Cloud Gate at Christmas in Millennium Park in Chicago.

December in Chicago.

December is always busy. Between normal life, wrapping up things for the year, wrapping gifts, Christmas shopping, parties, events, and all those extra things to do around the holidays, it’s just a busy month.

It was a fun month, though, and I spent a lot of time with friends and co-workers.

Here are some of the things I did in December…


Chicago Gay Men's Chorus Holidiva show.

I went to see a co-worker perform in the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus Holidiva show. Beforehand we gorged ourselves on all the cajun food at Heaven on Seven. As you do.


Beer at Lone Wolf.

Au Cheval - single cheeseburger with bacon.

Au Cheval - crispy fries with mornay sauce, garlic aioli and fried farm egg.

One night after my salsa class I met up with my friend Alyssa and we grabbed a beer at Lone Wolf and then FINALLY went to Au Cheval for burgers. Au Cheval is known for having the best burger in Chicago. And, because of that, anytime I’ve stopped in it’s been a 3-hour wait. I wait 3 hours for no burger. Apparently 10pm on a Wednesday night is a sweer spot, only an hour wait, so we took it. We shared crispy fries with mornay sauce, garlic aioli and fried farm egg and both got single cheeseburgers with bacon.

It was a damned good burger.


My friend Chelsa came to town so we had a very Chicago Christmasy day. We started at Christkindlmarket, drinking Glühwein and ornament shopping (I found a fig ornament!). We wandered around Eataly (tasting all the samples) and got pizza at Pizzeria Uno. We visited Millennium Park to check out the giant Christmas tree and Cloud Gate in the snow. And we grabbed some drinks (and shots and tots) at Holiday Club.


There were a million work-related holiday events in December. A party at my boss’s house, a pajama party at a coworker’s place (with spiked hot chocolate, pancakes, and Christmas classics), a cookie exchange (I made bourbon ginger snaps), a pot luck (I made peppermint mocha pudding shots), a company party, and an ugly sweater day.

I’m not sure if I actually got any work done.


Baking limbo.

(p.s. In order to bake those cookies I had to turn my kitchen into a game of limbo.)


Grits at Cafe Selmarie

At the Christmas tree in Lincoln Square

I met up with my friend Shanna for breakfast at Cafe Selmarie in Lincoln Square. Then I made her play my Instagram husband to get photos of me for my knitting post. But I got some photos of her too.


Speaking of Lincoln Square, isn’t it pretty at Christmas?


My skee ball team won the entire league!!! Between that and winning a playoff game in softball, the Wacker Moles had an amazing year.


And I spent a lot of nights dancing to dueling pianos at Sluggers after skee ball.


Spaghetti pizza at Dimo's

And a couple of times at getting pizza at Dimo’s before skee ball.


Empanadas at 5411 Empanadas in Chicago

Gremlins and Die Hard Christmas double feature at Music Box Theater in Chicago.

Gremlins and Die Hard Christmas double feature at Music Box Theater in Chicago.

I went to the only Christmas movie double feature that matters — Gremlins and Die Hard — at Music Box Theater. (And got empanadas at 5411 Empanadas beforehand.)


My friend couldn’t deal with the fact that I had never seen or read Harry Potter so she invited me over, gave me something called butterbeer, and made me watch the first four movies (we’ll finish the next four next time).


Honey Butter Fried Chicken

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

I got lunch with Heather and Maggie at Honey Butter Fried Chicken. Maggie approved.


And, of course, I celebrated Christmas.

On Christmas Eve I went to my sister’s place and had dinner and opened presents with my family.


La La Land at the Davis Theater

Christmas Chinese Take Out

I spent Christmas alone, seeing La La Land at the newly-renovated Davis Theater, and ordering my traditional Chinese food takeout dinner.


Letter to Santa.

I just hope Santa comes through on my wish list.

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Was your December as busy as mine?

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Ali
    January 5, 2017at4:03 pm

    Yeah, I wouldn’t wait 3 hours for a burger either. I’m glad it was worth the one hour wait though. Also, why do so many of your posts have so many tasty looking food photos?!

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