Category Archives: 12 Dates of Christmas

12 Dates of Christmas / Relationships

12 Dates of Christmas — #8

December 20, 2013


On Tuesday night we got home late (as usual!).  After we helped our poor neighbor get back into her house (she was locked out — isn’t that the worst?), I started heating up dinner (because I was starving).  KC ran downstairs to the kitchen and said, “We have 20 minutes!  Do you want to run down to the corner store with me?”

First of all, our corner store is a liquor store.  And I get that it’s totally not chic or suburban-appropriate or whatever, but I kind of love it.  (What can I say?  I’m a little trashy.)  Second, my response to KC was, “What are you talking about, 20 minutes?”

“To play the lottery!”

Now, we are not lottery players.  We buy the occasional scratcher, but other than that, we’ve only played “real” lottery once — the last time it was some ungodly record-setting amount of money.

I, like I said, was starving, and so was very reluctant to leave my soup and bread which were heating up; but KC was so excited about buying these tickets, that I had to just smile and go along with it.  We headed down to the store, which was full of people (meaning: there were literally 4 other people there.  But if you knew this liquor store, you’d know that that’s like, A LOT of people for this place.)  We didn’t even know how to play the lotto (is that even the right term?), but the guy behind the counter just ushered KC forward and said something about “quick picks” and they got down to it.  KC told me if I came with him I could pick out some beer (obviously I’m easily bribed), so I headed over to the refrigerator case.

KC got our tickets, I got my beer, and we headed back home.  We started talking about what we would do with our winnings, since surely we were going to win this $636 million jackpot.  KC said he would probably buy a new car.  I, after qualifying that I didn’t want to win (I think that kind of money could kind of screw up your life, y’know?), said that I would pay off my loans and probably set up trusts for family.  (I know, booooooring,)  We then agreed that we would start a charity for animals and call it “Penny’s Pals” or something equally saccharine and disgusting.

Well, wouldn’t you know it — we didn’t hit the jackpot that night.  But this was pretty good as a second place:

beerOnly 4 dates left!

12 Dates of Christmas / Favorite Things / Holidays / weekend

The 12 Dates of Christmas — #7

December 16, 2013

KC and me early daysKC and me, the early days

On Sunday we went out and ran errands together.  I was on the search for wrapping paper, to get through the last few gifts that had just been hanging around the house, unwrapped and taunting me.  I was on the hunt for plain brown paper — and who the heck knew that it would be so difficult to find?  All Target had was a bunch of Christmas paper that was $5 for the skimpiest of rolls.  No bueno.

We rounded out our shopping at TJ Maxx and BevMo, but not before re-living part of our very first date by stopping for lunch at Chili’s.  I agree that Chili’s is somewhat trashy, not romantic in the least, and a little disgusting when it comes to portion sizes (although, The Cheesecake Factory really takes the cake in that arena); but, 9 years minus one week ago yesterday, KC came down to San Jose to “hang out as friends” over winter break during our junior year of college, and wouldn’t you know it, that’s how our love story began.  We had been hanging out a little bit at school, and chatting late into the night on AIM quite a bit ( ← how about that for dating myself?), but I was quite adamant that I “didn’t want a boyfriend” and we were definitely both playing it cool (y’know, college).  Even so, while having coffee with a good friend earlier in the day, I confided in her that I “kind of liked him” and that I was, in fact, a little anxious about KC coming all the way to San Jose to hang out with me.

I remember nervously waiting in my parent’s kitchen for him to drive up; he pulled up in his green Acura (quite a nice car, given our respective ages).  He got out of the car and he had gotten a haircut since school had ended and wasn’t wearing his usual uniform (he didn’t cut his hair the entire first quarter, and lived in trainers and big UCLA sweatshirts — can you imagine why I wasn’t instantly smitten?).  I had been wondering if the crush I wasn’t admitting to myself I had would be affirmed or completely snuffed out by seeing him in person — and wouldn’t you know it, I got butterflies.  KC walked up all cool, tall, and confident, and spent the rest of the day being his charming, funny self.  We started things off by going to lunch at Chili’s together (not a date! we were adamant — we went dutch).  And to this day we still reminisce about that “first date that wasn’t but then it was” that all started at Chili’s.

And so, amidst the dirty floors, greasy fare, and overly-loud patrons, we had lunch there this weekend.  We talked about the last 9 (!) years together — how it seems inconceivable that next year we will have been together a decade — an entire third of my lifetime, at that point.  And how it somehow doesn’t feel like we’ve been together that long, but when you think back to when we were first dating it also feels like forever ago.

And just like that, it was butterflies all over again.

12 Dates of Christmas / Dinner / Favorite Things / Relationships

The 12 Dates of Christmas — #6

December 11, 2013

ringsFor our sixth date of Christmas, we went to a late dinner Monday night at our local hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant.  We were out kind of late, and by the time we got home (close to 8pm), neither of us had any desire to figure out what we had food-wise in the fridge and then assemble it into some type of meal.  KC said, “How about Indian?” and my heart skipped a beat — this, my friends, is called romance.  You know, when you’re dog-tired from running around Christmas shopping and working and balancing everything else in your life and all of a sudden your husband just takes the reigns and is like, “Hey, don’t worry about this — I’ll take care of it.”  And so, he may as well have said, “Hey, how about I take you to Gary Danko and we can feast on foie gras and gaze at each other over the white tablecloth and polished silver?” because that’s really how it sounded to me.

