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Christmas in Chicago

I was so happy to be home again for the holidays after spending last Christmas on the West Coast!

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

And our family had two extra stockings by the chimney this year, since we were joined by Greg and Kate!

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

We did my three favorite holiday activities:

Dinner with Friends

It’s tradition that over the holidays I make this lasagna recipe and host my friends and their families for a festive evening. It’s one of the best nights of the year, and I love spending time with my favorites!

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

And their families!

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

This year was extra special, since I got to meet my “niece,” baby C, for the first time!

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

It was so nice having almost everyone together (we missed you Caitlin and family)!

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Lehnertz Ave

My most sentimental Christmas tradition is walking along Lehnertz Ave in Aurora, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Over 65 years ago the street’s residents felt the true meaning of Christmas was being buried beneath the shopping, parties and presents that this season brings. So they gathered together and developed an idea for Christmas decor that would tell the story of Jesus’ birth. Each person gave what talents they had to develop the concept, from painting and building to lights and sound. The result remains a touching tribute to the essence of the holiday, and is an incredible thing to witness year after year. You can read more about Lehnertz Ave’s history here.

Each home on the street has a lit bible verse telling the story of Jesus’ birth.

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

And at the end of the street is a life-size manger built by the residents.

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Every year we head into the manger for a family photo.

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

But we don’t stay out there too long…

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Because:

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

My dad grew up on Lehnertz Ave, so it’s ok, right?!

Spending Time with Family

Of course this is the best part of Christmas, and any celebration really: gathering my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandmothers together over good food and even better stories. I’m so lucky to have the family I do!

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Oh and did I mention the best part? It was a white Christmas!

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Christmas in Chicago - travel - Wanderlust in the City

Here’s hoping your holidays were just as magical.

~A

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