The Day Santa Claus Came To Town

Hey Blogstalkers!  It's finally the day for which you either have or have not been waiting with bated breath!  The day you maybe have been anticipating with a pounding heart!

Yesterday was unimaginably wonderful.  Like the second best day of my entire life.  (I have to say second best day because of an argument I once had with Ryan in which he purported that I throw the phrase "best day of my life" around with much too willy nilly of an attitude.  In his defense this argument may have taken place in the middle of bakery after I took a bite of an especially delicious chocolate cupcake.  In my defense, the cupcake had two kinds of sprinkles.)

In case you do not remember what yesterday was, let me refresh your memory with this post.

A promise my husband PRETENDS to bitterly regret.

Ok back?  Lovely.  So yesterday was the day Ryan and I and our dearest friends in the world got all dressed up and wandered the busy Chicago streets dispensing holiday cheer.

The morning started like any other - with Ryan and I arguing in bed about who had to take the dogs outside in the frigid morning air.  And then a Christmas miracle occurred and the doorbell rang and it was OJ!  All the way from warm sunny Dallas!  And HE took the dogs out!  And then he and the dogs came and got into our bed and all five of us fell back asleep for two hours.  I don't know why I allowed this to happen.  I have a strict no dogs in the bed policy.

Anyway, eventually we all woke up and I sadly noticed that it was raining.  And I was like "It is almost literally raining on my parade right now!" And OJ and I moped about for a bit and cried tears of sadness.  And Ryan researched the best place in Chicago to get chilaquiles.

But then the rain slowed and the forecast changed and it looked like it was going to clear up for us after all.  And OJ and I sang a Christmas duet.  And Ryan cried tears of what I can only assume were joy.

Soon Vanessa jetted over and we blasted Christmas music and all got ready for the big day.  And we made a plan.  We would take a cab to the very North end of Michigan Avenue and make our way South to Millennium Park and The Bean and then head to the Christkindlmarket in Daly Plaza.  Everyone was very much on board with this plan because this was how we figured we would run into the largest amount of people.  Everyone except Ryan of course.  His suggested route contained a curiously large amount of back alleys and bathroom breaks at bars along the way because, and I quote, "I drank a lot of water this morning."

(Just a quick note - the package of costumes I bought was supposed to come with a Santa beard but did not and it was too late to order another one and though I tried both Target and Michaels, sadly Ryan ended up beardless.  Also my costume was quite large and I ended up having to stuff it with pillows and paper towels to get it to fit, which is why I look so intensely pregnant.  I LOVED it.)

So on with the pictures then.

Vanessa was Jovie from the movie Elf.

See? Not lying about the pregnant thing.
OJ's costume did not fit over his broad man shoulders in the back.  He still stole the show.  Seriously.


People could not get enough of Gingy The Gingerbread Man.  Sure the costume was awesome but OJ's gingerbread man persona was ridiculous.  For example.

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He talked in that high-pitched voice all day.  He never ever broke character.  He jumped around and shouted "Hello!" and stopped random people and asked them "Do you know the muffin man?"  One guy was like "Oh yeah, the muffin man, he lives on Drury Lane."  Also, once a little boy came up and asked him "What are you?" and OJ replied shrilly "I'm a gingerbread man, what are you?"

He was also quite the flirt.

He asked these girls, "So, are you all from Chicago?"


And these girls got "Who wants to kiss the gingerbread man!?"


Just to put this in a little bit better perspective, this is the voice he was using.


This guy wanted a picture of himself eating OJ.  And sure enough OJ shouted "Not the gumdrop buttons!"


So anyway we walked down Michigan Avenue and got SO MUCH ATTENTION.  We were all guessing last night and think we probably took pictures with well over 300-400 people.  Once we got to The Bean, we had a line for a good hour.  It was the most fun ever ever ever.



OJ and Vanessa had a jumping contest at the bean.  I'll let you decide who won.

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Even Ryan got into the spirit of the day!


Seriously...we took SO MANY pictures.



 We were out from just before two until about six and decided it was time to head to the Christkindlmarket to spread more cheer and also because they serve beer.

