Haedy Gorostieta

It's Christmas Time in the City

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Halloween is finally over and stores all across the city are preparing for the holidays. If you’re anything like me, you’ve been listening to Christmas music since July and you are ready to start celebrating. However, chances are you fall among the majority who are just starting to embrace the start of the festivities. Regardless, Chicago is getting everyone excited with all of its yearly holiday traditions. If you’ve decided to spend November and December in the city, here are some of my favorite things to do to get you in the Christmas spirit.

CTA Holiday Train

Anyone who lives in Chicago, is familiar with the beloved CTA trains. Starting around the end of November, a few of the trains will be fully decked out with holiday decorations. When I first moved to the city, I was so happy to hear that this was something that they did. It’s so exciting when you’re waiting for the train and the one that comes is decorated with lights and streamers. If you want to make sure that you get the chance to ride one, they always post the schedule on the CTA website near the end of November- so be on the lookout for that!

Christkindlmarket  

You can’t talk about Christmas in Chicago without mentioning the Christkindlmarket. This little market transforms the Daley Plaza into a European village with booths full of different food and drinks for you to try. With new vendors every year, there’s always more to explore. The booths range from food to handmade ornaments and little trinkets you can give as gifts. Depending on the day you go, there might be live music and more entertainment so be sure to check the online calendar. I always recommend getting the hot chocolate in the souvenir mug, it’s a staple for every holiday season.

Ice Skating at Millennium Park

This is by far my favorite thing about Christmas in the city. Every year around November, they put up an ice rink in front of our beloved Cloud Gate sculpture (more commonly known as “The Bean”) and open it up to the public. Admission is free, but if you need to rent skates that’s an option as well. There’s a big Christmas tree in the plaza and everyone is in a wonderful mood. If you get the opportunity to go, I would absolutely recommend you do so.

Song of the Week: All I Want For Christmas Is You- Mariah Carey :)


Happy Easter

Due to a busier class schedule and work, this is the first year I’m spending Easter away from my family. I’m not fond of change and celebrating the holiday in a different city was something I was dreading. Fortunately, one of my lovely friends was also spending the weekend in town and asked me to go to church with him. His love for architecture and need to explore led us to the Holy Name Cathedral, right off of the Chicago stop on the red line. The church was beautifully decorated with stained glass and lots of flowers for the holiday. Our plan was to get there early so that we could find seats but we underestimated how busy the service would be. Every row was packed with families and friendly faces, we walked around the whole building before finding a spot to sit.

The mass went by quickly and even though it was a new experience, I ended up really enjoying it. Growing up, my parents raised me to be Catholic. I’ve noticed that ever since moving to Chicago, my appreciation for the religion and the beliefs they teach has increased. Although DePaul is affiliated with the Catholic church, you have to actively seek out the religious side of campus (just look for the cardboard cutout of the pope in the Student Center). This separation has allowed me to further develop my faith because it’s something I’m looking for voluntarily.

College is all about discovering new things about yourself and staying true to the values you cherish. I love using my faith as an excuse to go out into the city and find new churches with new faces. Despite spending Easter away from home, today was one of my favorite days. Tommy and I started a tradition of eating breakfast at 2:30 pm, and that’s something I hope will never change. :)

Song of the Week: A Dog’s Adventure- Atta Boy