In new years past I contemplated making a resolution, as is the cultural norm in my little part of the world. Each year I was struck with my short comings in using my personal resolve to change much of anything in my life. THIS year I continued my own tradition of being honest with myself and not making any personal promises. I realise I learn and grow more then I ever decide and change, and so I have embraced that.
All posts in Holiday Messages
Skating, tobogganing, family gathering around a turkey meal, gifts, laughs, sleep overs, board games, card games and so much more… all with a little flu mixed in.
Felt very clever this year. A day or two before December graced my calendar I did all the hard decorating and cleaning that comes with this holiday seasons arrival. Twinkling eyed children arrived home that day. I hadn’t warned them; it is always fun to gift your children a surprise, after all children treasure a good surprise far more then adults.
We have never pushed holiday celebration around here, but now our children are old enough to plan things. We have little choice but to let them spoil us on Mothers Day and Fathers Day.
Christmas came and went, as it always does, and although we have another family celebration later this week I feel like writing about the actual day and getting my blog looking back to normal.
Christmas Eve was spent laughing and sipping tea. We had our ‘Scottish tea’ with Pop and Grams (Garnet’s folks), Mirelle and her daughter. There was Scottish shortbread, cakes of ginger bread, chocolates and bree with crackers. We enjoyed real china tea cups and a large selection of tea to choose from. After the eating came the game playing and we had a rip roaring good time playing ‘extreme uno’. What a lark! We laughed and cheered and a few screamed! It ended pretty early, which was good since we had last minute preparation for the morning yet.
|(Tea time and cards anyone?)|
What a special year this was with my kids aunt and cousin sleeping over so they could be with us Christmas morning! I hope we can entertain loved ones like this again in the future.
I got up early and had my jog and by the time I got back the children where stirring. My sister and her girl came up the stairs and we worked together to get some cornflakes down the kids before they got into the gifts. Since we had worked so hard at making the stockings special this year I insisted they wake their Dad so he could enjoy them getting into the stockings too (usually we let them open them before breakfast or even before us parents are up). Each child (including my niece) got a hand made puppet. There was a pirate and a dragon, a princess and a king. It was very cute to see them get right at playing puppeteers. The oldest two got a new novel from their favorite series, signed with love from their Dad and I.
We work hard at only really getting them one gift so each gift opening was short and sweet. Everyone worked to help keep the unwrapping chaos pretty tidy and waited their turns politely. We laughed and talked and enjoyed a cozy morning.
Mirelle, my sister, then got busy making pancakes and I warmed up the ‘pigs in a blanket’ that I had prepared ahead of time. Whipped up a veggie frittatta and she brought out her mini quiches and a fresh fruit tray. In no time close family friends arrived with their two kids and their famous cinnamon french toast! We all dug into a fabulous Christmas brunch and long conversation over coffee once the meal was over.
A very tired three year old of mine went for nap soon after the brunch and my sister and I took the rest of the kids skating. With hardly any snow and plus 2 weather it was a perfect day to put on our skates and have our first turn around the rink this year.
|(Our crew, heading to the neighbourhood rink!)|
After Mirelle and my niece headed over to the inlaws for supper we all crashed here. After we came too we rushed over to see my side of the family. There was desserts and tea and family fun. My daughters and I performed the two carols we have been preparing as our gift to their grandparents and it went so well. My heart glows with so much pleasure when I do music with them. Too many treats had my oldest boy a little yellow around the gills so we struck out for home pretty early.
Good thing though, none of us lasted long after arriving home. Bed time wasn’t fought about, as would be usual around here. Even boxing day was really a nap fest as we all tried to recover from the holidays.
It was lovely. Nuff said:)
Christmas was a full day. We had all stretched our energy to the max by the time we where heading home from connecting with my side of the family that evening. We had just pulled away from my brothers home when my youngest piped up. “THE SUN IS GONE!” he spoke with earnest concern. We tried to ease his mind by explaining it would return come morning. He then asked who runs the sun. We explained God runs it, he he he. At that point my clever five year old daughter jumped into the conversation, “Hows he control it? With his hand or with a controller?” Between giggles we managed to share how he generally speaks things into being. He is that powerful that his very WORD makes something of nothing thus something happen. “I would like to control the sun,” she then added.
“And what would you do with it if you controlled it dear,” asked her Dad?
“Oh pretty much what God does with it,” she said matter of factly.