Again a line formed near the giant tree and we took pictures for about another hour.  My face started to hurt from smiling all day.  But I couldn't stop smiling.


 Ryan is not drunk on anything but love in this picture.  Though his countenance would suggest otherwise.


Oh did I mention that OJ randomly photobombed any pictures he saw strangers taking all day?  Because he did that.


I told you he stole the show.


There is a 'real' Santa to take pictures with at the Christkindlmarket and OJ was SO EXCITED to sit on his lap and tell him what he wanted for Christmas.  (Which - in case anyone is wondering- is a Mrs. OJ and to pet a chinchilla because he hears they are very soft.)

But then he saw this sign.


I have the best friends ever.



 As far as best husband ever, that is under review.  Because once we finally got inside the beer tent, Ryan revealed what he was wearing under his jolly St. Nick costume.


 Soon it was after seven and time to head home since we had dinner plans with friends who were also eager to see OJ while he was in town.  We met them at our little neighborhood pub.


Yes we did stay in character the entire night.  From our head to our toes.



We had so much fun that we decided that we're making this an annual thing.  And next year we have about twenty more friends that are ready to get onboard.  It's going to be epic-er.

So what do you think?  Did we follow-through on our promise?  Vanessa was seriously surprised herself at how much fun we had.  She said, "I thought this was going to be pure humiliation but there was actually some joy mixed in.  I wasn't going to tell anyone at work about this but now I think I might."

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Lots of love and holiday cheer Blogstalkers!!

148 comments:

  1. How fun!! I would have died if I'd seen the Gingerbread Man out around town.

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    1. People were SO EXCITED when they saw OJ. It was crazy.

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  2. Anonymous12/10/2012

    This was amazing! You should've visited me at work in The WaterTower Mall! -emily

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    1. Aww we walked right by there! So sad we didn't see you!

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  3. I want your life.

    And I seriously just watched OJ and his squeaky voice like 8 times in a row. And, my children thought it was the greatest thing they've ever seen.

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    1. He did that in about four different revolving doors all up and down Michigan Avenue. It was the greatest thing.

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  4. Wow, that is quite a day! I don't know that I'd want to do something like this myself, but I think I'd love to be one of the people you guys ran into!

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    1. The first ten minutes were rough! We all could not stop giggling nervously. But then we just jumped in and had fun with it!

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  5. this is phenomenal.

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    1. Haha thanks. We had a good time with it.

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  6. I bow before your awesomeness!

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  7. LOVE. So much love for this. Looks like you guys had a blast!

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    1. We really did. We had an amazing time.

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  8. OHMYGOODNESS!That looks like it was a blast! I loved the pictures...Was Ryan really that sweaty in the Santa suit or did he spill something on his shirt?

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    1. Oh yeah that's sweat. It is seriously HOT in those costumes.

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  9. This is all kinds of amazing! You should totally get Blogstalkers to do joint events around the country next year! Also - I love that Ryan was wearing a Grinch shirt!

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    1. I call Providence or maybe Boston--I live halfway between both cities. My husband works in Boston, I work in Providence. And now I'm rambling. Because this is the most fantastically wonderful thing ever. I so wish I had thought of it first!

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    2. Sarah - that would be the best thing ever I think! Such a good idea. And Mama Allen - steal the idea all you want! The more Christmas cheer the better!

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  10. this is amazing and you have filled me with such joy even though i was not there to actually witness it in person. (also that dress is adorable on you - are you going to take it in to fit properly next year? because you would be a pretty smokin' mrs. claus if it wasn't so big. :)

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    1. Haha I have a secret hope that next year I won't just LOOK pregnant and the costume will fit just perfectly. We shall see.

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  11. This is amazing and ridiculous and I love it SO MUCH! (I think I could beat both Vanessa and OJ at a jumping contest though. Just saying. I've got some skills.)

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    1. Next year! I shall make a crown for the winner of the jumping contest!

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  12. Replies
    1. So many people do. Though no one volunteered to kiss the gingerbread man.

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    2. I VOLUNTEER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    3. I shall let him know.

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  13. I want nothing more than to be friends with you guys! And you look so beautiful, which I feel really weird saying as a stranger commenting on a blog, but WHATEVER, YOU DO.

