We are all guilty of anticipating the holidays, planning all kinds of fun things and before we know it, they have passed us by and we’ve done nothing to celebrate but rush around trying to get things done. I decided that this year I was not going to let that happen. As it is with most holidays, it can also seem like there isn’t a lot of magic in the holidays if you don’t have children to celebrate with. Which is absolutely not true. I have found many ways to make the holidays magical for me, Mr. Tipsy and my friends and family that don’t involve waiting in line for Santa.
I put together a list of 12 ways to make the holidays magical for yourself and other grown ups. Some of them are traditions I have honored every year and others are some “new to me” activities that I am looking forward to adding to my list. I hope you too, will partake in your own version of The 12 Days of TIPSYmas, take a look what Tipsy has planned!
1. Cookie Baking Bonanza
I am NOT a baker. But during the holidays I get the itch. I dream of perfectly crafted cookies displayed brightly on holiday plates adorning my tables. The result of my baking attempts are usually the exact opposite of the picture I have in my mind. But every year I give it the old college try. I pour myself a nice glass of wine, turn on some Christmas music and have at it. This year I have found Four “New To Me” and supposedly EASY cookie recipes to try. I plan to bake one each week. Below I provided links to these recipes in case anyone is feeling adventurous and wants to join me in my baking adventures.
2. Holiday Appetizer and Cocktail Nights
Every year I wait for the Hallmark Channel’s, Countdown To Christmas. I have made it a tradition to treat myself to a new cocktail and appetizer recipe each week when there is a premier. I found four new delicious recipes for cocktails and appetizers to try starting this weekend. Below I listed the recipes for the drinks and snacks I plan to make while enjoying my Hallmark movies.
I have been reading up on the Nordic practice of Hygge. If you’re like me, you may not have heard of Hygge. I will be writing a dedicated blog post soon on Hygge. The practice of Hygge essentially translates to simple comforts that make you feel cozy. I decided to treat myself to simple “cozy” gifts this season that make me happy. Here are some of the gifts I plan to give myself or have bought myself already.
- A Holiday Mug
- A Cozy Seasonal Throw
- Holiday Pajamas
- New Pet Beds
- Cozy Flannel Sheets For My Bed
- New Slippers
- New Hat, Gloves & Scarf
4. Polish Market at The Copernicus Center
This is an annual tradition hosted at The Copernicus Center on the Northwest side of Chicago. I am 100% a Chicago Polish girl so this event is a MUST. This year on December 9th & 10th you can enjoy a magical Polish Market, handmade ornaments, gingerbread houses, and more! They also have hot spiced wine, polish food, music and lot’s of family fun! More info on this event in the link below.
December 9th 4:00pm to 9:00pm
December 10th 11am to 7pm
5. Coffee Walks In Andersonville
Andersonville is one of my most favorite Chicago neighborhoods. It’s home to some of my favorite bars, restaurants and shops. During the holiday season I like to grab a coffee from one of the many cafes, walk the neighborhood and stop at two of my favorite shops that are decorated to the nines. The first is Brimfields. I love going here, even though they are not always the most welcoming, but its part of the charm. The space is filled with antique Christmas decor styled like you are in someones actual home. If you’re there don’t forget to check out the basement and their garage which also have fun decor. I can’t explain this place, you just have to go and see it for yourself. The second is Gethsemane Garden and Gifts, which is a garden center and a gift shop. I find the most unique gifts in the gift shop and I adore walking through the green houses and the garden area filled with seasonal plants and decor. Links to both places are below for more info.
6. Santa Lucia Festival Of Lights
This is another event in Andersonville that is held every year and I have missed this every year of my life. This year I plan to make it. Andersonville is my favorite any time of year, but at Christmas time it comes alive and you feel as if you’re in a village in Sweden. It doesn’t hurt that a lot of my favorite restaurants are there too!
Check the link for more details on the Andersonville Saint Lucia Festival of lights. This year the festival is on Wednesday December 13th at 4:45 pm. This is a candle-lit, carol filled procession down Clark Street, followed by Singing and Treats at the Swedish American Museum. I have heard its not to be missed.
7. White Christmas at The Music Box Theater
This Summer I was invited to a wine tasting at The Music Box Theater where we tasted Daboln Wines.I found out that several times throughout the season they show White Christmas and they have a sing-a-long and of course some adult beverages.
There are many showtimes for this magical experience, I included a link below with more information White Christmas at The Music Box
8. Bar Hopping
I love the concept of pop up bars. I found three that are claiming to have fun decor and delicious seasonal drinks. Lost Lake, The Orbit Room and Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn. I have heard that the recreation of the “It’s A Wonderful Life” Bar in Berwyn at Fitzgerald’s MAY be sold out. But check their link for more details. I plan to check out at least ONE of these spots this holiday season. Links below for more details!
9. Peninsula Hotel Sky Rink
The Peninsula Hotel hosts a variety of culinary experiences but during the holiday season they kick things up a notch. One of the fun ongoing events is the Sky Rink. Adjacent to the famous Shanghai terrace they have created a mini ice rink, and pine tree wonderland with great views of the sky line, skating, snacks, cocktails and a warming center. The donation that you are asked to pay goes to a charity so you can have fun and feel good too! Check this link for more info The Peninsula Hotel Sky Rink
10. Visit the Iconic Christmas Trees of Chicago
We all know about the famous Christmas tree in Daley Plaza and the Chriskindlemart. But I like to pay a visit to ALL the city’s famous trees in all their glory. I hop in a Uber and start out with one and make my way around downtown viewing them all. I may or may not stop in some of the Hotel Lobby Bars for a cocktail or two while I’m doing it…… Below are links to all my favorite tree spots to help you find your way!
11. Chicago Botanic Gardens
The Chicago Botanic Gardens has something for everyone. The Wonderland Express is a family favorite but there are some extended hours to see the lights and they have several grow up events as well. (you can check their site for more information) This year they have a fun, adults only,event scheduled that I plan to go to. It is called The Holiday Cheers Event and it is Wednesday December 6th from 6 to 8pm with tastings from several local spirits, wine and beer vendors. Check this link for more info.
12. Roscoe Village Lights
Roscoe Village has their own kind of Winterfest Fun. The neighborhood is DECKED out in Holiday fanfare. Every year, Mr. Tipsy and I load up our pups in the car, get hot cocoa, eat a Mcdonald’s dinner while we drive around listening to Christmas Carols and enjoying the lights and decor. You don’t even have to comb your hair or put on a bra for this activity! More info on Roscoe Village Winterfest Events can be found at this link Roscoe Village Winterfest
There you have the 12 Days of TIPSmas. Adult fun for everyone. I find it to be a great way to celebrate the holidays and won’t cost you a ton of money! I hope this holiday season finds you filled with the holiday spirit and lot’s of fun times with family, friends and yourself!