Merry Christmas from the Art of Non-Conformity


Dear Friends,

Here’s wishing you well on the morning of December 24th.

For those who celebrate (I do), I hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas. Everyone else, I hope the holiday month is also treating you well.

Things are great over here. I’m in Portland with my family, taking a few days off before getting a head start on what looks to be an intense 2010.

Three blocks from home in my Southeast neighborhood, the great Waffle Window is open until 6pm tonight. Check out the new “Hot Apple Pie” waffle (highly recommended) below.


When I wasn’t eating waffles yesterday, I successfully restructured a few travel plans for early 2010, and will be in the South Pacific right after New Year’s.

It’s often hard to find availability on Air New Zealand flights from the states, but I located an option that works perfectly. Yay. It’s summer in the southern hemisphere, and I need to get started on fun countries like Samoa and Vanuatu.

The Shape of Things to Come

Thanks for all the great feedback on the Annual Review series. At least 40 other blogs have published various parts of their own reviews, and I’m glad to see the idea taking off. (You can see some of them in the trackbacks for each post in the series, published alongside the comments.)

A few people also asked about my own goals for next year. I’m including a few of the highlights here as an exercise in mass accountability.

In 2010 I want to…

  • Coordinate an Unconventional Book Tour to every state and province (I’ll be asking for help on this; stay tuned)
  • Launch our AONC Charity Project
  • Double overall readership and all social media metrics
  • Double revenue for (without reducing anything we do here at AONC)
  • Create two new online communities to serve 500+ participants
  • Visit 20 new countries, including some hard-to-get-to places in Africa, Central Asia, and the South Pacific

But first, I’m relaxing with the family visit and the holiday week. This afternoon we’re going to see Up in the Air (of course) and then… we’ll probably eat more waffles.

I’m grateful for you all and will be looking forward to starting a new year. For now, Merry Christmas!


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  • Tyler says:

    I’ve walked by that waffle window at least 100 times and had no inclination to stop, but after staring at that picture for a few slack-jawed moments, I’ll be making some special room in my gut to give it a shot between the impending holiday meals.

    Merry Christmas, Chris. And merry Christmas to everyone here that’s added so much value to this site.

  • Jonathan Beebe says:

    Merry Christmas! With all the traveling that you do, I’m sure your family is glad to have you home. Likewise, I’m sure you’re glad to have a nice relaxing break for what sounds like it’s going to be a great 2010! You have some big goals and I hope that next year’s annual review will describe how you achieved them.

    I’m personally looking forward to 2010 as well. Anyway, keep up the great work with AONC and your other projects.

  • George says:

    Merry Christmas!

    Those waffles look good!

    Looks like 2010 is going to be a great year. Thank you for sharing your goals.They are wonderful. Keep us updated!

  • Laura Cococcia says:

    Have a great holiday, Chris. You’ve inspired me and many others this year, so thank you. I’m dying to see Up in The Air, so I’m going to try to persuade the fam to go see it this week. Enjoy!

  • Vic says:

    Talk about mouth-watering … I checked out their website too! Even sent them a message inquiring about gift certificates for friends and relatives.

    Chris … I appreciate the work you’ve done and the awesome information on your site … and I look forward to more to come. Let me know if/when you come to Austin TX.

    Have a great Christmas and a fantastic 2010!

  • lisa says:

    Happy holidays! Looking forward to hearing more about the charity project and knowing how one can be helpful.

  • Alison says:

    Merry Christmas Chris!

    And if you make it to Vancouver for your book tour I’ll be looking forward to finally meeting you!

  • jforest says:

    Merry Christmas!

    I’m looking forward to your new projects in 2010! I’m especially interested in the charity project!

    Enjoy the holidays!

  • Henri says:

    Oh man I want those waffles, but then again, I just had Christmas dinner. Merry Christmas dude!

  • Ann says:

    Merry Christmas and happy travels in 2010!!

    I’m in RI and looking forward to meeting you during the book tour in 2010 !

  • Andi says:

    Ummm, that waffle looks SO delish!!! Merry Xmas Eve–hope Santa brings you EVERYTHING you asked for. 🙂 Btw, if you’re going to Vanuatu you really should hop over to New Caledonia (if you’ve never been). It’s the most beautiful place in this world in my humble opinion.

  • Joe Oviedo says:

    Merry Christmas to you too Chris. May you have a beautiful day with your family and friends. Let’s all rest, and enjoy these moments and get ready and all charged up for an exciting 2010! Bring it! =D


  • Tomas Stonkus says:

    Merry Christmas Chris!

    Thanks for all of your hard work! Good luck with all of your goals for the upcoming year. I hope you achieve and exceed them all!

    Thanks for being an inspriration!


  • Pamela Belding says:

    Oh Wow! That waffle looks amazing! Enjoy your waffles and your vacation. Thanks for keeping up with the awesome and I look forward to seeing you on a book tour through Michigan in 2010! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

  • Adam says:

    Jealous that you’re starting your 2010 traveling right off the bat!

    Oh and I saw Up in the Air yesterday. Curious to hear what you think of it…

    Merry Christmas!

  • Jonathan Campbell says:

    Waffles. So good.

  • Oz says:

    Happy Holidays Chris and thank you for all your work. Tracking Santa on Norad with my sons and my 6 yr old said “Daddy, I am going to visit them all”. I asked “Visit all of what?” and his reply ” All the places that Santa left gifts”.

    I hope he never forgets that promise and that I don’t either.

  • Jessica Rohloff says:

    Hope you’ll make it to New Orleans during the book tour! Congratulations on everything you’ve accomplished this year.

  • Linnea says:

    Merry Christmas to you, too, Chris. Thanks for being inspiring.


  • Rebecca Erlewein says:

    If you make it to Wellington, get in touch to get a free tour and home made waffles. We’ll be happy to take you around.

  • Alex says:

    I hope Santa will continue to sprinkle your 2010 with wonder and wander every single day – not just on Christmas night. Merry Christmas and thanks for everything. Your site and emails had made my 2009 better and I look forward to following your adventures in 2010 and beyond. Happy New Year!

  • Ken Cousino says:

    It has been great fun and an encouragement following you for the last year. Continue to do great things. You have been blessed with such abundance! I’m in the Omaha Nebraska area, hope your book tour stops here!!! Peace & Blessings!

  • Nate says:

    You talked about some juicy goals, and I will follow along wishing you the best….but…the waffles stole the show of this post. 🙂 We used to hit up waffle window every week, I’d go savory every time. usually 3B’s or whole farm. And she’d go sweet, like her personality. Gosh I miss Portland, but we’ll be back someday. Cheers to waffles and 2010 being AWESOME!

  • Joe says:

    Central Asia…get ready. Have you scoped out any exact locations yet?

  • Hamilton Shields says:

    I love the waffle window. I had one on the 30th, although sat down at the Bread and Ink. Made visit to (from Tokyo) Portland complete. Now if only we could get Powell’s and Next Adventure here…

  • merry christmas wishes for parents says:

    Its like you reaad my mind! You appear to know so much about this,like you wrote the bpok in it or something.
    I think that you can do with ome pics to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that,
    this is great blog. A grteat read. I’ll definitely be back.

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