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  14. Seriously, this just made my day! I want the OJ/Gingy going through the revolving door as a ring tone!

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    1. He did that multiple times up and down Michigan Avenue. Someone even tried to tip him to do it again! OJ did it again and did not take the tip. He's the best.

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    2. We need a separate link just so I can bookmark that piece of "instant happiness" any time I'm in a funk. LOVED IT!

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  15. Oh. My. Word. That's completely magical! It reminds me of the time some friends and I went caroling to a homeless shelter and then rode the train around downtown Salt Lake caroling afterwards. I think my favorite part of that post was the last video. Thank you!

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    1. That sounds like so much fun! I love caroling even though I am **ahem** somewhat lacking in the voice department.

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  16. Seriously the best thing ever. We're moving to Chicago in 2014 for the husband's job, otherwise I would volunteer for Mrs. OJ. Because he's the best.

    Count us in then! :)

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    1. So Christmas 2014 you're in then? I shall put your name on the list! And just OJ is pretty fantastic.

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    2. Oh yeah. And I'm elf-sized, so this is perfect!

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    3. Pretty perfect!

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  17. Mary P.12/10/2012

    This made me smile and laugh SO much! Thank you for restoring some of my missing Christmas Cheer!

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    1. Anytime! So glad to help! And remember that the best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

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    2. Mary P.12/11/2012

      I like smiling. Smiling's my favorite. ;)

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  18. This made MY christmas!

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    1. And that comment just made mine!

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  19. Jennifer12/10/2012

    Did you run into many people who knew you were YOU? I wanted to go find you but my grinch of a husband said "blah blah parking blah blah raining blah blah kids naps BLAH"

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    1. Just a couple Jennifer! And I've heard from a couple of people that they were deterred by the rain.

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  20. This is totally amazing and awesome! I bet you made so many people's days, and I know this is the coolest thing in mine so far. :) Cheers to you for spreading so much Christmas spirit. :D

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    1. Thanks! We had a blast doing it.

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  21. You should have called! I still have my beard from the Santa Hustle last weekend. Ryan TOTALLY could have borrowed it ;) I'm sure he'd love perfect strangers helping out!

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    1. If only I had known! I actually got told at all the stores I went to that they were sold out because of the Santa Hustle.

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    2. Weird! They gave us ours as part of our race packet. Next year!

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  22. Anonymous12/10/2012

    I wish my husband was as much fun as OJ and your husband, there is nothing, and I mean nothing I could promise my husband to get him to do that.

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    1. Honestly I was not even the one that got him to agree to it. That was all OJ. Ryan will do almost anything for that man.

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  23. Veronica12/10/2012

    This is the best thing I have ever seen, I wish you guys were in my town! I can't wait to go home and watch the videos since they won't play on my work computer. You guys are hi-larious.

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    1. Thanks so much Veronica! Can't wait for you to see the videos. OJ cracks me up in them.

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  24. Is it ok if I link to you from my blog? I feel the need to share your awesomeness with everyone I know.

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    1. OHMYGOSH totally. You don't even have to ask! You are awesome.

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  25. OMG that was awesome!!!!! OJ jumped higher...of course and glad that Ryan ended up having fun even if it required him wearing a Grinch shirt underneath!!!! Too much fun Lauren!!!!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed! I seriously had no idea about the shirt until he showed me at the very end of the night. I was horrified!!!

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  26. If I lived anywhere near Chicago, you know that I would drive hours to join in on this next year (actually, I would have this year too). Now what might be going on in Chicago next December that I can somehow go to so I can somehow be a part of this....hhrrmmmmm

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    1. Hmmmmm Chicago tends to sort of shut itself down a little in the Winter. I will think for you....

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  27. I think you should take this on the road to San Francisco next year so I can join in the festivities :)

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    1. I will put this under consideration...Ryan is always wanting to go to CA (he was born in Fresno.)

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  28. I am so very happy now. Best. Blog. Post. Ever.

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  29. So MUCH FUN!Please video it ALL next year, so we can join in vicariously!

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    1. I so wanted to get more video but we were so busy taking pictures and there were so many people around that it was hard! I'll try more next year.

