xmas wrapping.

I’d like to discuss xmas wrapping. It turned into a more interesting activity this year, due to the fact that I’m trapped in my home and looking to turn anything into an interesting activity.

A full 13 years ago (WTF?!), I started my first adult job in Manhattan as a Production Assistant on the show “Car Wars with Funkmaster Flex.” The office was located on 21st or 22nd or something, and 6th Ave. You may be aware that on 6th Ave in that area there is a CONTAINER STORE.

I had never been to The Container Store! My boss sent me there one day for some kind of nonsense but I didn’t even care because I WAS GOING TO LOOK AT CONTAINERS OF ALL KINDS.

It was December, so they of course had all kinds of Xmas stuff out. But one of those Xmas things was an ENTIRE CART dedicated to Xmas wrapping. A whole little cart you could keep in an extra room in your house and just use for present wrapping because you really had your shit together and so many presents to wrap.

And also you had a whole extra room in your house.

I truly aspired to one day possess this xmas wrapping cart. I could just see myself as a stay at home rich person, wearing cashmere leisure wear with an apron because I was also baking cookies. I had a ton of stuff to do to prepare for the holidays but I made it look perfect and effortless. This was my future!

This was not my future. Despite not trying very hard I never got rich! In fact quite the opposite. Wow, what a shock.

So for many of my adult years I half-assed xmas wrapping. Most of the time I just brought my gifts home to my parents and wrapped them with paper my mom already had. It seemed like a waste anyway, because the paper only gets torn off and discarded. It’s far from sustainable and therefore not trendy.

Listen, I’m glad “sustainability” is now in everyone’s consciousness because it’s important, but it’s also fair to call it a “trend.” Because it is. For now.

Anyway, I definitely didn’t sustainably wrap presents this year, if that’s what you were wondering. I actually went super hard and really wanted to get a lot of materials so I could have a lot of fun. I needed an activity. I NEEDED TO ENTERTAIN MYSELF. I went to “Wondershop” at Target and got a ton of shit.

THESE. ARE. AVOCADOS. IN. SANTA HATS.

Bags and wrapping paper and bows and labels! I wanted to get ribbon but I drew the line there, because it’s pretty expensive for not a lot of ribbon. I think.

I didn’t really buy wrapping supplies with certain gifts or people in mind either. I just bought what I loved and piled it all into a pile, Grinch style but I wasn’t throwing it off a cliff.

I was bringing it home to throw all over my floor so I could choose to wrap presents based on my whim at that moment.

A WHIRLWIND

Unfortunately I don’t have that wonderful gift wrap cart I once aspired to, and my gift wrapping supplies are stored in a box in my hallway on top of some other boxes and everything is really a mess. I really don’t have enough room in my house for all of my fun shit.

I’ve been wrapping presents a little at a time because wrapping hurts my back A LOT. Again, I do think that the cart would help with that because it would allow for me to stand and wrap in a designated wrapping space. Just like a stand up desk!

Even though my back hurts I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s calming to roll out paper, and cut the paper, and tape the tape, and pop on a bow. Then you’re done! And you can wrap the next one. It’s even fun putting gifts in bags, and I enjoy the satisfying “fluff” of tissue paper; getting it just right.

My back hurts 😔

I hope you enjoy your xmas wrapping as well. It’s a year unlike any other and we may not get the chance to really enjoy dumb stuff like this again because we’ll be too busy once we’re allowed to leave our houses for real. You know what I mean.

what to wear during your holiday break vol. 2.

One of my favorite posts to put together last year was “what to wear during your holiday break” and now I’m back for more.

As you may know this year was a completely different year from last year and we all spent a ton of time sitting around our houses on our asses. We’ve been wearing lazy clothes while hiding in our houses this entire year and we’re not going to stop anytime soon.

Overall I’m not really a proponent of lazy clothes. I like to “look cute” and “get dressed up.” I really, REALLY miss wearing black tights and dresses and makeup and real shoes. This is really, really hard for me.

