It Truly Is the Most Wonderful Time

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My listlessness was quickly overthrown by a smattering of holiday gatherings, festive soirees that couldn’t have come at a better time. First, there was the BlogHer party at Tres Agaves, followed closely by the annual ugly sweater shindig at Bourbon & Branch…

…where the prize went to my editor Matt, who showed up with the ugliest sweater of them all.

(I might have gone a wee bit all out, as well. Sweater worn by my mom, erm, last year perhaps? Sorry, Mom, I’ll dry clean it and return it promptly for wear!)

The next night, my blogger friend Suzanne and her boyfriend, Evan, came to town, all the way from the Hamptons (yes, people actually hail from the Hamptons…who knew?), so Meg and I hit the town with the charming duo…

…then my dear Kate celebrated 29 and threw a smashing cocktail party accordingly (look at her killing it in those Louboutins)…

and Wombat turned one, surrounded by aquatic pals from all fins of life…


(above photo borrowed from Leah)

…oh, and some homosapiens, too.

(Seriously, could this family BE any cuter?)

Somewhere among this muddled timeline, a few very lovely blogger friends and their spouses and children came to town, and we got to enjoy their company and some kick ass Little Star Pizza and desserts at Candybar, a ray of sunshine amid the monsoon that engulfed the Bay Area for a solid week.

Yesterday, my domestic pal Celine, a regular modern day Martha Stewart sans the shackles, had her first ever ornament and decoration swap, to help all of us late twentysomethings start building up our holiday stashes. A gaggle of 12 girls, the vast majority Southern transplants like myself, convened in a gorgeous Victorian Pac Heights apartment for an afternoon of holiday goodies, dirty Santa and a viewing of Love Actually (which no true Christmas party is complete without).

I came home with a cable car—how fitting for the first decoration for my future tree, a cliche symbol from the city that stole my heart—and a vase of holly branches, which I stole from the original unwrapper. I’m pretty pleased, even though we won’t have our own tree until next year.

SVV and I also found time to steal away for a night at the palatial Claremont Resort in Berkeley, all decked out for the holidays…

…then head to the Alameda antiques fair the next day to procure vintage luggage, two more globes (bringing our grand total to six) and several cake plates (a wedding task).

In the midst of it all, I became a mom to a brand new…iMac!…completely on a whim (and due to the fact that the below fur baby sent my MacBook to the shop for a few weeks; read: coffee spill)…

…and temporarily fostered the world’s sweetest—clumsiest, too—miniature schnauzer until we found him a home up in Santa Rosa.

And that was just the last 10 days alone—sheesh! I need a nap. The whole San Francisco portion of the celebrating will come to a close tomorrow night, when Scott and I have our own one-on-one Christmas celebration together—a fancy home-cooked meal, a very pricey bottle of wine I’ve been letting mature for two years, and an opening of gifts—before catching 7am flights (on different airlines, through different connecting cities, no less) back to Tennessee, where the holiday season has only just begun.

How have you been celebrating the Yuletide (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or *insert your own faith’s holiday here,* as we’re many things but biased is not one of them here at Camels & Chocolate)?

  • December 15, 2009

    Wow I have never been the first to comment on your blog. But considering I got up at 4:45 for a morning run which is 2:45 over there I guess I had a head start. Looking forward to seeing you guys in 3 days!! There is nothing quite like a Tennessee Christmas 🙂

  • December 15, 2009

    Three of my favorite holiday elements: dance performances, out-of-towners coming to town, and food! I’ve got the first one covered – White Christmas, The Nutcracker and a performance by the dance studio I grew up at (hello nostalgia, old friend!) and am eagerly awaiting friends from NY, Connecticut and California. Despite my best intentions to keep my third passion reasonably under control, I recently indulged in a brunch buffet that featured a chocolate fountain. I’m asking Santa for a faster metabolism.

  • December 15, 2009

    Whew!!! I’m tired just reading your list. 🙂 Glad you had all the energy and times to enjoy the celebration.

    BTW, you still look so good in your mom sweater. Love the sock! 🙂

  • December 15, 2009

    I want a schnauzer so much – I was wishing I lived closer when I read your Tweets. So happy he found a good home – you guys are so sweet to take care of him.

  • December 15, 2009

    So fun! I want to go to an antique fair! And YAY for new computers.

  • December 15, 2009

    I love December, for all these reasons. Give your new computer a kiss for me. An air kiss, perhaps. Happy Chrismakwanzaaka, my dear!

  • December 15, 2009

    Oh it was so great meeting you FINALLY. Wish we all lived closer and could do that more often.

  • December 15, 2009

    Hanging out with you was a HIGHLIGHT of my December, friend. I’m so glad we made it work.

    Also…ummm, may I please steal that photo from Little Star? I need to write a blog re-cap, stat and I didn’t take any pics that night!

  • December 15, 2009

    This was my weekend too. But I’m still pretty bah humbug this year! Maybe I need some santa socks.

  • December 15, 2009

    You’ve been busy! The puppy is just toooo cute! Glad that he found a good home 🙂 I covet those striped Christmas socks, how fun – I want some to wear when we hand out presents on Christmas morning!

  • December 15, 2009

    Wow! That is some 10 days! It all look like a blast. I hope you have a wonderful time with your family in TN!

  • December 16, 2009

    First of all those shoes!!! So sparkly and cute! And that last picture is adorable. I hope you guys have a very merry christmas!

  • December 16, 2009

    Wonderful photos. And a new iMac, I drool with envy. I use an iMac, I will never go back to my old PC, ever. I’m saving my pennies for a Macbook Pro so I can have a laptop like the big kids do. hugs from HW

  • December 16, 2009

    Merry Christmas.

  • December 17, 2009

    You seem to have a good time there! And ohh…the iMac!! I love apple products! Currently I have iMac 21.5 inch but I’m longing for a 27 inch one, a magic mouse, and a macbook pro!

    I’ve always been celebrating Christmas, but this year it seems so empty, we don’t celebrate it, or at least, not as nice as the years before! Guess what, we don’t even have Christmas tree now! It will be the saddest Christmas time ever!

  • December 17, 2009

    I think you won the ugly sweater contest…hands down.

  • December 19, 2009

    JEALOUS of the imac! (although I love my macbook pro which DOES connect to my big ass Apple flat screen monitor) Anything Mac is like drugs for me….want more want more want more….Merry Christmas! We’re doing the usual stuff with kids, gingerbread houses, hot chocolate, got the tree, snow storm tonight….CHECK!

  • December 20, 2009

    I always love your photos- you’ve been so busy!

    We finally got a tree yesterday and I’m just getting into the spirit, better late than never 🙂

  • December 20, 2009

    OMG, that ugly sweater party is hilarious!!! i want my own ugly sweater party!!!

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