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    2. physicsmom12/11/2012

      You need a volunteer videographer. Can't be me, because a) I don't live in Chicago and b) I'm a terrible photographer. However, I'm sure you'll get lots of candidates if you appeal ahead of time.

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  30. I could not stop smiling while reading your post. It was pure awesome-sauce! I will book my flight now so I can join you next year. Maybe I'll share a flight with OJ from Dallas.

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    1. Do it! Come and party with us!

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  31. Michelle12/10/2012

    Best thing ever. I am so sad I couldn't be a part of it. OJ's voice was over-the-top. This made me smile so hard my face hurt. And my kids thought OJ was hilarious, too!

    Michelle

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    1. Yeah OJ in that voice all day just KILLED us. We could not stop laughing.

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  32. Angie M12/10/2012

    BEST.DAY.EVER. ooh that had to be insanely fun.

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    1. It was! It was so much fun!

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  33. It's soooo cute! I wish I lived closer, I would have tried to be a real staulker instead of just a blogstaulker. Perhaps other readers made it? I hope so!!

    Also I am sure there are many girls lining up to be Mrs. OJ.

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    1. A couple of people made it out! But it was raining so others may have been deterred. And yeah I know, how is he not married? He needs to find a girl and marry her and then she will be best friends with me and Vanessa and we will get into so many antics.

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    2. Um, I live in Oklahoma, is that close enough to OJ to volunteer for Mrs?

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  34. Love it! It is indeed the best!

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  35. Paige Hudson Garcia12/10/2012

    If I could type 'love' a million times in a row and not annoy people, I would!
    Absolute.
    Utter.
    Greatness.

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    1. It wouldn't annoy me even a little bit! So glad you liked it!

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  36. 1. This is the BEST THING EVER.
    2. My husband won't let me watch the OJ in the revolving door video again because our dog just got home from surgery (lump removal) and the high pitched noise got him interested.
    3. I need you to announce the date of next year's Chicago Christmas Extravaganza a bit earlier so I can make plans (and bring as many people as possible) to be there!!

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    1. Oh, and 4. The Grinch shirt made me bust out laughing! Perfect for Ryan!

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    2. 1. Thanks!
      2. Your poor puppy! And poor you for not being able to watch more of the video!
      3. Absolutely!
      4. Yep. He's priceless, my husband.

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  37. This is amazing. And when you first talked (wrote) about this I was with Vanessa, but it looks SO FUN. I would totally join you next year. And I have to know the answer: where does one get the best chilaquiles in Chicago? (And was the bakery Sweet Mandy B's??!?!? A friend took me there when I visited him in Chicago and I never wanted to come home.)

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    1. It was SO FUN! And I'm still not sure on the chilaquiles thing as we apparently have to try ALL OF THEM before making a decision. The boy loves his chilaquiles. And you got it, Sweet Mandy B's it was!

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    2. I would love a report once you have tried them all. And sometimes I dream that we will live in an apartment right near Sweet Mandy B's if I get into Northwestern. And then the other half of that dream is being on the evening news as firemen cut me out of my bedroom because I weigh 700 pounds and have to be transported to the hospital on a flatbed truck.

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    3. Haha! Seriously that place is dangerous.

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  38. This is pure awesome. Actual tears of glee in my eyes right now. Next year, I bet you'll have so many people wanting in that you could make an actual parade. And hope it doesn't rain on it.

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    1. An actual parade would be excellent. I will have to start practicing my marching!

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  39. Where's the application to be Mrs.OJ ? Cause I totally have references!

    I seriously love this, and there are no words to describe the awesomeness of this and all of you for doing it! I have no been in the Christmas spirit hardly at all the past few years but I think next year I'm driving to Chicago for this!

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    1. Haha! I'll make OJ come up with an application!

      And totally come!

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  40. one of the best stories I heard!! My cheeks hurt from smiling at all the photos!

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  41. You guys are nuts! In a good way, of course.

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  42. Haha thanks! I shall take that as a compliment!

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  43. Your post captures the true essence of the day. I was there and I STILL cannot keep myself from laughing out loud while reading on the train. Although the people next to me appear to have had enough of the "WHEEEeeee...". What a great day!

