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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, February 26

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Andrew / December 11, 2006 10:35 AM

We go to see one extended family at Thanksgiving and the other at Christmas, and switch every year. So this year we're in sunny Columbus OH for Christmas.

paul / December 11, 2006 11:14 AM

I always go back to Jersey to see family over Christmas.

I'll get into NYC a couple of times while there. As much as I like Chicago, nothing compares to NY over the holidays.

We need more sidewalk vendors roasting chesnuts.

Marilyn / December 11, 2006 11:18 AM

I used to try to get away for cross-country skiing in the North Woods, but the skis haven't been waxed in a couple of winters. Now, I go to Waukesha to visit the hub's daughter and grandkids. I like to stay home these days most of all, though.

Kamde / December 11, 2006 11:31 AM

After a visit with my family in Fort Worth, TX, I enjoying spending the New Year at Big Bend National Park in West Texas or Edisto Island State Park, SC. Drinking wine and looking at the stars is the best way I've ever brought in the New Year.

Bill V / December 11, 2006 11:47 AM

Have never missed an Xmas in Chicago.

vit / December 11, 2006 12:00 PM

I always stay in the Chicago area for Christmas (family in the burbs) but we alternate for Thanksgving between Chicago (okay, northwest Indiana) and Boston.

mary / December 11, 2006 12:02 PM

i think 90% of my christmases have been spent in the house that i grew up in, the other 10% spent at my grandparents' in minneapolis. this year, the siblings and i opted to go to florida for the week, except that only 2 of the 4 of us can actually go. this will be the first year that we havent spent christmas together. :(

i dont really care where i spend christmas, as its the only time of year my brothers and sister and i are in the same place at once. but this year will be a bummer to be in a crazy state with only half my family.

jen / December 11, 2006 12:35 PM

Madison, Ohio

Greg / December 11, 2006 1:43 PM

We alternate between families in the Twin Cities and Boston areas. Thus it shall be until a set of parents dies.

Because we're always gone for thankschristmasgiving, we've never decorated for the holidays. That used to irritate me, but now it's a relief to not have to deal with it.

missmolly / December 11, 2006 2:34 PM

racine, wisconsin

eep / December 11, 2006 2:46 PM

After spending about 20 Christmases in a row up in the Detroit suburbs, I'm happy to have Christmas here in Chicagoland. It's nice to finally have all the relatives come to us for a change.

leah / December 11, 2006 3:10 PM

fond du lac, wi.

maximum cheese, please.

christian / December 11, 2006 3:59 PM

I tend to watch my friends cats while they are away over the holidays. Most of my family lives in the area anyway.

Robin / December 11, 2006 4:20 PM

Scenic Idaho!

emyduck / December 11, 2006 4:20 PM

we go to virginia every year, spending half with my family and half with hubb's. last year they were only an hour apart but hubb's fam moved 5 hours away from mine, so this year we'll be spending some extra time on the road. it will be nice to spend time driving around the mountins, though. i miss the rolling hills.

anne / December 11, 2006 4:21 PM

All but my first xmas in Chicago, I've been here. It's just too hard to fly to Virginia for the couple of days I'll have off, and it's actually kind of relaxing not to do the "drive around and visit all the clusters of relatives in the state". This year, same deal, but I'm actually burning some vacation days to go to Montana between xmas and NYE.

Hal / December 11, 2006 5:31 PM

Staying here this year as the partner's job requires him to work the 26th on alternate years. Just as well - it's been too busy lately. So we're having friends over for Xmas dinner. This became mega-exciting for me last night as I read this month's Bon Appetit and found killer recipies for rib roast and Yorkshire pudding. Mmmm.

Nayru / December 11, 2006 5:55 PM

Wish I could spend mine in the city. Unfortunately, I had to move back to Europe last year, so it won't be an American Christmas anytime soon.

jj / December 11, 2006 5:56 PM

Chicago native. Although we do drive out to the burbs for dinner on Christmas afternoon, as that's where my aunt lives.

I feel bad for everyone who misses the magic of Chicago at Christmastime! If you're into that kind of thing (christmas mania, and I am) nothing compares with a few hours seeing the tree and german market downtown, walking past the Art Institute lions with wreaths around their necks, looking at the windows in the stores, and going around the ice rink a time or two. Although I agree, it doesn't seem like there are as many people selling roasted nuts as when I was little... probably some new city law against deliciousness.