“If it works for him it must work of us I guess,” I chuckled in reply.
Indeed I am thankful for God’s control over it all. This is a broken world, but he knows that, lived through it when incarnate in Jesus Christ, and has and sees the very biggest of plans and reasons to it all. He holds the mysteries and we can only trust him as we haven’t his clarity on LIFE itself!
I have no idea where the kids little minds come up with this stuff but I know it all seems to fit in some way and this conversation really added to my Christmas.
Has been another day of cooking in the kitchen and yet, unlike so many previous years, I am happy there… prepping the ‘pigs in a blanket’ and the cake of ‘gingerbread’. We will have a house full of family tonight for our Christmas eve ‘Scottish Tea Party’. This is something we do every year with the kids and this year it just worked out that more people are coming.
Has been a day of making sure the house is nicely prepared for guests and so I have less to do tomorrow. New Christmas decorations (like the mitten garland) are up and the floors are sparkling. Fresh sheets are ready for the guest bed and clean towels. For the first time ever we are also having a sleep over on Christmas! My sister and her daughter will be with us since her man is away with work. The home will be all the cozier with extra loved ones to shower with generosity.
Has been a day of receiving early gifts! Our neighbors are always so kind, today was no different. They stopped in with WINE and CHOCOLATE for us! Later my mother arrived (the folks are staying at my big brothers) with my first lesson on my sowing machine AND a pretty box of sowing tools! Grand moments of generosity sent our way!
The anticipation is building and the kids are almost bursting with cheer and excitement. We had cornflakes for supper and it just added to their joy at how special holidays are!
I anticipate a lovely evening over tea and shortbread and then a reasonable early night so I can be ready for gifts, stockings and then a brunch with loved ones!
Thank GOD for holidays!
|(My sister and I, in two of my favourite and most faithful aprons! Working hard, but not too hard!)|
Christmas bake off day two 2011 was a big success! We got so much accomplished so quickly! We made many many cranberry tarts and fudge walnut tarts! I added extra dark chocolate to the fudge ones and MAN the samples we had where LOVELY!
Add my sisters daughter to the mix and we had an audience of up to five kids and a dog, when all in attendance. I so appreciate my kitchen at times like this. The open concept means the kids can literally hang around and easily see what is going on, without being under our feet. They have gotten very good, and fast, at pulling up chairs to get a spectator spot.
|(My youngest two kids hanging off the half wall of my kitchen. Eyes glued on what their Auntie is making, TARTS!)|
Before the afternoon was through Mirelle got the Dutch Almond Spice rolled out and filled with their soft sweet filling. Flaky pie crust filled with ground almond flavored with a little spice and lemon, sweetened with icing sugar. They come out so lovely and golden thanks to an egg glaze. )
|(Almond Spice log, ready for the oven)|
|(Fresh out of the oven! I feel like they could be such pretty little gifts if wrapped with a Christmas ribbon like a wreath is)|
We all had such a great day together. My playlist of favorite Christmas music on repeat; tea and coffee available to us at any time. A plate of lovely home made treats to refresh and fill us with energy (gifted to me JUST that morning by a good friend). We rolled up our sleeves, dawned our aprons and joyfully enjoyed one anothers company and conversation, while working in the kitchen! The kids played really good for us, so in no time we where able to head off to meet and greet the mall Santa.
I feel like Christmas baking should always be a group event. Good friends and loving family are a must!
Well, other then the fresh cakes of gingerbread, that I will prepare Christmas Eve for our tea, and the pancakes and pigs in a blanket for Christmas brunch (all of which really need to be made the day of to enjoy most), I am done my Christmas baking!
Back home we spent more time wrestling off and on the ride then sitting and looking around. It was one big brawl from start to finish. Mr Hillier only ever stopped the ponies if we fell so far behind that we couldn’t catch up, weighted down, as we where, by our snow gear. We laughed so hard and loved ever minute of it. I remember it was one of the first things I had to do with him, when Garnet and I where dating. My brothers took it upon themselves to immediately try to throw the city boy off. It took a lot of work, Garnet is a stubborn and big fellow. He was game right away though. I remember I got him worse then anyone else; he was hanging on by his hands at one point and I coyly unhinged his fingers till he rolled away, carrying my brother with him. My brother had been hanging on to Garnet’s foot trying to pull him off from that side. My boyfriend landed safely… on top of my brother… knocked the wind right out of him, it was all terribly funny!