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Christkindlmarket Chicago 2016

Vendor stalls selling handmade imported items from Germany: Christkindlmarket  Chicago 2016

Each year, people from all over the world visit the Christkindlmarket Chicago. I had the pleasure of visiting this past weekend. The outdoor market is located in the Chicago Loop and offers an authentic German Christkindlmarket experience including: shopping, typical German food and drinks and holiday entertainment. The market is in its 21st year and is celebrating the returned appearance of Christkindl from Nuremberg, Germany. The market runs daily for the advent season, from mid-November until Christmas Eve.

The main attraction at the market is the Nativity Scene (a crèche or crib).

The History of the Christmas Market

The history of the Christmas Market goes back to the late middle ages in the German-speaking part of Europe. In many towns in Germany and Austria, Advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christkindlmarket or Weihnachtsmarkt. In southern Germany and Austria it is sometimes called a Christkindlmarket (In German, literally meaning “Christ child market”). Generally held in the town square and the market sells food, drink, and seasonal items from open-air stalls, accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. On opening night onlookers welcome the Christking (who was originally boy Jesus, but is often depicted as an angel-like girl), acted out by a local child young lady.

Christking on night of Opening Ceremony 2016   Photo by: Eric James Walsh

Christkindlmarket Food and Drink

There is a wide variety of authentic German food and drink during the market. From giant pretzels and bratwurst to freshly made strudel and ceramic mugs of hot mulled wine, there is plenty to indulge in. The fantastic smells transport you right to Nuremberg!

Hot chocolate with whipped cream in this years collectible mug.
My husband and I enjoying a mug full of cider.

Christmas Specialties and Gifts

The variety of gifts and imported speciality items is amazing. Most of the vendors are from Germany and offer handcrafted wares. The items include: glass-blown ornaments, pewter steins, hand wood-carved nativity scenes, wool mittens, wooden clocks and much more!

Black Forest, Germany handmade cuckoo clocks.
Beautiful wood snowflake I purchased from the Chicago Christkindlmarket.
Bavarian pull toys made in Germany.


To learn more about the Chicago Christkindlmarket, visit their website:


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Holiday Box: Decorating Made Easy

Life is busy and during the holidays, it’s even busier! Dinner parties, school holiday concerts, shopping – the list goes on forever. As a full time working mother, it’s hard to juggle it all. During the holidays one of my favorite things to do is decorate the house and trim the tree. This process usually involves making multiple trips to the store and by the end, I’m exhausted. For me, this year was a little different. I found a company to help with my holiday dilemma, Holiday Box.

Holiday Box makes it easy and stress-free to decorate for the holidays.
Here is how it works:

Order your box

Choose the holiday you would like to decorate for, select which box and place your order. Your box will arrive at your door one month before the holiday (If you order late, your box will arrive in about a week).

Holiday Box is partners with Partnerships with Industry employing adults with special needs. Each item is carefully wrapped and the holiday box packed with pride!
Decorate & enjoy

Everything in your Holiday Box is yours for that holiday season. Decorate your home and enjoy the holiday.

My Holiday Box: A Holiday at Home
Keep what you like, donate the rest

After the holiday is over, keep as many or as few of the items as you’d like. The cost of your order is a credit toward any items you choose to keep. Return shipping is easy and free. Holiday Box donates as many returned items as possible.

Holiday Box works with a handful of San Diego based non-profit organizations. Returned items are donated to these non-profits and are distributed throughout the community to spread holiday joy.


My Holiday Box Experience

When my Holiday Box arrived on my doorstep, I couldn’t wait to get start decorating for the holiday season. I didn’t have to run to the store; I didn’t have to dig through boxes in my basement storage. Everything was packaged neatly and ready to unwrap and decorate. This year I selected the “The Holiday at Home” box which included 9 items:

  • A Winter holiday wreath
  • A handmade rustic pinecone and candle centerpiece
  • Set of 2 handmade fairy ornaments
  • A handmade wooden snowman figure
  • A wooden wall hanging featuring a truck carrying Christmas trees
  • A Merry Christmas serving dish
  • Set of 2 sitting gnomes

The box had a great mixture of items, a handful of them handmade. It felt great decorating knowing that I didn’t stress over it. I could keep what I wanted from the box, return the rest and the items I gave back would help spread joy to a family in need the following year.  What a great feeling that is! I get to do something I love (which is decorate), continue it year after year with the credit I receive and help someone in return. What a fantastic way to celebrate the true meaning of the holidays!

Holiday Box is offering up an exclusive promotion for House Fenway readers. 20% off your order from now until Friday, December 9, 2016!! Shop and enter promo code HOUSEFENWAY at checkout to redeem. I’m so excited to partner with them this holiday. They are an incredible company that goes above and beyond to help the community. They are definitely a company that I’m happy to say is my Friday Favorite! 🙂

This handmade pinecone centerpiece was the perfect addition to my holiday décor.
This trendy vintage red truck worked perfect in my front hall!
The evergreen wreath is so versatile. Hang it on a wall or use it as a centerpiece!
This cute little handmade snowman is ready to welcome our guests.
The Christmas Gnomes hangout by the fireplace waiting for Santa’s arrival.
Hot cocoa and cookies are that much sweeter with this adorable plate that came in my Holiday Box!
These two handmade cuties will stay up well past the Christmas season.



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2016 December Holly Calendar Download

Desktop December 2016 Calendar

When I started my blog one of my goals was to share my love for what I do, DESIGN! Every month I design a desktop, tablet and mobile calendar to share with my readers. It’s a little something to dress up your space and help stay organized for the holidays. I’m in love with botanical illustrations right now and thought this style had a wonderful vintage touch. I love incorporating vintage items into my Christmas decorating. Thank you for all of your support and I hope you all enjoy December’s calendar!

Desktop December 2016 Calendar

December 2016 Desktop Calendar Download Here >


December 2016 Tablet Calendar Download Here >


December Mobile Download Here >


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#FridayFavorite: Plaid Throw from Thirteen & Market

I am mad for plaid this holiday season. So, it’s no wonder that I fell “head over heals” in love with this plaid throw from Thirteen & Market. The throws are lightweight, soft and come in a ton of wonderful color combinations – 8 in all! It’s a great throw to have around the house as décor or to cover up on a cold winter’s night. At just over $22, they make a great holiday gift.


Thirteen & Market offers up a wonderful selection of home décor – which I’m currently adding to my Christmas Wishlist. 😍 Here are a couple of the gorgeous items I’m hoping to get under my tree this year:

Holiday Cheer Gift Set

A perfect gift! Includes a throw, soy candle and wooden beads.


Photo: Thirteen & Market

Faux Fur Throw Pillow

Faux Fur pillows….need I say more! 😍 Ok, I am. These are beautiful and popular. It seems they are a hot buy so get them while you can!


Photo: Thirteen & Market

Rustic Wooden Tray

I’ve wanted one of these trays for a while. It would look great on a dining room table or a cute cocktail ottoman.


Photo: Thirteen & Market

Check out Thirteen & Market’s complete product selection, you won’t be disappointed. Their throw is this week’s #FridayFavorite. Start that Christmas list and enjoy!