But I thought it would still be fun to celebrate some lazy clothes because I got quite a few new lazy clothes this year and they’re kinda fun!

So here we go.

what to wear during your holiday break while you’re reading a book.

Yes I’m reading Home Body. Every single one of a certain kind of gal is currently reading it as we speak. I guess I’m just that kind of gal.

The kind of gal that likes amazing poetry without really knowing that much about poetry. But it’s amazing.

My outfit is from ACTA and it’s my favorite new lazy outfit. It’s really soft but not TOO soft. I love the material. I have a code for ACTA if you have any interest. Click here to go to their site and use code SHANIMAL15 for 15% off.

If not, move along.

what to wear during your holiday break when you want to fret over the impeding apocalypse but in a onesie.

This is a leopard onesie.

I guess it’s kind of intense and I think it’s a size too small because it’s not as comfy as I hoped.

It’s from Old Navy. The small size isn’t their fault, it’s just my assumption that I can still wear the same size I could wear back in March.

Which is an untrue assumption.

what to wear during your holiday break while protecting your bird from certain death.

Here’s a sports bra option for when you have to turn up the heat all the way for your bird and it’s too hot to live with a shirt on.

My tropical budgie pal Elvis needs to be protected from a draft at all costs. If he feels the slightest chill you can see in his face that he is terrified of his swift imminent death.

He needs to stay warm so we keep him warm. That’s what we do in this family. Even if human family members have to take our shirts off in the middle of winter. Bra top is from Free People.

what to wear during your holiday break to look out the window and feel sad because you miss your friends and family.

When it’s cold and I don’t want to deal with being outside but it’s still sunny and I need sunlight, I love to sit by the window.

I love to sit by the window and stare at the street and think about all the fun I’ve missed, Santa baby.

This year has been shitty. We all know it. A lot of us won’t see our families. I’ve been quarantining to see my parents and sister for Xmas but I won’t be able to see my brother and his family. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I’m choking on it. So is my mom.

So I’ll just sulk here by the window in my cropped “Jersey City” sweatshirt from JaneDO and tie dyed pants from Old Navy because like what else to I have to do?

what to wear during your holiday break while you adult color and/or reenact a preschool school photo.

I need to get back into adult coloring. It is fun, soothing, passes the time…all good things.

Adult coloring really relaxes the mind. For a long time I thought it was a hoax and a trap but my sister got me this adult coloring book a couple of years ago and it just feels good to do.

This also looks like a photo of me that I have from preschool that I’m going to try to find when I go home this week. STAY TUNED.

Oh PS the whole outfit is from Old Navy. I love the thermal top because it has moons and stars on it. A VIBE.

what to wear during your holiday break while wrapping presents but only a couple at a time because it really hurts your back.

I got this sweatsuit in the fall and I do love that it’s a like a MATCHING SUIT.

It’s also nice that it’s red so it’s festive and if I put on a green headband it’s red AND green and THAT is a beautiful thing.

Sweatsuit is Old Navy again. 85% of this stuff is Old Navy. As I said, I’m not usually a fan of lazy clothes but now that I pretty much wear them every day I like to have a lot of options and Old Navy has cheap but quality options. It may be cheap but it’s also soft and comfortable and I AM INSIDE OF MY HOUSE.

Also, wrapping presents really, REALLY makes my back hurt and I’m not sure why but if you have any tips plz share.

what to wear during your holiday break while you get in bed and wait for santa.

Oh shit did that sound sexual? It’s not, I just meant wait until it’s time to open your presents.

The time goes slow when you’re stuck inside, so it’s nice to be comfortable while you wait.

This is another full matching sweatsuit but it’s not very flattering so I’ll just reveal the top half. Some things remain sacred.

Best wishes for cozy holiday outfits for every single one of you, my friends.

sunday scaries times one million.

Okay I’m being super basic and annoying but I have Sunday Scaries TIMES ONE MILLION.

