Alternative Black Friday

You all have heard of Alternative Spring Breaks, right? You know those things where instead of going on a super indulgent huge Spring Break, you go on some sort of a service project where you build a house or plant a garden for an orphanage? Well that’s kind of what I did the other day for Black Friday (except for all of the do-gooder philanthropy).

And no, it’s not because I think I’m better than everyone else, because seriously, I’m not; it’s because I’ve worked in clothing retail for the past four or five years and this was the first Black Friday on which I wasn’t working. A mall was the last place I wanted to be.

So to ring in the Christmas season, I did a few pretty awesome Christmasy things with my parents and two of my best friends.

So first I went to the Festival of the Trees in Methuen, Massachusetts with my parents. It’s pretty much this giant show room filled with Christmas trees donated and decorated by local businesses and families, and let me just tell you– they’re pretty freakin’ rad. Some of them were really sweet, like the ones done by the local Girl Scout troops, and some of them were pretty bad ass, like the ones done by the art schools in the area, and some of them were pretty miraculous, like the ones done by people who basically do crafts for a living.

I walked around with my iPhone out the whole time, snapping pictures of anything that impressed me (I ended the afternoon with a zillion pictures on my phone). Here are some of my favorites:

IMG_0670Am I the only on who loved the Magic Tree House series when I was a kid?! This one, decorated with a bunch of different books from the series, is a masterpiece in engineering– how the heck did they get that tree house to stay attached?!

IMG_0674Mmm… Cupcakes.

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This one, also getting an award for having the best theme, is all about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Apparently it’s some sort of anniversary for him this year, but I just thought the candy canes sticking out like branches were spectacular.

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Quite honestly, I have no idea what tree this came from, but I think it was pretty important that I showed off how beautiful that bird ornament looked with all of the reflecting lights and ornaments around it.

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OMG. Is this not so cute?! Also, I freakin’ love milk.

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This tree, getting an award for creativity, was super fascinating. Besides, look at how awesome the photo looks with the lamp’s light in the background.

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Another childhood book fav. I’m sensing some sort of pattern.

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And the best in show! This one, obviously, was food themed and I’m just blown away at how someone could create something so detailed without making it too cluttered. Decorate my tree for me please?

I topped off the day by doing something that, surprisingly, I’d never done before: I saw the Boston Ballet’s Nutcracker. I know, I know, it’s kind of ridiculous that I’ve been a dancer for 19 years and I still haven’t seen the show, but it was absolutely unbelievable. It was the first year that choreographer Mikko Nissinen has choreographed it, and I gotta say it didn’t disappoint. OH MY GOD and those ballerinas’ feet?! And the ballerino who was the principle for “Russian”?! AND THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY’S TUTUS?!

Life update since seeing the show last night: still devastated it’s over.

I wasn’t able to take too many pictures from the evening considering that’s pretty dang illegal to do during the show (and also super distasteful for the theatre), but here’s what I got:

IMG_0679Boston Opera House, why you so dope?

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The set design was brand new this year, too, and it was literally unreal on and off the stage.

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Freaking out over my first Nutcracker playbill. Can’t wait to add it to my playbill collection

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Myself and the beautiful Allie and Amanda with whom I lost my Nutcracker virginity! So glad I got to see the show with my two best dance gal pals.

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