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One of my goals in life is to spend the holidays in Europe. I would love to don my winter best and wander the lights and markets of some German Christmas market. Some day. Some day. Until then, I suppose, the Christkindlmarket in Chicago will have to suffice...

After spending my first two days in Hoi An, Vietnam, in a cheap but moldy and damp guesthouse I decided to splurge for three nights in a nicer hotel. It was Christmas, after all, and I was looking forward to celebrating my first Christmas abroad, my first Hoi An Christmas in Vietnam, and sometimes you just have to treat yourself. I met up with Matilda, a Swedish girl I met a few days earlier in Nha Trang. We both were going on the same path and both now staying at the same hotel &msash; NhiNhi Hotel — and celebrate Christmas in...

Am I the only one who wakes up on Christmas half kind of expecting presents to magically appear under my tree and half kind of expecting the cookie to be eaten? I guess there is still room in everyone to believe that magic can still happen. When I woke up on Christmas I didn't think Santa had come. The Pepsi was unopened. The cookie still in one piece. No extra surprises left at the foot of my tiny tinsel tree. But Santa did come through with the best present a girl could ask for: a Starbucks open on Christmas. I trudged through the...

It was an odd Christmas this year. Partially because, despite having all the presents bought and wrapped weeks in advance, it kind of snuck up on me. Like everything else seemed to do this year. And partially because for the first time in my entire life my family wasn't getting together on Christmas. My sister decided to host on Christmas Eve a party for our side of the family and her husband’s. And we decided that there was really no need then to get together to do the exact same thing two days in a row. So Christmas Eve it was. I stole...

I was supposed to be going to TubaChristmas Chicago, an annual concert of Christmas music played on tubas, today. But my throat has hurt for a couple of days and although it feels much better today I do not feel like going out this afternoon. However, I just realized that last year's TubaChristmas is still on my list of things I never blogged about, so today I'll share some photos from last year's brass spectacular. If you're not feeling ill, you should definitely go. It's one of the fun things to do in Chicago at Christmas and a good thing to...