“Sunday Scaries” is already bordering on ridiculous as an idea in the cultural lexicon that warrants attention and discussion. Like yes obviously people get stressed out on Sundays. Looking toward the week ahead can be overwhelming. But I don’t believe you are ACTUALLY SCARED so I need to emphasize that MY personal Sunday Scaries are Sunday Scaries times one million.

These are the scaries that will glue you to your bed for literal hours. And you just hide there, thinking about all of the things you need to do, feeling bad about yourself because you didn’t do them yet, but being too crippled by fear to do anything about it. ACTUAL TERRIFYING FEAR. It took me 3 hours to pump myself up to put away my laundry today, I’m not even lying.

When you have Sunday Scaries times one million, there’s just an overwhelming fear that comes with NEEDING to do something. Like, I NEED to go to work tomorrow. And I don’t mind work! I like the people there that I work with, we have good snacks, I enjoy sitting at the desk that I (kind of) built. It’s not work that I’m afraid of, it’s that I NEED to go there. Then all of a sudden it feels like a lot to deal with. I NEED to pack my bag for the gym in the morning so I can get ready there, I NEED to wake up at a certain time to get to the gym and then to work on time, I NEED to ride the piece of shit shuttle bus and then the PATH train which is also no picnic, then I NEED to walk IN THE COLD FOR 5 MINUTES to get to my office. When it’s laid out like that perilously before me…I honestly really feel very cripplingly overwhelmed.

I know, It’s stupid! First world problems, at least I have a job, etc etc. But I am here to tell you, HEAVY IS THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE CROWN, OK? I’ve been living in pajamas, I’ve been waking up early but not HURTFULLY EARLY, I get to sit on my couch and drink coffee instead of pouring it into my face as I try to make it somewhere, I go to the gym a little later in the day and it’s all very leisurely. I mean I have been LIVING THE LIFE and it’s hard to say goodbye. This is why I have Sunday Scaries times one million.

Beyond that, I have not gotten ANYTHING done that I said I was going to do during my long break. I was going to learn more about “blog shit” and I only worked on that a very little bit. I was going to write some posts ahead of time so I had them for days moving forward when I was too busy and didn’t want to stress myself out but no, I did not. I was going to clean out my closet and my workout clothes drawer and try to hang up shelves in the closet again and untangle the rat king of jewelry that I took to LA and then home for Xmas and then back here and it may be un-salvageable at this point. I didn’t do anything of those things. Well I did clean up my closet a little. But just a very little.

Just like in high school when I wouldn’t do my homework until Sunday night and I would be completely upset and annoyed and feeling the dread of the approaching morning. That is also now. I am an “adult,” and when I was a teenager I thought that when I “grew up” that I would never feel this way again. But I was wrong, WE WERE ALL WRONG IT IS A TRAP.

I took down my Xmas tree today, as it had fulfilled its final Xmas tree duty of being a background dancer in my NYE photos. As I grabbed the top of it to put it outside my door to take downstairs and discard later, I spoke to it. I said, “Thanks buddy. You did a good job.”

“Thanks buddy. <sobs>”

I AM CURRENTLY IN A MENTAL SPACE WHERE I WOULD SPEAK TO A DEAD TREE. And also thank it, for its service.

Today I came across some blablabla self care stuff on Instagram, and it made me feel a little better. Like, “don’t have the Sunday scaries! We know this is a super hard one, it’s back to real life tomorrow! You should prob do a mask, that would def help! SELF CARE BLABLABLA.”

And you know what, a mask MIGHT actually help. Do you guys even realize the power of a mask? It can get you to a heightened mental state, it’s not a lie. Okay I’m going to go do one. Also don’t worry, I will do all the things I NEED to do tomorrow and this week and for the rest of my life. Coping is a valuable tool, ever heard of it?

How do you feel about the Sunday Scaries? Do you get them? Are you ACTUALLY TERRIFIED or are you more just feeling inconvenienced about work and trying to get into the #sundayscaries trend? Again, I don’t accept your scaries unless you are crippled with fear and clinging to your bed. You’re going to have to look for a different name for “merely feeling bummed out about going back to work tomorrow.” Thx, bye.

xmas eve brunch.

