#youcandoanythinginadress Bucket List

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Another year of Dressember has come and gone, and as a movement, we have reached new heights. This year we saw more dollars raised, more dresses and bow ties flaunted, and SO much creativity expressed.

For me, this year was about digging deeper. I led a team for the first time and created a Dressember bucket list to tackle! I brainstormed and reached out on social media for things I should try to do in a dress this December. I sifted through the ideas -- from easy to nearly impossible, impactful to downright goofy, fun to stress-inducing -- and throughout the month, I searched for opportunities to tackle these challenges.

Run a 5K:

I was a little scared! Even though I’ve raced in half marathons before, it had been an embarrassingly long time since I had run this far...and I’d need to do it in a dress. There weren’t any 5K races in my hometown over the break, so I laced up my shoes and headed to the local YMCA to track my mileage.


I was so excited that people suggested fun things for me to tackle in my dress! It may not have been the hardest thing to do without pants, but it was still nice to get out in public wearing a dress during the coldest time of the year! (And winning against my fiancé was a plus, too.)

Climb a tree:

Full disclosure: I don’t know that I’d ever climbed a tree before. Child-me was reserved, not very outdoorsy, and had weak arms. This particular day I was wearing a long dress and a coat because it was 25 degrees, so I gathered my skirts (one might say I literally girded my loins), rubbed my hands together, and climbed as high as I was willing to trust… before promptly climbing/slipping/jumping back down.

Hit the gym/work out:

I got some strange looks with my dress layered over my standard tank top and shorts, and I was admittedly pretty embarrassed about what others were thinking. However, it helped me remember the value of laying down my personal comfort for the benefit of the movement and those we support who are forced into discomfort.

Ice skate:

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It had been about two years since I’d last been ice skating, so I was nervous about this, even aside from the dress. However, it was a great time, and my clumsy self only fell and banged up my knee once.

Shop local:

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I went to a craft show with a roommate to get some Christmas shopping done! Only over the past year or so have I learned more about fast fashion and exploitative labor, and I was so excited to support local artisans. Some of the purchases I made also helped the metropolitan area Homeless Alliance and a local organization that fights trafficking!

Donate blood:

I was thankful for this challenge because I’d always wanted to donate blood but never plucked up the courage! I ended up having a great time. I had the best blood-taker (thanks, Jeremy!), got to snack on pretzels and a gatorade, and, of course, my blood went to help people in need! I also found out my blood type is O positive and got a sweet blood donor card to prove it.

Christmas caroling:

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‘Tis the season! Caroling to elderly living homes is a tradition of my home church, and I was delighted to have it suggested for the bucket list to knock out two birds with one stone.


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This is one bucket list item I wasn’t expecting! The Santa Claus who had been booked for a local daycare’s Christmas party, unfortunately, had to leave early, so I was asked to step in to deliver presents as his helper. We found a costume with a dress-like tunic to rent for a couple hours. Thus, Gingersnap the Elf was born.


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Singing is fun. Singing on a microphone in front of 100+ strangers is terrifying. A surprising amount of stress accumulated as I first convinced myself to do it and, second, tried to find a decent song. Eventually, I decided on an early 2000s pop throwback, and I did my best to not crack as I sang Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” on stage.

Make new food from a region that greatly suffers from trafficking:

I can’t hop on a plane and visit the trafficking victims and survivors I hear about in articles and documentaries, but I can represent the global work of our grant partners, and what better way than through food? Cambodia is a massive hub of the global child sex trade. One afternoon I made the Cambodian dish Lort Cha (and did pretty well, I think!) to consider the lives of these children and their families.

Wear both a dress and a bow tie:

I wanted to stand with all who participate in Dressember. It has been so cool to read about more and more men who participate and those who have decided to participate by wearing bow ties. I even had two fellas on my team, both of whom far exceeded their fundraising goals. I borrowed the bow tie from a friend--do you think the flamingos are a nice touch?

The following are honorable mentions I wasn’t able to accomplish during the month due to lack of resources or scheduling: have a snowball fight, skydive, ride a mechanical bull, take a pottery class, and volunteer at a homeless shelter. This doesn’t mean I’ll be waiting for next Dressember to give them a try!

And you don’t have to either. Will you take your Dressember game to the next level? Only 11 months until Dressember 2018, but what’s more important to remember is that advocacy transcends a month, years, a lifetime, and even generations. People have been fighting slavery for centuries and we will continue to fight while it exists in any form.

Dressember is about stepping outside the box. Our taglines don’t exist just to sound nice. Remember that you really can do anything in a dress.



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About the Author

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Chynna Terrell is an ENFJ who will graduate in May with a degree in English Literature from the University of Oklahoma (boomer!). Aside from school, she serves as president of her InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter and loves to write and edit for the Dressember blog. And, why yes, she would love to have you over for a hot cup of tea, a puzzle, and good conversation.