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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

There are a few variations of this one but I like this one best. 🙂

Twas the Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurting– even the mouse.

The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor,
While upstairs the family continued to snore.

And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should arrive,
But a little red truck, with an unwanted prize.

The driver was smiling, so lively, like most;
The patch on his jacket said “CANADA POST.”

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox
Then quickly he stuffed them into my mailbox.

Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:

“Now Dillard’s, now Moores, now Levi’s and Sears
Here’s Zellers and Costco and the Bay—They’re all here!!

To the tip of your limit, every store, every mall.
Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.

He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,
“ENJOY WHAT YOU GOT … YOU’LL BE PAYING ALL YEAR!”

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Christmas makes me thirsty. As do many other things…like Christmas shopping, caroling and Tuesdays. 🙂

I like to enjoy a festive cocktail especially during the holidays when happiness and excitement are in the air, everyone is in a god mood and revelry is rampant. Good times!

I came across this post and found so many recipes I wanted to try all in one spot that I wanted to share it with all of you! Look at these White Christmas Mojitos…

And Cranberry Margaritas? Yes please!!

And who can say “Jingle Juice” without smiling? No one. I dare you.

Check this link out from our good friends at Country Living to discover some fun new cocktails to try for yourself this holiday season: 30 Easy Christmas Cocktails – Best Recipes for Christmas Alcoholic Drinks

Cheers!!

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We each have our favorite Christmas songs. You know the ones. The song that reminds you of a special someone. Or a funny memory that makes you giggle each time you hear it on the radio. Or the song the whole family knows all the words to. Or the one from your favorite holiday movie that never fails to warm your heart. Or the song that fills you with Christmas spirit in the early days of December. Or the one that makes you wistful for simpler days and an old-fashioned Christmastime.

I’m feeling warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. 🙂 Even if the same song is done by different artists, there’s usually one version that speaks to you more than the others.

See below for my favorite Christmas songs; they have a permanent spot of my Xmas playlist. It was very very difficult to keep it to 20. In fact, my title started out as a top ten list…lol

  1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  2. Silver Bells – Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney
  3. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley
  4. Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives
  5. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
  6. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby a helms
  7. O Holy Night – Celine Dion
  8. All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
  9. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
  10. Carol of the Bells – Mykola Dmytroych Leontovych, Peter J. Wilhousky, John Williams (Home Alone)
  11. Sleigh Ride – Phil Spector
  12. Jingle Bells – Michael Buble
  13. Do You Hear What I Hear – Whitney Houston
  14. Pentatonix the whole album: PTXmas
  15. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
  16. Baby it’s Cold Outside – Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton
  17. Santa Baby – Madonna
  18. The Nutcracker Suite – The Brian Setzer Orchestra
  19. The 12 Days of Christmas – Straight No Chaser
  20. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Mariah Carey

I’ve created a playlist on Spotify including the songs above plus many more:

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/22qpxvtyeazyyq6hxaks7elmi/playlist/28bH9xmEhoShpYYE9ZNNX4

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That really should say my recipe, my mom’s recipe, my grandmother’s recipe and further back even… Over the years and generations, we each probably tweaked it a bit to our liking but it’s the recipe that’s stayed in the family and one person in each generation carries the torch to cook the bird every year. For my generation, that person is me. 🙂

Early on, I’d say about 10 years old or so, my interest in cooking started. I’d hang out in the kitchen observing others prepare meals, helping with small tasks and enjoy watching how separate ingredients would be magically transformed into delicious dishes that people oohed and aahed over. The creative outlet and the chance to make family happy (and friends, later) were the hook for me. It’s been a lifelong passion ever since.

I’ve made this turkey every year for at least 17 years now. I’ve typically been the dinner host for family gatherings and even since my husband and I moved to Toronto from Montreal in 2008, we still end up with family visiting. I’d like to think they come to see me but secretly suspect it’s the turkey that draws them near. Or at least the craving for the continuity of family traditions. I look forward to the day that I’ll pass the recipe on to one of my nieces; Sienna seems more interested in cooking than Maddie but you never know. Luckily, I’ve got several more turkeys in me yet. 🙂

Roasted Turkey

Ingredients:

1 frozen turkey (I always get a Butterball and I let it defrost in the fridge anywhere from 3-5 days prior, depending on the size)

1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered

2 lemons, quartered lengthwise

Fresh thyme, a bunch (about 3-4 springs)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (in the microwave) – I don’t always use it all

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325F and get your roasting pan and meat thermometer ready. Make sure you adjust your oven racks too and your sink is empty and clean and so are your hands. Take the turkey out of the fridge, remove the wrapper and rinse out the turkey in the sink, remove the neck and giblets from the cavity, pat dry and place it in the roasting pan. (Warning: This is probably the least graceful prep exercise of anything you’ll ever cook, so best to do it with as few witnesses as possible. I usually get up at 6am to do it since we have a holiday lunch instead of a dinner. The only witness was usually the cat but even he looked at me with disdain during this part).