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  44. I love this so much! Random acts of Christmas cheer are so fun. Last year, we were just innocently sitting in our house and all of the sudden, I hear a fire engine that is clearly very close. Even though I am not the get up and look out the windows kind of person, I totally did. And I am so glad I did. Turns out that the local fire department drives Santa around on top of one of the engines one night close to Christmas (we were new to the area and didn't know). Our son loved it so much. We're really looking forward to it this year, even though it won't be quite so random.

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  45. This is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen! I SO want to be a part of this next year. I've never been to Chicago...

    P.S. I live in Dallas and have several really awesome single girl friends that I'm sure would be more than happy to meet a great guy like OJ! If you're ever in town visiting, we should TOTALLY introduce some of them (plus that way I'd get to meet you which would be awesome)!

    P.P.S. When are you going to post your PO Box for Christmas cards? I have one waiting for you!

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  46. Alanna S12/10/2012

    If I lived in Chicago (and was your friend) I would have TOTALLY been all over this.

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  47. Alanna S12/10/2012

    that sounded odd. I meant if I knew you in person.

    wait. that sounded even odder.

    Nevermind.

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  48. Today blew, but if this is my reward for it, I will take it!! LOVE THIS

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  49. I'm single and my niece has a chinchilla. Just sayin'.

    You have some really fabulous friends.

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  50. Oh my goodness! This just made my whole day! I'm so glad you took so many pictures, but the videos seriously made the whole post. I was rolling! Thank you so much for this :)

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  51. This was totally awesome. I need to relocate somewhere that I can do this with friends and enjoy the day not be preparing to run and hide after the next wave of old people stare at us and call the cops. You guys rocked. And see maybe the Grinch's heart grew a few sizes that day while Ryan was out entertaining the masses.

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  52. How wonderful!

    If I lived closer, I'd totally join you next year!!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  53. Megan M.12/10/2012

    I have a huge smile on my face right now. You guys are amazing! Even if you were secretly Grinchy, RYAN. I love that you thought of this and that you have wonderful friends to join you and I hope you do make it an annual tradition!

    I've been more excited about Christmas this year than I have since I was a kid and that's because of you. Whoever become Mrs. OJ is one lucky lady!

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  54. This seriously made my day. Best post EVER. So much cheer!

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  55. Sarah H12/10/2012

    So amazing! Y'all are just the cutest! Atlanta needs some of this awesome. You know, for next year. It could be your Christmas vacation. :)

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  56. So cool! And yay for videos!!

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  57. I can't even express how much I love this. You guys ares seriously the most spirited people I have ever seen for doing something like this.

    Merry Christmas :]

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  58. Everything about this is fantastic!!!!! I was like seriously santa costumes? but no it is fantastic and the post was hilarious! I am sad I missed OJ but honestly Lauren this is great!!!

    P.S. I'm sure Ryan didn't have to wonder much about where the best chilaquiles are because it is obviously Au Cheval!

    -Your one and only sister-in-law

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  59. OMG I love you guys. I wish I lived closer to Chicago. Shoot, I may come up for the second annual event anyway. Tell OJ if I wasn't old enough to be his momma, I'd totally fall in love with him.

    Thanks for the burst of Christmas Cheer.

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  60. What an awesome way to get into the holiday spirit! I'm glad you were able to bring joy to so many strangers.

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  61. I seriously love this so much! I wish there was some place around here that my friends and i could do this! seriously, love it, even Ryan's secret Grinch!

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  62. I've never commented before, but this is seriously THE GREATEST THING EVER so I had to mention it! AMAZING!

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  63. What an amazing, silly, fun, wonderful memory making day! You and your friends...and Ryan are awesome!

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  64. absolutahnie12/11/2012

    completely freakin' awesome! i haven't felt this food about christmas in a long time, thank you for thawing out my grinchie heart!

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  65. I love how Vanessa has a knee out with hand on hip in every photo. It's like its her photo pose. :) You guys are awesome. That looked like so much fun!

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  66. P.S. I have an awesome single friend in Dallas ;)

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  67. Wow. I am in love with this. Awesome, awesome!

