*Good morning friend!! I hope you’re doing well. I have such a treat for you today….another guest writer!! You’ve definitely seen her name mentioned here before, but this morning you get to have her as your host! I’m so excited to have her here. She’s been frappy friday’s number one fan since day one. Here’s what Audge has for you today:*
Hey y’all, Audge here. I’m cozying up with a latte made by my dad as I write to you all. I hope you’ll join me with your favorite warm beverage as we slip into these chilly winter days!
I can’t remember the exact moment freshman year of college that Ash and I became friends, but I believe it’s because she’s always felt like the friend I’d been missing. Do you ever meet people and they immediately feel like home? Ash has remained one of those people for me and she’s stuck with me forever. From room 1 in our sorority house to seasons of high and low in Atlanta, don’t know what I’d do without my girl. Enough of the sappiness. I could go on forever, so here’s a photo of Ash and I being weird 7 years ago.
Today, I’ve got the 25 Days of Christmas – Audge Edition. So, settle in with that mug of hot liquid and let’s get into it!
- First up, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has a Christmas Parade every year that is basically ATL’s miniature version of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Hang out in midtown between 15th and 5th streets on Peachtree to see massive balloons of all your favorite characters, local bands, and a TON of cute kiddos. Meet me there with your hot chocolate and warmest blankie on December 1 at 10:20 AM.
- Miracle Bar Atlanta is BACK for the third year in a row!!! This year, check out the locations on Monroe and on Highland. If ya haven’t heard, these pop-up Christmas bars serve chilly and piping hot adult beverages throughout the holiday season. But you gotta get there early ‘cause this place has been super popular the past few years. Join me and our crew this weekend as we kick off holiday season!!
- Y’all. ALDI does it again. They brought their advent calendars to the U.S. and I. AM. PUMPED! While the traditional chocolate calendars will always have a special place in my heart with that tiny piece of poorly-made, yet delicious milk chocolate, I can’t say the adult in me doesn’t love the idea of both wine AND cheese advent calendars. Check them out at your local ALDI!
- Everyone loves a twist on the holiday classics. And while I’m not the biggest fan of brie, I know more than a few people who would go figgy-pudding over these Cranberry Brie Bites. Heck, I might even devour a few myself. I love to cook, so I think these might make their way to a Christmas party or two.
- Who doesn’t love an excuse to throw on their mom’s old tacky holiday sweater or that vintage Christmas onesie you found on Etsy a couple of years ago? I’ve got not one, but TWO opportunities for you. First up, the Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl from 5 PM – 11 PM on 12/15 that starts at the Buckhead Saloon. Next, head on over to Fernbank on 12/16 for their Ugly Holiday Sweater Party. This one combines two of my favorite: Science and photo ops with Santasaurus. Don’t miss out.
- Working in some pretty underserved/downtrodden areas of Atlanta puts me face-to-face with the homeless population of our beloved city on a daily basis. I find it so easy to grow callous to this group with longer and greater numbers of exposure and I want to always be brought back to the reality that everyone is deserving of time and love as the Lord would share with us. This holiday season, and honestly throughout the year, I want to be better about being involved with those who are the most in need. I’ve shared links to some pretty wonderful organizations that help this population and would love to volunteer with you!!
Nicholas House (works to keep families together)
(and let me know if you have suggestions!)
- I have to give a little hometown plug with this one. When I was a kid, I spent EVERY December dressed up as an angel in the live nativity at Simpsonwood UMC’s Walk Through Bethlehem. Typically, I had already spilled hot chocolate on my white robe and had a handful of Stauffer’s Holiday Shortbread Cookies (you guys know the ones…) hidden in my jean pockets before I even made it to the stable. Anywho, you guys should go check this out. The church recreates the town of Bethlehem, including a tax collector, wine maker, and camel to boot. Meet me there the weekend of December 7-9!
- Skate the Sky! is the ever-trendy Ponce City Market’s newest attraction at Skyline Park. Head up to the roof and throw on a pair of ice skates and let’s learn how to be Michelle Kwan with our main man Jonathan Van Ness (@jvn).
- This one might be a curveball, but I’ve loved Trans-Siberian Orchestra since I was a kid. My parents used to play their albums on our 6-disc changer for fancy dinners and office parties at our home. Maybe the nostalgia makes me want to read a book or crack open some study material to their rhythmic sounds. The rock opera group is coming to Infinite Energy in Duluth on December 8 and I might have to find myself a last minute ticket…
- I spent many of my formidable and childhood years in the Lake Oconee area before my family moved to Greensboro in 2003. I traveled to Milledgeville multiple times a week for competitive gymnastics and remember passing the Old Governor’s Mansion quite often. We are all in luck this Christmas season as the town is celebrating Antebellum Christmas at the Mansion again this year. Check out the candlelight tour before heading over to the old Central State Hospital for a self-guided night-time tour (text me for the deets on this one).
- For some free, ever-loved holiday fun this year, check out the 37 NEW HALLMARK MOVIES! My girl Ash has mentioned these several times (and even has a fantastic sweatshirt to wear with Terri to watch) but I think it bears repeating. Check out the full line-up and Countdown to Christmas with these terribly amazing flicks.
- An amazing clinic exists in Clarkston (Clarkston Community Health Center) that provides healthcare to the underserved in the area. Many of these patients are refugees and have virtually nothing when they reach the United States. The video below warms my heart, shared by some of the volunteer practitioners, nurses, and administrators at the clinic. (I know, I know it’s not Thanksgiving anymore. But can’t we still be thankful headed into the Christmas season?)
- (13 through 25) Celebrate this beautiful season of the Lord’s love with you family, friends, or family. I’m always reminded of how undeserving of this life that I am and how thankful I am for each human with whom I’ve crossed paths. The Lord sent us the sweetest gift in the form of His son and continues to send us undeserved blessings. So, as we open all of the fun, earthly gifts that we will most likely receive today, I’m always reminded of how insignificant they are in comparison to the ultimate gift.
Thanks for tuning into my Christmas ramblings! If you’ve made it this far, color me humbled. Ash, thanks for letting me take over your corner of the internet for this special season!