Next comes the fun part. Slather the softened butter all over the turkey; I use my hands. So fun. Next (after washing your hands of course), add the onion, lemon and fresh thyme to the cavity. Add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper in there too. Sprinkle the outside of the turkey with salt, pepper and dried thyme. Stick the meat thermometer in (I put it between the leg and the body because that’s usually the last spot to cook through), cover the pan/turkey with foil and pop it into the oven. Try not to throw your back out when doing this step. 🙂

Cooking times vary depending on size and whether the bird is stuffed or not. I usually get a 16-20 lb turkey and at 325F it usually cooks for about 4 hours. I rely on the meat thermometer to gauge when to start the side dishes which usually take about 2 hours start to finish, some started the day before to keep the oven free for turkey morning. See Butterball’s handy turkey calculator here which includes how much turkey to buy, how long to defrost it and how long to cook it.

Once there’s about an hour left, I remove the foil and baste if I’m so inclined. Since I usually carve in the kitchen and place turkey slices on a platter for the table (also make sure it’s all cooked through – no one wants a raw poultry surprise), there’s no pressure of the perfect looking bird. You can do so if you like.

That’s it! It’s the easiest thing to roast in my opinion and the most bang for your buck for the little effort that goes into it. The recipe above always results in a juicy and delicious turkey (if I do say so myself) and a house that smells amazing. The side dishes complement the turkey but the bird is the star of the show! My mom used to return the turkey slices/pieces to the pan and let them simmer in their juices while she finished the side dishes. I never found the patience to do that – once it’s ready I want to eat it now!!

Some pics of the holiday table over the years, some for a small gathering, some for a crowd:

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One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is to hunker down with a blanket and some popcorn and watch a Christmas movie. I look forward to my favourites every year. Some are sentimental, some are modern and some are downright hysterical. Depending on the mood you’re in (or trying to get out of), there is a holiday movie out there for you! I left the traditional classics off the list (e.g. It’s a Wonderful Life) because I find that I can’t watch them every year; they’re better with a couple years rest in between viewings, for me anyway.

Here’s my top ten:

  1. Home Alone
  2. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  3. The Ref
  4. Love Actually
  5. Elf
  6. Polar Express
  7. Bridget Jones’ Diary
  8. Four Christmasses
  9. The Family Stone
  10. The Harry Potter series

You may find the last one an unusual choice. It has an element of Christmas in every movie, and I enjoy a Xmas to New Year marathon so it’s become a bit of a tradition. 🙂 

The Home Alones and Love Actually are what I consider “new classics”. 

Elf and Polar Express are great holiday spirit films that will make believers out of the bah-humbuggiest out there.

If you need some laughs at this time of year, look no further then The Ref (hilarious, sharp funny writing), Four Christmasses (your dysfunctional family has got nothing on Reese and Vince’s), The Family Stone (laugh out loud) and Bridget Jones (laugh at her and with her).

I’m sure everyone has their own set of favorites and go-to Christmas movies. I’d love to hear what yours are so I can add to my list!

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Ever since we were little girls, my mom would bring my sister and I to see the Nutcracker. We felt so grown up, dressing fancy to go to the ballet in Montreal to see Les Grands Ballets dance the magical ballet The Nutcracker.

Tchaikovsky’s music is a mainstay in our home during the holidays. I can’t even count the number of times we’ve been to see it. from the opening party scene, to the troublemaking mice, to Clara and her Nutcracker, to the Sugar Plum Fairy, the dances from the various countries, to the amazing pas de deux – every part gives me goosebumps.

Here’s a snippet of one of my favorite scenes at the end of Act 1 – because it snows!!! Magic.

And if you’re so inclined, feel free to escape into Clara’s dreamland and listen to the whole thing (audio only):

 

 

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Hallmark is renowned for their made-for-TV Christmas movies. They are, admittedly, a bit predictable but they all encourage the spirit of the holidays, have happy endings and include all the fun Christmas activities we expect, love and secretly (or openly) want to partake in. Personally, I watch a ton of them in the weeks leading up to the big day.

But this year, we have something extra. I was unable to locate the source of this GENIUS creation but whoever came up with it deserves an award.

See below for the Hallmark Movie Drinking Game:


It’s so accurate, I laughed so hard and couldn’t wait to play! All in the spirit of sharing warm and fuzzy moments with my fellow movie watchers of course. And possibly increasingly blurry moments. At least if you do it right. 🙂 

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