And so we had a no-frills meal of spicy chicken, lentils and rice, eaten off of old, scratched plates and rounded out with beers served in the strangest glassware.  We sat on chairs on the concrete floor, in front of the space heater they had rigged up in an attempt to keep the place above freezing temperatures, all while listening to the blasting music from the belly-dancing studio next door that seeps through the walls (a muffled Beyonce yelling about a “beautiful nightmare” isn’t typically “mood music”).  I spilled about half our rice on the floor throughout the course of the evening (I’m just not very coordinated sometimes); but it was a perfect night.  We ate slowly, and talked about everything from work to Christmas to what we think next year will be like.

Our lives (and everybody’s lives, I think) are so full and busy that sometimes it’s easy to just whoosh right by each other and resort to calling our hour on the couch watching the news “quality time;” so it’s nice to take a time-out once in a while for just the two of us and let all that busyness fall away.  And it doesn’t matter so much where we are — whether it’s sharing the 2003 Cabernet over steaks or drinking cheap beers while eating way-too-spicy samosas — in the moment, it’s perfect.  It’s nice just to take a breath, and know that the gifts will get wrapped, grocery shopping will get done, and trash will get taken out eventually, but right now it’s just about us.

Six dates left, and enjoying every minute.

12 Dates of Christmas / Favorite Things / Holidays / weekend

The 12 Dates of Christmas — #5

December 10, 2013

For our fifth date of Christmas (yep, we’re on a roll over here!), we headed out on Sunday evening to do some Christmas shopping.  I don’t know about you guys, but this whole “late Thanksgiving” thing is totally throwing me off.  Usually I get at least a few gifts done between Thanksgiving and the beginning of December, which helps me feel like I’m at least semi on top of things for Christmas (even if I don’t actually finish my shopping until the 23rd.  Or 24th…)

This year it feels like December is just flying by (stay awhile, please!), and I was beginning to feel a little anxious about the fact that I had only one gift completed.  (Y’know, out of like, a thousand.)  So, we bundled up in our boots, scarves, and coats, and braved the terribly cold California weather in the name of gift-giving.  (And if you live outside of California, y’know — someplace that has real weather, I’m sorry.  It must be terribly cold where you are.  All I know is that whenever it’s 55° or colder outside, it’s basically like we’re all living in Antarctica.  I mean, I don’t even own a heavy sweater.  What am I supposed to do?)

We hit the stores, and we hit them hard.  We even took a break in the middle to go have some Mexican food (shopping fuel!), and then shopped some more.  After our haul, we headed home and I wrapped gifts while we watched Home Alone.  Now our tree is looking extra festive:

presents 1I’ve still got three big gifts to wrap; but I ran out of wrapping paper, so those will have to wait.  And can I just say that it’s super awesome that Gap was giving away free gift boxes (as many as you wanted!), but man, square boxes are such a pain to wrap!  There are so many gifts under our tree that have an extra strip of paper over the bottom secured with packing tape because I didn’t cut the wrapping paper correctly to cover a square box.  Oh well, they look nice from the top!

presents 3Also, I may have run out of boxes by the time I got to my brother’s gift, so his miiiiight be split up into like 6 different bags.  Partially because it’s funny, partially because I’ve had these Christmas bags for years and never use them, and partially because who wouldn’t want to open 6 gifts (hello!).  A Christmas miracle, to be sure.

Well, due to our marathon shopping outing, I’m happy to report that we’re in the home stretch of present-buying.  Although, I haven’t even come close to finishing shopping for KC’s stocking…  Does Santa do IOU’s?

presents 27 dates left!  Merry merry 🙂

12 Dates of Christmas / Favorite Things / Holidays / Relationships

The 12 Dates of Christmas

December 9, 2013


I came across the idea of 12 dates of Christmas a couple of years ago, and loved the idea.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to go on 12 dates in December?  Now, I’m sure everyone will have their own interpretation of what constitutes a “date,” but my standards are pretty loose.  (← Haha, quiet.)

Our first date was heading to Home Depot to pick out our Christmas tree on December 1.  (Like I said, what I consider a “date” is pretty easy to qualify for.  Lucky KC.)


Our second date of Christmas was staying home on Friday night with the fire going, and watching The Family Stone together.  It always makes me cry, but it’s one of my favorite holiday movies, and I still love watching it every year around this time.


Our third date was getting dressed up real fancy and heading into the city for KC’s office’s annual holiday party.  They go all out with this event, and this year was no exception.  They rented out the City View Club at the Metereon and had a huge open bar and tons of different food stations with all kinds of small bites.  Not to mention that people were wearing everything from what appeared to be formal evening gowns to Forever 21-style club attire.  (I always find it interesting what people deem appropriate to wear to work parties…  I think maybe I’m just not that brave to take those kinds of fashion risks!)

IMG_0480Our fourth date was sleeping in after our late night out at KC’s work party, and having a slow morning of Christmas coffee and good conversation.  Sometimes being extra-lazy is just the best, isn’t it?

We’ve still got eight dates to go!  I can’t wait 🙂