celebrated our “engage-versary”. We took the opportunity to treat ourselves to one of my favorite restaurants in PDX, Portland City Grill and then go check out the Christmas Tree! Dinner was amazing, we had champagne and ate many courses over the span of almost three hours! It was fantastic. (Not to mention, they served a gingerbread cheesecake. It is hands down the best dessert I have ever had!) Since we took our time enjoying our evening, by the time we made it to the tree, there was hardly anyone there. Just a few other couples and that was it. For a packed city, it felt like we had the place to ourselves.
On one of my days off that Nathan was working, I finally sat down long enough to get our Christmas cards out in the mail. Please, if anyone hears me next year say that I am personally going to handwrite each envelope in a fancy way, smack me and tell me that it hurts less than my hand cramp will after tons of addresses. Seriously. It also took me alllllllll day. Thankfully Hallmark and a glass *cough* bottle *cough* kept me company. Sorry for the folks who were the last to be addressed. They weren’t the prettiest. I blame the hand cramps and not the wine. Never the wine. We ended up making our card from our Thanksgiving picture through Tiny Prints. They always have great deals and their cards turn out the best.
Among my other fun-filled days included a cookie making day with my friend, Cassie. I had just made some pretty stellar ginger cookies that were dipped in white chocolate the week before for a friends-mas party. I went into this day thinking I was one cookie away from opening up a five-star bakery. HAHAHAHA. Man, these sugar cookies were a mess!!! I don’t know what was funnier, that we went to the store five times between the two of us because we kept forgetting items, that the dough would get to warm and just stick no matter how much flour we used, or our royal icing decorating skills. I’m laughing just thinking about how it took us probably four hours longer than it should have. However, despite our less than pro status cookie making skills, we had the best time and I was so excited to finally get to hang out outside of work. It’s a Christmas miracle!! A miracle we finally got to spend some time together… not our eerily similar to blood spatter sugar cookies. Though despite their appearance, were actually very tasty!
We do not just celebrate Christmas but Hanukkah as well. It is a part of Nathan’s background/heritage and feel that it is important to do both for many reasons. So, we may have a house that is ridiculously decorated for Christmas, but we have 8 crazy nights of fun. (More like 2 but we are gaining momentum!) I got Nathan these awesome socks from JCrew and silly things like the Jew Pack of Cards Against Humanity. (Which apparently are getting some serious backlash. We thought considering how their other cards are, it was pretty tame and many were hilarious.) We would love to have a full feast one year where we have latkes and Matzah balls. I am thinking next year will be our year! Who wants in?
One of Nathan’s traditions is having Chinese food on Christmas Eve. Which took little, if any convincing on my part when I first moved up here. Soy sauce and grilled Szechuan chicken? Yes, please! However, this year a freak snow storm caused quite the beautiful chaos. I love, love, love, love, love, love the snow. Just when I don’t have to drive in it or I am in a city that deals with this weather all the time. Nope. Not here. So, we were stuck on an ice skating rink that was highway 205 for almost two hours. Thankfully, we were very safe, no one was hurt and I had quite the splurge of ahhhhhh-mazing Chinese food. Oh, and I got to play in the snow. Yay for a white Christmas!!!
If you are still with me to this point, I am shocked. I promise next year to do each part a little more elaborately and in their own post. There’s no way I would actually get busier…. right? When Christmas morning actually came around, I managed to only snag a picture of some icicles and a selfie (Thanks Snapchat for always making me look top notch). I, for once, laid the camera and iPhone down and allowed myself to be fully present in the day; To appreciate not just the gifts being given and received but to remember the conversations that were had and the feeling the day brings. It is the magic of the day that will always keep Christmas as my favorite. I hope you all had tons of wonderful memories from the day and throughout the season. Blessings to everyone and the ones you love. Cheers!