Viewing entries tagged
holiday traditions

Our Macy's Holiday Tradition #MacysBelieve


Our Macy's Holiday Tradition #MacysBelieve

Nine years ago (how is that possible?!) we brought our baby to see Santa at Macy's on State Street and this happened.babys first visit with santa Quite unsure of the stranger in the red suit that was holding her, baby Ellie twisted her little fingers around his whiskers and gave his beard a tug.  This photo was published in the Chicago Tribune in December of 2007 with the title "The Yanks are Comin'!"  and our favorite holiday tradition was born.

This is another one of my favorite photos with Santa at the State Street Macy's.  Three year old Ellie is like "don't you dare mess up this present thing for me, baby!"  She's kind of holding her sister's hand but mostly looking embarrassed.

scared of santa

Things eventually get better but the next year was still a little rough for our Mads.  santaland 11

Even while Santa might not have been Madeline's favorite person her first few Christmases, she loved everything else about our holiday tradition.  Walking around the State Street Macy's looking at all of the windows, carefully selecting the perfect ornament to add to our tree and eating lunch by the great 12

Last year, for Will's first Christmas, everyone had a very pleasant visit with Santa.  Will loved snuggling with the big guy's red suit.visit with santa 2014

After the visit was over, the girls wanted to make sure Santa didn't forget exactly what they wanted so they dropped their letters in the red mailbox at Macy's.maces letter to santaBefore we all went to eat by the great tree, the kids wanted to get a really good view so we went up a floor to the viewing stand.  Last year the entire tree changed colors.  The girls stood and watched in awe!maces great tree

While waiting for dessert, a fairy visited with us.  She sprinkled fairy dust and granted us each one wish.

fairy wishes

 Next weekend we will go downtown and continue our tradition of visiting the REAL Santa, mailing off our letters, picking out our ornaments for the year and eating by the great tree.  The best part of the holidays are seeing everything through the eyes of our children.  The excitement and wonder is contagious.
This holiday season, Macy's is inviting you and your family to share in the holiday traditions that make the season so magical.  They are hosting free events the next two Saturdays for your family to enjoy!macy's holiday events
Macy's State Street 
Saturday, November 14 at 2pm
Saturday, November 21 at 2pm

Join Macy's for an afternoon of family fun with lots of activities for the holidays. Get creative at our crafts table where you can create holiday ornaments, color, and more. There'll also be balloon twisting and more holiday fun to enjoy!  We'll see you there!

This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.



Holiday Traditions from my Childhood (with pics!)

When I think of Holiday traditions from my childhood,  I immediately think of my dad . He was all about the holiday's. He grew up as an only child and making memories with his kids was very important to him. He usually took us skiing in Northern Michigan either before Christmas or after depending on how our Holiday vacation fell on the calendar. Piling in our Station Wagon with our skis, holiday gifts (we would spend Christmas at my cousins & grandparents) and spending time together is a memory I will never forget.

     That's me with my Dad! Probably my favorite picture of all time.

You always knew if you received a gift from my dad because it was wrapped in newspaper! It was his signature. I lost my dad to ALS 8 years ago and I hang on to all the special holiday memories he created with me.

My sister and I with Santa. I was probably about 9 months old.

My sister, Dad and I (and some creepy doll).

It makes me realize how important it is create special holiday memories with my own family. Whether they are similar to the ones that my dad and mom created  with us or new traditions we create with my own family. We try to celebrate the holidays from before Thanksgiving until after New Years in many different ways. We like to do crafts,attend the Chicago Toy & Game Fair,  go to a holiday show, take a car ride to check out houses that are decorated for the holidays in our town, donate toys and go to breakfast with Santa are just some of the things we do during the holidays season. . Thanksgiving is just days away and of course that means many of our holiday traditions are based around food. Nothing wrong with that, right?


For more than 60 years Hickory Farms gifts have been a classic holiday tradition that brings family and friends together. If you are like me than you most likely  have distinct memories of Hickory Farms from growing up. I have fond memories of visiting our local mall with my parents and stopping in the Hickory Farms store. You could find me near the samples tasting the yummy cheeses and the signature summer sausage. You can find amazing gift ideas on their site, and their products in over 600 retail holiday Markets, Kiosks and select retail stores in North America. A tray of meat and cheese from Hickory Farms was always a treat at Christmas dinner.