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  68. Sarah from Boston12/11/2012

    I love it! If you make this an annual tradition, I might just have to plan a holiday visit to Chicago next year and "accidentally" run into you all.

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  69. I don't understand how there isn't a Mrs. OJ. OJ seems to be nearly perfect in every way. Is it because some women are too judgmental about his love for Ryan (an you)? I mean, he seems to be smart, funny, kind, understanding, and smoking hot. Sure, it is possible he has a few quirks, but who doesn't?

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  70. OJ lives in Dallas? I live in Dallas! We should totally hang out when you come here :) also, looks like y'all had tons of fun. Pictures look great :)

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  71. You guys are THE BEST. I love the fact that OJ's gingerbread head is completely crooked in all of those pictures. Shoot...I love OJ, period.

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  72. I'm so glad it was totally epic and awesome!

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  73. one word: awesome!
    the Grinch shirt underneath just makes it all that more awesome.

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  74. Anonymous12/11/2012

    Pure perfection. Next time I'm definitely looting my travel fund and marrying OJ when no one is looking (which, from the evidence, was never, but I'm not against publicly marrying a man in a gingerbread suit in the rain).

    Melissa

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  75. I could not stop laughing between OJ and his Gingy voice. You guys look like you had a great time. BTW I have those same boots you wore laying around here somewhere!

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  76. physicsmom12/11/2012

    This was totally adorkable, as they say, and you definitely fulfilled your promise. You do have a great group of friends and you're pretty cool yourself. Thanks for sharing; it made me smile all evening.

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  77. This. is. amazing. OMG. You just made my incredibly crappy day 10000 times better. The OJ whee video may be the best thing ever.

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  78. OJ sent this to me, and with good reason. IT'S AMAZING! Well played! It must have been the most fun day of the year!

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  79. love, love, love!!!

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  80. This is all different sorts of flavors of amazing. I am so jealous right now.

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  81. This is beyond awesome, and made my day, possibly even my christmas. It's great to see that there are people out there who actually go through with most excellent shenanigans like this! I am jellin as this looks like such a blast, and I couldn't even get anyone to participate properly in halloween this year! The Grinch shirt underneath the Santa suit killed me, and I'm pretty sure there's quite the list of women lining up to be Mrs. OJ (myself included!). Have you considered 'The Bachelor; Filing Jointly Edition'?

    Also; YOU CAN GET JOVIE COSTUMES?! SWEET!

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  82. Amazing, amazing, amazing. This made me smile so hard in the middle of a rough week. :-)

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  83. I can't believe they don't do SantaCon in Chicago. it is so right up your alley. NYC is this Saturday, I think they try to do it in most major cities on the same day.

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  84. I LOVE this...my husband and I were actually visiting Chicago this weekend from Ohio- and had the hot spiced wine at the Christkindlmarket! I would have died if I saw you guys walking around...after getting off the train at Wrigleyville Saturday and (unknowingly) walking into the explosion of Christmas that is TBox, seeing you guys would have definitely topped off the weekend!

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  85. This is great! Unless there was another gingerbread man walking around Chicago (which is entirely possible), I definitely saw a few people in your group as I was driving around, at which point I yelled to my husband, 'Look! A gingerbread man!' Happiness.

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  86. Holy hell. I love every single thing about this. Even the Grinch shirt is awesome.

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  87. I can't believe how much fun this looks! Real holiday cheer for adults that's not cynical or snarky, how rare and awesome. Love it!

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  88. That looks like so much fun! I love that O.J. got into the Gingerbread man character, such a fabulous movie/voice. So delightful. I'm SO GLAD you did it!!!

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  89. Fabulous! What a great thing to do! So many people would have got something great out of what you did.

    Loving the look - stuffing or not, Mother Christmas always looks 'fat' - after all, she makes cookies for Santa and his elves and must sneak a few for herself....and you made it look good!

    As for the Grinch T-shirt - hilarious!

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  90. You are so awesome. Also, I need a friend like OJ in my life.

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  91. Anonymous12/14/2012

    So much Christmas cheer! this is the best and now I want to steal the idea for Milwaukee!

    ReplyDelete

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