Yesterday I was too “tired” from Xmas Eve brunch to write this so here it is now.

In my family we do Xmas Eve brunch! For many years it was at my Grammie’s house, but recently my cousin has started hosting it and it’s LIT AF.

These things are always there and they’re not my fav so I don’t eat them but the important part is that THEY ARE ALWAYS THERE. Also a sighting of the hostess in the background!

I don’t usually describe things as “lit” but this Xmas Eve brunch is LIT LIKE AN XMAS TREE, DAMMIT.

LIT!

First there is a coffee and hot chocolate bar. A FULL HOT DRINK BAR. With coffee, hot chocolate, whipped cream, marshmallows, etc.

Hot drink bar!

Then you have the option of putting Bailey’s and/or Creme de Cacao in it. AND WHY WOULD YOU NOT?

Hot drink alcohol mix ins!

I chose the option of hot chocolate, coffee, and Bailey’s. And it was grand.

Hot drink close up!

Second there is a bar, bar and the main feature of that is MIMOSAS because this is BRUNCH, you guys.

Third we ate a ton of food which I did not take a pic of. But delish spinach dip, meatballs, lasagna, and baked Brie were involved.

Enjoying the foods.

Fourth were presents but I was v involved with passing those out so also didn’t get any pics. Additionally there weren’t any (actual) children at this particular Xmas eve brunch so there really wasn’t anyone to observe being truly silly and joyful.

JK we are obvi silly and joyful.
AND SANTA WAS THERE.

Then the desserts were put out and we consumed them.

Desserts!

We also took fun photobooth-like pics with props! This was my favorite part. I love photobooth-like pics with props!

They are my everything.

Stockings hung…
…by the fire!

So that was the big activity for the week, Xmas Eve brunch. The rest of the days will be sent sitting around. And loving it.

what to wear during your holiday break.

Here’s a quick post on what to wear during your holiday break. Or more specifically, what to wear while you’re sitting on your ass during your holiday break.

As an “adult” I didn’t realize that a “holiday break” was possible until about 2 years ago. Shit at work luckily gets pretty slow in the two weeks between Dec 21st-ish and January 5th-ish, and I was like, “Wait a minute. It seems like everyone that is usually calling and emailing me disappears for two weeks around the holidays so maybe I should too?!”

So then I did. And I never looked back. Luckily I have a very kind and humane company to work for that gives us a healthy number of vacation days. THANK YOU KIND AND HUMANE COMPANY.

When you finally have a holiday break, you need to think about what to wear on your holiday break.

I do actually have to work the day after Xmas this year because I’m covering for the UK office. The day after Xmas is “Boxing Day” in the UK and if you don’t know what that is look it up because it’s silly AF. But I’m fully on board, as I always am with fun silly shit, and will gladly support them on their UK day off.

But (knock on wood) I don’t think it will be that busy and I’ll be working from home. Cross your fingers everyone.

JaneDO sweatshirt.

JaneDO is a great place to work out and they also have great merchmerchmerch. This cropped crew sweatshirt is great for any day but it’s super great for sitting on your ass next to an Xmas tree, I’ll tell ya that much.

Sweatshirt, JaneDO.

black sports bra and leopard leisure pants.

This is for when you get too hot while you’re baking cookies. Don’t you dare tell me that doesn’t happen to you because it happens to everyone.

Sports bra, Carbon38. Leopard leisure pants, JCrew.

sweatshirt dress, leggings, and adult pigtails.

This is a sweatshirt BUT ALSO A DRESS. IT IS A SWEATSHIRT DRESS. I hate wearing pants and I love to wear a dress even during lounge times. You could wear it with leggings but that’s fine because they don’t count as actual pants. Also adult pigtails are a great lounge lewk and don’t you forget it.

Sweatshirt dress, Target. Leggings, JCrew.

sweater and imitation down blanket.

