It’s hard to believe Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago. Considering the months of build up, it is always amazing to me how quickly everything moves on right after Christmas day. Heck, most radio stations who had been playing 24×7 Christmas music for weeks go back to regular programming at Noon on Christmas Day. Crazy. Anyway, I’m still processing all the joy of the season and fully realizing the coolness of some of my gifts. In the coming days I will highlight a few of my favorite gifts from Christmas 2019.

First up, is the Scratch Map Travel Edition from the fine folks at Scratch Map – a scratch-off map that allows you to track all the places you have been.

About the Scratch Map Travel Edition from Scratch Map:

“Prefer to keep your travels a little more compact, but still want everyone to know where you’ve been? Then the travel version of our Scratch Map Travel Original is just what you need. Keep scratching your travels away in miniature form, and proudly display on any shelf or mantelpiece you like.”

Find the Scratch Map Travel Edition from Scratch Map here.

Learn more about Scratch Map and see all their products here.

The fine folks at Homesick Candles make a line of candles with scents reminiscent of cities and states – perfect for folks like me who moved away and get homesick from time-to-time. There is a candle for every state, but of course the New Hampshire candle is the one for me.

About the New Hampshire Candle from Homesick Candles:

“Enjoy an Autumn day in New Hampshire with this fragrance, reminiscent of warm apple cider spiked with cinnamon and clove, cozy hayrides curled under a blanket, and the sweet smells of vanilla in the air.”

It is interesting to note that of all the candles made by Homesick Candles, as of right now, only the New Hampshire candle is sold out. I guess my people miss home more than most.

Find the New Hampshire Candle from Homesick Candles here.

Check out all the Homesick Candles here.

Still cleaning out my phone – and I found this shot of a butterfly resting on a tree trunk I took on one of my lunchtime walks this past fall.

I’ve been back from my holiday trip to Chicago for a while, but just looking at some of the pictures I took – like this one, some of the glittering office towers on the banks of the Chicago River with the buildings of the Loop in their reflections.

FF: The  Calendar Tape Set from Present & Correct

The fine folks at Present & Correct have some great calendars that are cooler than your average wall variety – like the Calendar Tape Set which let’s you make your own calendar on just about any surface.

About the Calendar Tape Set from Present & Correct:

“Make your own calendar, on any wall, with this set of masking tapes. A genius idea consisting of months, days, date & then a reel for notes as well. Simply align them as you wish and stick to the wall. Easily peeled off once you are done.”

Find the Calendar Tape Set from Present & Correct here.

See all the calendars from Present & Correct here.

FF: The 2020 Darth Vader and Son Wall Calendar from Chronicle Books

Meanwhile, the fine folks at Chronicle Books offer a ton of fun options for the more traditional wall calendar, but none as fun as the 2020 Darth Vader and Son wall calendar which imagines what it must have been like for Luke growing up with his dad.

About the 2020 Darth Vader and Son Wall Calendar from Chronicle Books:

“Enjoy a year full of hijinks and life lessons with Darth Vader™ as he rules the Galactic Empire while keeping an eye on his mischievous son Luke.”

Find the 2020 Darth Vader and Son Wall Calendar from Chronicle Books here.

See all the calendars from Chronicle Books here.

OK, I love the idea of goat yoga and watching any viral goat video – yoga or otherwise. Now you can have the fun of goat yoga without the goat – with the Goat Yoga Party Game I found available from the fine folks at Kikkerland. Kind of like Twister for a new generation and perfect to keep the fun and games of the holiday season going just a little bit longer.

About the Goat Yoga Party Game:

“In this hilarious party game, players perform real yoga poses while completing ridiculous challenges with an inflatable goat. From balancing the goat on your head to batting it in the air, to bleating the tune to a song…your game night is sure to be filled with positive vibes and laugh-out-loud fun! Show us your moves!”

The Goat Yoga Party Game is available from Kikkerland.

See all the fun products from Kikkerkand here.

Yesterday I mentioned the great Andy Warhol exhibition currently running at the Art Institute of Chicago. As part of the publicity for the event in the city – a giant replica of Warhol’s famous Marilyn Monroe painting has been installed overlooking Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

The joys of Christmastime in Chicago are not all related to the holiday. The amazing Art Institute of Chicago – whose iconic lions are decked out for the season – is a guaranteed home run no matter what time of year you visit. My Christmas week visit this year happened to coincide with the museum’s latest major exhibition of the work of Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again, which I attended yesterday and it is wonderful.

About Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again at the Art Institute of Chicago:

“This major retrospective—the first to be organized by a US institution in 30 years—builds on the wealth of new research, scholarship, and perspectives that has emerged since Andy Warhol’s early death at age 58 in 1987. More than 400 works offer a new view of the beloved and iconic American Pop artist, not only illuminating the breadth, depth, and interconnectedness of Warhol’s production across the entirety of his career but also highlighting the ways that he anticipated the issues, effects, and pace of our current digital age. Warhol gained fame in the 1960s for his Pop masterpieces, widely known and reproduced works that often eclipse his equally significant late work as well as his crucial beginnings in the commercial art world. This exhibition brings together all aspects and periods of his varied and prolific career and includes paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, videos, archival and printed material, installation, films, and media works.”

Andy Warhol – From A to B and Back Again continues at the Art Institute of Chicago through January 26, 2020.

The great Art Institute of Chicago is located at 111 South Michigan Avenue in the great city of Chicago USA.

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