Posted by Gillian Rhodes

Today is the day I finally crawled out of my Christmas haze and have decided to step (one cautious) foot into the real world. Done are the days of no plans, no pants and no nutritional value in anything I eat. That is until New Years where all bets will be off, again. :)

Matt and I had a wonderful Christmas celebrating with my folks and extended family in Canada. We celebrate our Christmas morning with just our small family of four, then off to a Christmas dinner at my Aunt’s where we had a record 39 people at one huge table. That number only includes my Grandma, my Mom and her 5 siblings and in-laws and descendants thereof. Even though there was very little elbow room at the table, there was a lot of food and a lot of love.

Before this Christmas season finally slips away, I thought I should blog about a little pre-Christmas trip that Matt and I took down to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. An Australian comedian that we have come to love, Jim Jeffries was playing at the Sands Casino (fair warning, all of his stuff is NSFW), and since we’re only a short drive we decided to make a weekend of it. In summary, Jim Jeffries was amazing (my face actually hurt from laughing and smiling so much), the Sands Casino is really weird, and Bethlehem is totally adorable.

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On Saturday we ventured to the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt and it absolutely did not disappoint. It’s set up at the site of an old steel mill that has been out of commission for some time. But the size and scale of the remaining buildings are really overwhelming and quite striking against the green and cheer of a Christmas Market.

bethlehem pennsylvania

For a last-minute Christmas shopper, this place was a dream. So many vendors with unique and hand-made items. I crossed several people off of my list after our visit here! The day we went was busy so there was a lot of hustle and bustle, but not too busy that a lot of vendors would have the chance to chat with you about their wares. It gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling to support independent makers (like me!) with your gift giving $. I’m even thinking that I might shoot for becoming a vendor myself for the 2015 holiday season!

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Ice sculpting demonstration and a bar IN the market. My kinda place. Hopefully the guy wielding the chainsaw decided to go to the bar AFTER he was done with the carving.

bethlehem pennsylvania

Warm, freshly roasted candied almonds for the car ride home. You know, for sustenance. :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas.

— G.