This is just a pretty straight forward sweater. I like it. Many sweaters are on sale at Target right now. Also I’ve had this imitation down blanket since 2005 so I don’t think you’d find it anywhere but good luck.

Sweater and blanket, Target.

full body sweatpants, aka a sweatpants jumper, aka the best thing i’ve ever gotten from target and that says a lot. and a leopard scrunchie.

This is for relaxing and staying warm and also LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE BECAUSE IT IS GLAM AF.

Sweatpants jumper and leopard scrunchie, Target. I could not find the link for this freaking jumper but I just got it the other day so go to Target and search for it if you want.

For the next few days I will be sitting on my ass and wearing comfortable clothes. See you there.

Happy Xmas!

crafts and carafes – xmas ornaments.

On Thursday we once again made our way to Porta Jersey City for Crafts and Carafes!

I was extra pumped because I didn’t have to work on Friday so I was planning on having a real Ladies Night and drinking wine and maybe probably talking too loud and annoying people.

Because that’s what I do. And I will submit that I didn’t write a post about crafts and carafes yesterday because I spent most of the day trying to not have a headache. I guess I crafted too hard. It’s not possible to carafe too hard.

But before the headache and Ladies Night it was crafts and carafes and time to make ornaments!

OMG THIS IS A S’MORE.

We were given tops of mason jars and circles of paper and strings and ribbons and popsicle sticks and pine tree branches and little bells and all kinds of fun shit!

They tried out a bit of a different set up with a few supplies on each table instead of like a buffet table of supplies. I think it worked out well! It was fun to sit and grab for stuff as I went instead of going up to the buffet table and making my choices there.

EITHER WAY I LOVE CRAFTING AND CARAFING.

I also ordered the ricotta and squash thing again because it’s my everything. It came in a smaller squash and I liked that, it seemed more suitable for one gal than the bigger ones.

Perfect sized acorn squash for a gal on the go.

I made three ornaments and I love them a lot. They also held up pretty well in my purse while I tumbled around the town for the rest of the night.

The ornaments I made!

Another crafts and carafes success!

Except for the headache. I’ll drink more water next time.

for me, it’s xmas.

What month are we in? December. So what holiday are we celebrating? For me, it’s Xmas.

I will begin with this reminder, you’re allowed to have Christmas still. I’m not trying to take that from you. But I am asserting my appreciation and ownership toward a December holiday. And for me, it’s Xmas.

“Christ” is taken out of Xmas. It’s not necessary for Xmas. Xmas is not about a dude being born, or the stuff he did, or the people he was good to, or even the sheep in the manger even though I’m super into the sheep.

OMG AND THE CAMELS.

But, I have let the camels go and I now fully embrace Xmas. My very own atheist, capitalist, narcissist, secular holiday. All wrapped up with a pretty red bow. For me, it’s Xmas.

Xmas isn’t all bad. I mean if you think “atheism” and “capitalism” and “narcissism” are bad things…it’s not ONLY those things.

It’s not really even bad at all, because perception is reality and I perceive that it is great.

The alternative December holiday of Xmas is about getting together and eating delicious foods with your fam and friends. Drinking mimosas and Baileys in coffee at the same time, one in each fist. 

Sharing dumb stories and laughing about memories and GETTING MADE FUN OF FOR THE TIME YOU WERE 12 AND YOU DIDN’T GET THE VICTORIA’S SECRET PAJAMAS THAT EVERYONE COOL AT STUPID SLEEPOVERS HAD AND YOU REALLY WANTED, SO YOU CRIED AND SAID IT WAS “THE WORST XMAS EVER.”

I don’t think anyone should be blamed or shamed for reacting to a deep and all encompassing sadness they felt when they were 12, as ridiculous as it may have seemed at the time, BUT THAT IS JUST ME.

During this holiday of Xmas you can freely wear fun clothes with glitter or sequins or ribbons or any number of embellishments, furs, and most DELICIOUSLY – VELVETS.

DOST THOU WANT TO LIVE DELICIOUSLY?!

I thought so.

