There truly is no place like home for the holidays and Christmas is my most favourite! Yes, I love the baking and even more the eating, but the decorations make it sparkle, the gift giving make it magical for the children and most importantly family focuses on family.
In early December we begin preparing for the big day as we decorate each room, and trim the tree with lights. The baking I mentioned before also takes place during this lead up time. Shortbread cookies, French vanilla fudge, butter tarts and other tasty bars. I’m salivating just thinking about it. dab dab… Ok the drool has been mopped up.
When Christmas Eve finally arrives a smorgasbord of all sorts of food is spread out across the kitchen, hot spinach dip, honey garlic meat balls, cheese tray with crackers, nuts and fruit. It is an endless assortment of goodies. I know. You’re starting to think that all Christmas is to Canadians is a marathon of eating. And truth be told it really is. But on this glorious night we celebrate with friends and family dropping in and out as the evening progresses.
After our munch down we grab a glass of Christmas punch, or two, or three and we may go for a horse-drawn sleigh ride, play some board games, sing songs and if children are present we listen to NORAD’s reporting of where Santa is being tracked across the Canadian countryside. Once all the kids are tucked into bed with visions of sugar plums dancing in their head, then us adults may have a wee bit more punch. Before we retire for the night we lay the gifts out for the next morning’s reveal.
Christmas morning has always been very early for us. Not because of me either I might add. Anything before 8:00 am and I need some serious coffee and a possible butter tart to get me arse into gear (yes I said it that way on purpose). Once awake, I play the elf in my house, handing out a gift to one person at a time, allowing us all to see what the ol’ boy Santa brought them.
After the gift giving marathon we sit down to brunch of oven baked french toast, pea meal bacon (Canadian bacon), sausage and omelette. Mmmmm. And once we’re done eating, well then its time to begin prepping the turkey for the oven and preparing the table and vegetables for dinner. Now that I write this, holy crap all we do is eat! Ok that may be a family thing more than a Canadian thing.
The afternoon is quiet while we spend time looking over our new stuff, playing additional games or watching a Christmas movie. Weather permitting (so basically not a blizzard) we may even go for a walk.
Christmas dinner is a formal event. A sit down dinner in the dining room, we use the good China, decorate the table beautifully. I basically go all Martha Stewart for this meal. Once grace has been said everyone attacks the food! Mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, roasted root veggies, turkey – I can’t say there is much talking during the first half of the meal. But once we’re stuffed we sit and linger, chatting and enjoying the moment and maybe some wine (or tea if we’re hungover from the punch).
Once we’re sleepy from all the turkey we retire for the evening in front of the fire. And as the night draws to a close, Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good night.
~True North Nomad
Have a very different way of celebrating Christmas? Tell us in the comments below.
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