Hickory Farms not only embraces passing down traditions through generations of families, but also creating new traditions and sharing them with loved ones.

 My kids at Rudolph in Chicago last Christmas.

 What are your favorite Holiday Traditions?

Disclosure: Compensation and products for review were provided by Hickory Farms via MomTrends. I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of this review and to facilitate a giveaway.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Hickory Farms. 



A Christmas Carol #Chicago

There’s a reason some traditions become traditions: because they’re that magical, that pivotal, and that pitch-perfect for the holiday season.  

A Christmas Carol at The Goodman Theatre is exactly that event (or will be for my family, if I have anything to say about it). Long familiar with the tale of Scrooge, Marley, the three ghosts, and Victorian-era London, I was prepared to enjoy this famous story. I was not, however, prepared to belly laugh, weep, and get caught up in this tale as if I were hearing it for the first time.

Larry Yando (whom my daughter gleefully recognized as The Jungle Book’s Shere Khan from this past summer), is a spectacular Ebenezer Scrooge. Curmudgeonly, sympathetic, and genuinely funny, he’s the absolute embodiment of what the famed character should be. The ensemble cast is wonderful as well, including a refreshingly multicultural Cratchit family (headed up by Ron Rains and Penelope Walker) and anchored by the terrific ghosts (Elizabeth Ledo, A.C. Smith, and Robert Hope, respectively).


Having been warned that some scenes and special effects might be too intense for the Little Kid set, I was slightly nervous about my four year-old’s reaction (and yes, okay, my own- that Ghost of Christmas Future gets me every time). But I really needn’t have worried. From the show’s festive opening, Nora was absolutely riveted. The only time she wasn’t perched on the edge of her seat was when she was crawling onto my lap to get a better view of the buzzing street scenes. (Spoiler: Immediately after Jacob Marley’s startling entrance and ominous words of caution to Scrooge, Nora turned to me and said “Was that the spooky part…or is it still coming?”)

don’t think anyone would be surprised to hear that the world-famous Goodman Theatre can bring the level of wonder that they do- but it’s still worth mentioning. The set itself is stunning. Scrooge’s residence in particular is a marvel of Wonderlandesque proportions, and the many backdrops and rotating set pieces were sheer fun to witness. Adapted from the Dickens classic by Tom Creamer and artfully directed by Henry Wishcamper, this retelling has enough new dialogue, character motivations, and unexpected moments to delight even the most Bah Humbug of theatergoers.

Or, if they happen to be nine months pregnant, make them bawl like a baby.


Runs Nov. 16th- Dec. 28th

Show time is approx. 2 hours, inc. one 15 minute intermission

For tickets and info, visit


Disclousure: I was provided with complimentary tickets to this performance, but all opinions are my own.



Holiday Tips & Traditions

Today we are so excited to share our fabulous contributors' favorite holiday traditions and tips.  We know you'll be incorporating a few into your holiday plans this year! holiday traditions

holiday traditions

Thanks so much for sharing, ladies!

What are your favorite Holiday traditions?

You can view the entire Very Merry Gift Guide here.


Holiday Traditions: The Nutcracker

Growing up one of my favorite holiday traditions was putting on a pretty holiday dress & heading downtown with my mom to see the Nutcracker. I knew from the moment that I heard I was having a little girl that I would want to pass on that same holiday tradition to my daughter. Last year when Mia was 4 years old, my mother in law and I took her to the Nutcracker. Mia is a huge fan of ballet and completely fell in love with the nutcracker! She loved everything about it from the outfits to the music! Over the last year she has talked about it and has also mentioned wanting to be in it!

This year we were able to attend the Nutcracker put on by the Illinois Youth Dance Theatre with Mia's best friend Kate. Kate and Mia met at 9 months old in daycare and became fast friends! They don't attend school together any longer, so it is always a treat when the girls get to see each other! They are already planning to go to college together! (OMG!)  The girls loved everything about the nutcracker, it was a perfect way to spend a cold Sunday in December! It defintely gets you in the mood for the Holidays! What are your Holiday Traditions?