Xmas is about doing fun silly shit like decorating an Xmas tree. Why we feel we have to dominate and overpower the tree and chop it down and drag it into our house only to discard it on the curb a month later is still beyond my comprehension. But I like trees and hanging things on trees and a tree in my house and the way that a tree in my house smells so consider me an enthusiastic supporter of Xmas trees and Xmas tree related behaviors  now and forever.

Wreaths? Garlands? LOVE EM.

Xmas LIGHTS also have a special place. Because it is incredibly and unbearably and offensively freezing outside already by this point in December, i.e. the very beginning. The lights play some kind of mind trick where they make me think of warmth. I think I feel significant warmth coming from them. This is an illusion. I am insane. But the lights look so nice, set up everywhere, looking warm and welcoming.

Hmmm what else, OH COOKIES! I like to bake now and it’s fun AF to put on my silly as hell Xmas apron and make some delicious cookies with Xmas appropriate sprinkles.  If you’ve had these cookies then you know, they are the answer to all that ails us. Shit I have to order the sprinkles.

And gifts! I love to get gifts! I love to give gifts! GIFTSGIFTSGIFTS my 2nd place love language is gifts. Plz give me some.

As they say Xmas is for children so that part is cute too, watching the children I like get super pumped about everything going on around them.

Overall, Xmas gives us all a time to slow way down and reflect on the year. Most people take off for a few days in December, if not all the days up until the week after New Year’s Day (me! I do that!). And you don’t even have to like make it a “thing” and “reflect.” You can just binge Netflix, or binge drink, or binge literally any noun. It’s self care. And you earned it, baby. It’s nice to wear pajamas and take a rest. We work too hard sometimes, my friends.

I took from Christmas the things I liked, and ignored the things I didn’t. And I arrived here. Ignoring things you don’t like always makes them go away. It’s science.

In conclusion, I guess maybe I stole your holiday and I made it my own. But I think it’s a good one. Even without the camels. I realize I’m not the only person that feels this way about Xmas being a different thing than Christmas and it isn’t some groundbreaking announcement. But maybe another Xmas-head needed to hear this. Fellow Xmas-heads, I salute you.

a little xmas tree.

This weekend I got a little Xmas tree at Small Business Saturday in Jersey City.

It is adorable.

Yes it’s that adorable.

I like a little Xmas tree because I have a small house and steep stairs. A large, normal sized Xmas tree would be too much. A tree like that would take up too much space and be too hard to get up there and I’d have to throw it out the window to get it back down again. If it even fit out the window.

For a few years living on while living on my own (aka not at my ancestral home) I didn’t even get an Xmas tree because I was 100% over Xmas and didn’t feel like doing any dumb Xmas shit. But the past couple of years I have been trying to get back into it again because why not? So I’ve gotten a little Xmas tree.

I’ve been collecting some new ornaments over the last year or so as well.

Ornaments ready to go!

These Jersey City ornaments I’ve been collecting for 4 years but for the first 2 of those years I just hung them on a drawer handle or cabinet handle or coat rack or something because I didn’t have a little Xmas tree.

But now I do. So now they’re on the tree.

Last year I went nuts getting the little traditional ball ones from Kanibal & Co. and Anthropologie. On sale at Anthropologie. I can’t afford anything there that is fully priced. You’re dreaming. Have you ever thought about what you’d like to say at a job interview when they ask, “what are your career goals?” and thought, “I’m going to tell them ‘My only career goal is making enough money to shop at Anthropologie and not have to buy everything on sale’”? Because I have. And it would be true.

I think the flamingo above is also from Anthropologie but then for Xmas last year my niece got me an EVEN BETTER ONE with ACTUAL feathers so I kinda feel dumb I got the first one.

This one is so majestic I can’t even deal.

Ah yes, the spotted jackalope! This is from Kanibal but overall I have a thing for jackalopes or even giant jack rabbits not mixed with ‘lopes.

Have you ever seen that post card of the cowboy riding the giant jack rabbit? IT IS EVERYTHING. When I spent some time in Texas I saw some jack rabbits in the Texan wilds and they are monster animals and way bigger than they were in my mind. Watch out for those guys. But in a cool way.

