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Posted on Dec 25, 2011 in Dear Diary | 10 comments

Christmas Day

family christmas 2011

Merry Christmas!

Regardless of what or how you celebrate, I hope your day is full of love…

Merriment…

And cheers. Oops, I mean, cheer. 😉

Also candy.

Happy Holidays!

Love,
Gretchen

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Posted on Dec 23, 2011 in Dear Diary | 18 comments

Christmas Eve Eve

Happy Friday, folks!

TWO DAYS.

At the last minute I decided to take today off from work and get a four-day holiday weekend out of Christmas (since I only actually get the 26th off). Huzzah!

Other than that though, I don’t really have much to report. Today will be spent making the gingerbread house, decorating cookies, and spending time with the fam. Can you believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve?! Ahhhh! I LOVE IT.

And just in case you weren’t full of enough holiday merriment, I present the following video of sheer adorableness to you. Apologies if you’ve already seen it through my posting it on Facebook. Actually, I’m not sorry. It’s so cute, you know you want to watch it again!

(If you’re reading this via email subscription, be sure to click through to watch the video!)

What’s your Christmas Eve tradition? My family’s is to go to church, have a light dinner afterward (to ready ourselves for the actual Christmas Beast Feast), and open a single present before bed. SQUEE CHRISTMAS!!!

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Posted on Dec 14, 2011 in Dear Diary | 18 comments

Holiday Playlist

So I spent almost my entire evening last night rehearsing with some of my coworkers for my office’s holiday potluck next week. Apparently last year they performed some holiday tunes with great success, and I was recruited to sing for this year’s festivities. I’d feign some complaints here, citing potential embarrassment and whatnot, but let’s be honest: I’m a huge ham. I love performing! So we spent a couple of hours figuring out our playlist and ironing out some harmonies. Should be fun as long as I don’t freak out. As much as I love being the center of attention, I do still get some pretty intense stage fright. Urk!


Even Santa gets scurred.

At any rate, the whole process has helped me dive even further into the glory of Christmas music, so I thought I’d share a few of the albums that have been loaded up on my Spotify playlist since before Thanksgiving all month!

A Very She & Him Christmas

In case you weren’t already aware of this, Zooey Deschanel is just about the cutest little thing that has ever graced this planet. If her bangs weren’t enough to make you fall in love with her, her voice definitely is. Her band with music veteran M. Ward, She & Him, is a little bit indie, a little bit quirky, and a lot awesome. Their version of “The Christmas Waltz” might be my favorite yet!

Glee: The Christmas Album Volume 2

I know that Glee can be a pretty polarizing show, and people either love it or they hate it. That said, I don’t think anyone in either camp can deny that the actors on the show are very talented, and the songs they perform are generally really well done. The second Glee Christmas episode only just aired last night, but the album’s been available for a while and is fantastic! Naya Rivera’s (Santana) rendition of “Santa Baby” is perfectly suited to her voice and character, and Kris Kolfer & Darren Criss (Kurt & Blaine) performing a jazzed-up version of “Let It Snow” is just amazing. In fact, here’s that one too:

Am I right, or am I right? Oh, they scat so good and they scat so true. Okay, okay Onward!

Michael Bublé Christmas

There was evidently a lot of hub-bub surrounding Michael Bublé’s Christmas album, and it’s easy to see why. He channels the crooners of old, and since Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were the originators of many of our favorite songs, it’s easy to get on board with this album. Some of the renditions are almost a little too similar to the originals, so while they’re obviously very good, they’re a little boring. I really love his version of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” though.


Let It Snow Baby… Let It Reindeer

This isn’t a new album, but Relient K’s 2007 Christmas album remains firmly at the top of my holiday playlist. For people who like modern, rocked-up versions of traditional songs, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” is for you. They also mix in a handful of original songs, which are a little softer, more soulful, and just stellar.

Case in point.

And finally, for your aural pleasure and delight, I present:

Straight No Chaser Christmas Cheers

If you only click on one of the videos in this entire post to listen to (they’re all just songs, by the way, not actual videos) it needs to be this one. Straight No Chaser is the Indiana University a cappella group, and their “12 Days of Christmas” is seriously the best thing you’ll hear all season. The 1998 group got a recording deal from this one arrangement and performs under the same name. The video is a little dated at this point, but the hilarity and musical mastery of it will still wow you. I’ve seriously listened to this one song more than all the others on my playlist combined. Love.

So there you have it! There are a few other songs thrown in here and there, but these albums comprise the majority of my holiday listening and I couldn’t be happier about it. So now it’s your turn!

What’s your favorite Christmas song? I’ll take either a song in general (my favorite traditional carol, for example, is “O, Holy Night”) or a specific artist’s version. Augh, I JUST LOVE CHRISTMAS!

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Posted on Dec 21, 2010 in Dear Diary | 5 comments

Working for the Holiday Weekend!

Hihi friends! How has everyone’s Christmas week started off? Mine has actually not been too bad! I was thinking that this week would be hellish, but it turns out only yesterday’s was hellish, hahaha. It was just busybusybusy all day at work, and then with some post-work commitments too. Luckily, today was much easier on me! I’ve been getting back into the Christmas spirit, which is nice after a week or two of melancholiness.

Over the weekend I spent lots of time with the fam, partaking in many Powell Family Traditions. First though, we celebrating the bro’s big 2-7 with a home-cooked family dinner:

Amazing lamb dinner!

And then a night out at Dave & Buster’s (aka Chuckie Cheese for grownups!) It was really fun:

There was cookie baking and decorating:

Cookie Gretchen and Cookie Steve - perfect likenesses, right?

Gingerbread house making:

And general holly jollyness:

Lookit all them presents!

At work we had our office holiday party today, which included a lot of [delicious] junk (pizza, ice cream, and Georgetown Cupcakes!) I wasn’t great… but I wasn’t that bad! Just one cupcake (cinnamon!), and I ordered a thin crust pizza especially so I could partake (the perks of being the one planning the party, I guess?)

Georgetown cupcakes sure are beautiful though, aren’t they? I got to take some extras home too, so I think the bro is pretty okay with that, haha.

After work, the majority of which was taken up by the party (hooray!), I ran a few personal errands and came home to an awesome surprise:

The Quaker Amazing Morning starter kit that the Amazing Anne P. gaveaway! It’s totally awesome – came with 4 boxes of Quaker Hearty Medleys oatmeal, coupons for more oatmeal, a yoga mat, a Bob Harper (from The Biggest Loser) yoga DVD, an alarm clock, an oatmeal bowl, spoon and napkin set, and a Quaker bag (coincidentally printed by CustomInk.com, where several of my friends work — here’s my little shoutout for you, Evan and Jabarie! :))

I haven’t had a chance to try out the oatmeal or the DVD yet, but when I do I’ll let you know. Eeeeee, how exciting! It’ll be like, my first blogger review of something! 😀

So anyway, that’s my day for ya! The rest of the week should be pretty slow – I don’t have anything off except for Friday though! So any of you that get more than 1 day off for Christmas, I’m totally jealous. Hopefully I’ll be able to be better for the rest of the week to make up for today’s junk foodery… except for Christmas dinner, of course! Not that it totally wasn’t worth it. 😛

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