As the last leaves of autumn give way to the crisp breeze of early winter, December 1st arrives, marking the unofficial start of the holiday season. Well for most anyway – here in Chicago winter arrived a few weeks back! And the city is aglow with beautiful lights. The same in Florence too – prior to returning to the states we were able to enjoy the magic of Florence during the holidays!

But today is official – December 1st ushers in a month filled with warmth, joy, and the spirit of giving, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries. And is also one of my favorite times to eat, be merry and spread cheer. ✨

Globally, December is synonymous with various traditions and celebrations. In many countries, the advent of December means the commencement of Advent, a time of anticipation leading up to Christmas. Homes start to sparkle with festive lights and decorations, bringing a sense of wonder and excitement.

December 1st also signals a time for family gatherings and reflection. As the year winds down, many use this period to reflect on the past months and plan for the future. It’s a season of gratitude, where people express thankfulness for their blessings and show appreciation for their loved ones through acts of kindness and gifts – or awesome holiday parties which I love planning! 🤩

Different cultures celebrate this season in unique ways. For instance, Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, often falls in December, celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, and games. In Scandinavia, the Saint Lucia Day is observed, heralding the arrival of the Christmas season with candlelit processions and choirs.

Gene & Georgetti is open throughout December and launching new holiday specials throughout the month! We are also open for Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve so be sure to book your table and celebrate with us!

Festive Foods and Markets

December is also a culinary delight. From Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses to hearty meals shared with family, the holiday season brings its own special flavors. Outdoor Christmas markets, particularly in Europe, offer a feast for the senses with mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and handcrafted gifts. Here in Chicago we have tons of fun activities including one of our very own (and wonderful!) markets! Check out this link from Time Out Chicago for all the info.

The Spirit of Giving and Volunteerism

This time of the year is also notable for heightened acts of charity and volunteerism. People are more inclined to donate time and resources to those in need, embodying the true spirit of the season. We do our best to support non-profits throughout the year and especially during this season, some of our favorite charities include:

Hephzibah Children’s Association
Surge for Water
Colby’s Crew Rescue
All Seated in a Barn Rescue
Toys for Tots
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Chicago Chefs Cook
Storybook Farm
Center on Halsted
PAWS Chicago

December 1st is more than just a date on the calendar; it’s the beginning of a season filled with joy, reflection, and community. Regardless of how one celebrates, this time of the year has a unique way of bringing people together, reminding us of the shared humanity that binds us all.

As we step into this enchanting season, let’s embrace the magic of December, spreading love and cheer in our own special ways. Happy Holidays!

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