Killin me.

This record cutout, red star, and the brown wooden bird hanging out with the jackalope above I got on a trip to Woodstock last January. It was right after Xmas and all the Xmas shit was…ON SALE. And omg the bird smells like cloves and I can’t get enough of it. It was in a whole basket of other on-sale clove-scented ornaments and I should have dumped the whole basket in my bag and walked out of there. I blew it.

My Uncle Tom made these! I really like the Xmas stocking that says my name, because narcissism. I like the other ones too, he just gave to those us over Thanksgiving.

Here we have a lovely little leaf. I got this on a trip to The Finger Lakes in September when we went to a craft fair. I mean that’s it.

What I’m saying is, I like my little Xmas tree with my little Xmas shit that I’ve gotten from some cool places. And I had fun decorating it on Saturday night! I think it’s a fun tradish to come back here to JC and do Small Biz Saturday and get the little Xmas tree and then go home and decorate it after.

And then after that we make out.

I’ve done it two years in a row so it’s tradition now. Deal with it.

Tree decorating time lapse!

When do you put up your tree? Do you like a little Xmas tree or a big Xmas tree? We used to have a “Charlie Brown Xmas tree” that was literally one branch. Wait maybe we still have it, I have to look. Maybe it’s in my hall where I store things somewhere. Or in my closet room under my 6 foot tall pile of pending dry cleaning. We’ll see.

Little Xmas tree all decorated!

Happy beginning of Xmas shit to you!

the polar express in phillipsburg, nj.

On Friday I went with my fam on The Polar Express in Phillipsburg, NJ!

It was an attraction designed for children. But we didn’t bring any of the actual children in our family because they, like the chickens, go to sleep and rise with the sun. Since the train ride was at 8pm it was precisely 3.5 hours after their bedtime.

I felt bad they missed out but like most things made for children I REALLY ENJOYED The Polar Express in Phillipsburg, NJ and felt like it may actually have been made FOR ME.

My sister and her boyfriend (now fiancé! More on that later) invited us and I was like awww that sounds silly but okay sure. And it WAS silly but like the best kind of silly.

My sis and her fiancé, pre engagement!

I grew up in the area out there in the forest and in my day “Pburg” was where the mall and the movie theater were and therefore civilization and therefore the place to hang out. So on the way we were all like “oh it’s on South Main St? By the one thing or by the other thing?” And we went back and forth in the annoying way that only people that are marginally familiar with an area will do.

We finally arrived for parking in a church parking lot (I didn’t catch on fire, WHEW), and walked over to where we would be boarding THE POLAR EXPRESS, in Phillipsburg, NJ. On South Main St, by the other thing.

The temperature felt colder than I was led to believe it would feel and although I was wearing two layers, leather leggings and a tutu, I was still chilly AF. It was even a long tutu!

Literally The North Pole

As we approached, a giant blow up Xmas tree could be seen! And Xmas lights on trees that guided the passengers down a hill!

Monster blow up Xmas tree. Jeez.

At the bottom of the hill there was this really cool old organ playing Xmas songs that I was super into. I was really super charmed by it and I’m still not sure why. I think because organs like that may quite possibly be the original robots. If I’m right about how they work, that is. My thoughts about how they work involve them working by themselves. Like a person gets them started and then they just organ-the-heck-out for a certain amount of time without human operational intervention. I could be wrong though. I don’t know, look it up. Ugh.

There was also a little tent with hot chocolate and snackies! And also photo ops but I was scared I would get in trouble for busting out my tripod and selfie light at their pre ordained photo op spots so I found my own spots outside.

Omg snackies.
Photos.

It was a bit annoying finding a spot because there were a lot of kids there and my mom had to help protect the tripod from being knocked over. And more than one kid was like “oooo what are you doing?” And I was like “I don’t know…A THING. GO. AWAY.” And my mom made up some line about “blogging” that was “kid friendly” and that was sufficient for some of them.

