I'm a wanderer at heart, so discovering these surprises has made this season - they began to appear weeks before Thanksgiving and will stick around until the New Year, I suspect - so very, very special. Despite grey skies and the disturbing lack of SNOW it hasn't been difficult to remain in the Christmas spirit this year.
On the 12th day of Christmas, I'm remembering just a few of the sights, sounds and smells that have made my heart sing this season.
Brownstones festively decorated | Unexpected mid-morning concerts
Shopping malls decorated to the nines | Reminders to "Keep Christ in Christmas"
Pretzels at the Christkindlmarket | Architectural gems all lit up
Shiny shop windows | Carols along State Street
A gingerbread covered oven at the Palmer House | Twinkly lights lining the streets
Unexpected pops of red and green | Bell Ringers on every corner
It's like they say, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. And our first Christmas in Chicago did not disappoint.
I hope your holiday preparations are winding down and celebrations are in full force!