high-five for the holidays

Anthony and I have gone Christmas crazy over here.

Yesterday the festivities began with a long, chilly walk toward a church near the National Cathedral. We found a random Christmas concert at a church we’d never heard of — Embassy Church. We were curious and a bit cabin-fevered, so we went for it.

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Fun fact: Anthony and I counted yesterday, and we have visited about 10 churches in the DC area over the past year or two. It took us a really, really long time to find a church we were happy with, but we finally found our spot about 8 months ago. We go to National Community Church and love it. There are a lot of other good ones in the area, too, though! If you’re ever looking to find a church in the District, this blog has a few lists of churches in the area and updates on events.

Anyways, the whole trip to the concert and back was a bit over four miles, but it was worth it! (That is me giving the holiday spirit a high-five.)

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We caught some great (free) music and explored a new community on the north side of the city.

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Apart from being crazy talented, this band is also crazy related. The whole group has about eight members, all of which are related by blood or marriage. It’s their family tradition to play a concert together every Christmas. Can you imagine?! My family has little to no musical influence other than my obsession with John Mayer and my dad’s long lost gift for the accordion.

I don’t know if I have a favorite Chirstmas song, but I really like the following: What Child is This, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Baby it’s Cold Outside, and All I Want for Christmas is You.

After the concert we continued our Christmas quest with a trip to the National Zoo for the annual zoo lights show.

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Zoo Lights is where they take the zoo and fill it with 500,000 LED lights. Then they fill it with 5,000,000,000,000 parents with strollers.

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Despite feeling a bit claustrophobic with all the people and screaming (but cute) kids, it was really neat to see all the beautiful and fun lights. So nice of the city and zoo sponsors to put on a great (and free, again!) event.

The outdoor trek wouldn’t have been complete without a little street furniture spotting. Door up for grabs on 17th and Euclid NW, people. Get it while it’s… cold, and broken.

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We were walking popsicles at this point and headed home for dinner, Miracle on 34th Street (the 90s version), and hot chocolate. Topped with these “cinnamon bun” -flavored marshmallows, which are the BEST.

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Note about hot chocolate: we were going to buy the instant mix, and then realized it’s way cheaper and healthier to make it yourself. Most of the packaged versions had ingredient lists that were a mile long with weird corn syrups and preservatives, which is a bit confusing. So we used this classic recipe for inspiration and cut the sugar by about a third, and added about a tablespoon more cocoa for a more chocolaty and less sugary taste… and, we also added a shot of Frangelico. Voila!

Despite the chillness and stillness, I’ve been able to get a sweat on the past couple days:

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A bit of running, a bit of yoga, and a bit of burpees! I’m proud of the diversity, for now… but am starting to wonder about spring marathons and whether I feel like hitting the pavement hard for the next few months? We’ll see what the new year brings!

I’m off for more Christmas craziness! Anthony and I are excited for a Christmas Eve church service and probably more hot chocolate.

  • Miracle on 34th Street: old version, or new one?
  • Hot chocolate: boxed or homemade?
  • Holiday lights: colored or white?
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