Plz leave me alone, kids.

Because of these child intruders I didn’t really get the shots I wanted but I guess I was technically an invader in the child-space this time, instead of it being the other way around, and I should be grateful for what they did allow me to capture. Those jerks.

Me w/ camera assistant mama <3

After I took some pics my dad got me some hot chocolate AND IT WAS THE GREATEST HOT CHOCOLATE. In the classic tale of The Polar Express there is a line about drinking hot chocolate that is as thick and rich as melted chocolate or something along those lines and THIS was THAT hot chocolate. It was delish AF on this wild ride, The Polar Express in Phillisburg, NJ.

So good that things got kinda sloppy.

Actually all of this happened before the ride or before the train even got there for us to board. But eventually it DID get there and it was time to hop on!

The train!
Xmas lights inside the train.

The train cars were all old ones and I wanted to know more about their history but I couldn’t find the right person to ask. I’ll look it up later. But they were decorated so nice with Xmas lights and when it got going they turned the overhead lights off and it felt like you were inside of an Xmas tree and I was…ALL ABOARD FOR THAT. Harhar.

I’m an adult, and you can see I already got cookie crumbs all over my scarf.

For the “entertainment” they went along with the story and some of the song(s) from the movie version with Tom Hanks. So there was like a performance of sorts with people in chef outfits running around with hot chocolate and singing about hot chocolate and I was like “wait what, more hot chocolate? SIGN ME UP.”

Sup, losers?

As the train moved they read through the whole story over the PA system and it was great. I loved the story as a kid and I guess I still love it now. They passed out more hot chocolate and cookies, and also bells! Like the one the little boy gets in the story.

Crew.

Eventually some “caribou ran across the tracks” and the train screeched to a halt. Then the man of the hour, Santa, arrived. The kids were all pumped about Santa but I tried to stay calm.

Excited for more than Santa.

Not about Santa! Maybe a little…but Santa had the ring for my sister’s BF to propose to her! I helped him pick out the ring and we were all involved in the surprise for a whole nerve wracking month of secret-keeping so it was finally time for the main event!

When we got there for the ride my mom had asked “who has the ring?” and my sister’s fiancé said “Santa” and my mom thought he said “Shannon” so she came to me like I had it and I didn’t and it caused a few minutes of panic but then it was okay. UGH.

Srsly excited but when will the lies be over tho?

Santa handed him the ring and he proposed and my sister said yes! Wahoooo! She seemed surprised in the moment! She’s a big snoop and always tries to find everything out so we all had to try very hard to keep her from finding out that it would happen exactly then and exactly that way. We think she KIND OF knew but we also think some of the surprise stayed intact because of our EFFORTS.

ENGAGED! ❤️
ENGAGED AND MAKING OUT! ❤️❤️

A ton of family and friends for both sides were there in the train car and everyone was pumped! After the engagement we all took pictures and laughed and chatted and caught my sister up on the many tales OF OUR DECEPTION.

The moms!

During this time they also had an elf around and a man singing Xmas music.

Post engagement elf bomb.

My sister’s FIANCÉ (!) was encouraged by the music playing man to sing along to “Dominic the Donkey” and do the donkey sound and the man playing the music was like “another one bites the dust harhar” and all those old dude “you’re getting married now, mannn” jokes propagated by the patriarchy. But whatevs it’s fine I guess.

My sister’s fiancé sings backup on “Dominic the Donkey”

Overall The Polar Express in Phillisburg, NJ was a success! Both for our group’s purposes and the purposes of those around us, I believe. I saw many happy families in their PJs having a grand time.

Enjoyable! 🙂

Have you ever been on The Polar Express in Phillipsburg, NJ? I’d recommend it! If I didn’t have to be coherent to take pics of my sis I totally would have pregamed. And during gamed. And brought Baileys in a flask and put it in the hot chocolate. Although I’m not sure of the bathroom situation on the train. My dad said it was a “pump.” Maybe like a boat? I didn’t want to find out.