Brandy / December 11, 2006 7:46 PM

While the rellies are in MN, I always stay here. I visit plenty the rest of the year and ha-ha-hate travelling during the holidays. The Bonus is when my far flung friends come back here to see their families.

michellemybelle / December 11, 2006 10:22 PM

I'll be heading back to Pittsburgh this year - this is the first trip home in a few years. My sister is even getting married the day after Christmas, so I can't weasel out of it (though it's still tempting).

Michael / December 11, 2006 11:12 PM

Another son of the Second City who has never missed a Christmas in Chicago. With one glaring exception, everyone on both sides of my family has lived in Chicago since coming to this country, so there's not much purpose in going anywhere else. Beats being from Akron.

kate / December 12, 2006 1:19 AM

Christmas morning is spent ripping open presents at my folks' house in the burbs before going into a ham and mashed potatoes coma.

Feeding friends' pets and checking mailboxes as well.

The extended family gives me their creepy holiday hugs this weekend when I venture into the St. Louis "metro area".

wordup / December 12, 2006 7:47 AM

Ditto for Racine, WI, my hometown.

Ex and I used to alternate between Racine and Hot Springs, AR. Nothing like hittin' the rifle range on Christmas Eve.

missmolly / December 12, 2006 9:10 AM

where in racine did you go to highschool, wordup?

wordup / December 12, 2006 10:14 AM

Miss Molly, I'm a Horlicker.

Ian / December 12, 2006 10:40 AM

We are normally in Chicago, but this year we will be back in my home town of Bury St. Edmunds in England. The town is beautifully documented in this blog.

Marilyn / December 12, 2006 10:47 AM

Ian, It might interest you to know that the Chicago Reader had a theatre critic during the 70s and 80s named Bury St. Edmunds (really name Lennie Kleinfeld). When he left Chicago and his critic's job, he bought a lobster, named it Bury St. Edmunds, cooked it, and ate it.

Anon / December 12, 2006 10:59 AM

I'm dreading going to my parents' retirement condo down South. They're going to be pissed that I got a hotel room, but their condo is just too small for all of us to stay with them. I understand wanting to be together, but not for 72 hours straight.

spook / December 12, 2006 11:12 AM

Hummmm, I wonder if old Allan is staying intown for the holidays?????

Baldeesh / December 12, 2006 12:28 PM

Headed down to the south suburbs. It feels like a different part of the country compared to Chicago.

Exchange I have at least a few times a year with random people-

Them - "Where did you grow up?"
Me - "South suburbs of Chicago."
Them - "Oh, really? Which one?"
Me - "Lansing."
Them - "Michigan?"


Steve / December 12, 2006 12:37 PM

Christmas Eve we do here, with the folks and the sisters and their families, making for 13 in all by my count. Chinese from Lao Schezuan and gift-exchanging madness. Christmas Day is younger sis' house in Plainfield because she has the most room or something like that, and we're joined by the extended family.

Lisa / December 12, 2006 12:53 PM

Every Christmas but the last two in Chicago, as all the extended family is here. Last year and this year spending Christmas and New Years with my dad's immediate family in Curacao.

missmolly / December 12, 2006 12:55 PM

word up, st. cat's class of 97.

and i BET that somone things that "horlicker" is not what it is! LOL

annie / December 12, 2006 2:26 PM

In good old Beverly on the Southside, same house I grew up in and I'll sit in the same chair that I've sat in since I could sit in a chair. We'll have the same conversation, same drink (whiskey sours) and the same appetizers. But it's good, I'm just glad I don't live in that neighborhood anymore.

Clark / December 12, 2006 4:15 PM

Ellen, the kids and I are having a lovely Christmas at our place this year. Hopefully nothing goes wrong and no unwanted guest show up to ruin Christmas!!! The only thing I need now is that Christmas bonus to pay for the new pool.....

fluffy / December 12, 2006 4:43 PM

usually, it's in Texas. I only stay a couple of days and visit with my Mom and my youngest sister (and her boyfriend). My family is all over the planet and now that I'm divorced, I go where I want.
This year, I'll probably be on my own, or go to my other sister's house in the 'burbs. I can't stay there long though- it's depressing out there- I'd much rather be in the city.
This year, I'm so NOT into the holidays.

Emerson Dameron / December 12, 2006 7:44 PM

This year, I'm visiting my mom in Asheville, NC.

Usually, out for Chinese.

Pete / December 13, 2006 7:28 AM

I don't like to venture out of Illinois/Wisconsin. All the other states have concealed carry gun laws, so leaving Illinois is like going back to the wild west.

I don't want to risk getting cut down in the crossfire by some conceal carry gun nut trying to defend himself, so I just stay home.

It's just too risky.

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