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Posts Tagged ‘tradition’

This year’s ornament is a mini lobster trap to commemorate our amazing trip to the Maritimes this past summer.

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This is our 8th year doing this tradition and it’s always fun to unwrap all our “tradition” ornaments and giggle or oooh and aaah at the memories they bring back. 🙂

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I just realized that I hadn’t posted our traditional Xmas ornament pic from last year! Here it is – we did a lot of hiking last year and when we found this little guy, figured it was fitting. 🙂

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As we do every year, we purchase an ornament that reflects a key event that we really enjoyed in the past year, whether it’s a trip, activity, experience or interest, and hang it at the top of our tree. we’ve been doing this since 2008 and it’s fun to see all the past years’ ornaments on the tree (we have other traditional ornaments as well…or else the tree would be pretty bare lol). Our past ornaments include:

  • 2009: Mini washing machine (after we moved to Toronto, our washing machine door latch broke and we went without a machine for 40 days. we can laugh now but it was quite the ordeal at the time – worth remembering with a giggle when we see our ornament)
  • 2010: Wine bottle for our numerous winery tours and visits in Niagara on the Lake
  • 2011: A margarita glass with a little worm (named Alonzo) sunbathing in it for our Caribbean cruise
  • 2012: We went to Alaska in May and purchased a little mask ornament made with beaver and reindeer fur.
  • 2013: We went to Paris in the spring and loved every minute of it. We got a Paris-themed ornament made of metal showing landmarks that we visited.

Last February we went to Hawaii and had a great time so we picked up our annual ornament while we were there.

Meet our hula girl, Hana (named for the road to Hana scenic drive). Isn’t she lovely? 🙂

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I realized that I neglected to post what our annual ornament was this year. Since our trip to Paris was quite the highlight, we opted to find something that would remind us of that trip:

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It’s made of metal and has four popular Paris monuments on it including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the pyramid of the Louvre. It has red, white and blue beads dangling from it as well as the word Paris. 🙂

I also wanted to include an honorable mention for this adorable ornament received as a gift (thanks Olga!!) that now has a proud spot on our tree as well. I have named her Clarice (my reindeer counterpart). She is super cute and that looks a lot like cookie batter in her bowl. 🙂

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Every family has their own traditions, from when to open gifts (Christmas Eve at night or first thing Christmas morning) to what to serve as the holiday meal.

Growing up, turkey was the usual highlight, with tourtiere (meat pie), mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, cranberry sauce (whole berry, in a can thank you very much) and dessert, which was usually buche (french word for yule log) or a fruit pie. I remember having this meal at my grandmother’s house (mom’s side), and also at our house growing up. When I started hosting the holiday meal at my  own home, I stuck to the same formula. Christmas was usually turkey, New Year’s was usually ham. I made some minor tweaks (i.e. my carrots were topped with a maple/butter sauce, my desserts were something different every year). But the rest? Never mess with tradition. 🙂

This year, we’re visiting family for the holidays and after several years’ hiatus, I get to enjoy my mom’s Christmas meal this year! And I’m SO excited. 🙂

What do you serve for your holiday meal?

Is it the same as when you were growing up?

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When we were children, I remember gathering around my dad in the living room for the customary reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and the excitement we felt because it was such a big deal. We would gather around on the floor in front of the tree, lights a-sparkle. My dad sat on the couch with the book. The story must have taken just a few minutes but it was a memorable event. As kids, everything related to Christmas was magical. And the stories, whether in storybook form, the traditional cartoons or the more modern Christmas specials, all contributed to make the season wondrous and special.

A Visit from St. Nicholas (Twas the Night Before Christmas)

By Clement Clark Moore

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads:

And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,—

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

Gave a lustre of midday to objects below;

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled and shouted and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!

Now, dash away, dash away, dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So, up to the house-top the coursers, they flew,

With a sleigh full of toys, —and Saint Nicholas, too.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head and was turning around,

Down the chimney Saint Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly

That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, —a right jolly old elf—

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle;

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight:

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

THE END

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When we lived in Montreal, I used to host an annual “Christmas movie and cookie night”, which usually consisted of watching 2 holiday movies, dressed in our PJs and eating some yummy homemade cookies. All sitting in the glow of the Christmas tree lights. I miss that annual tradition.

Cookies just taste better at Christmastime.

Gingerbread men are brighter and just seem spicier.

Sugar cookies make a comeback with festive shapes and colors.

Old family favourites are displayed on holiday trays.

Oh and the best part: Christmas cookies don’t have any calories. It’s true. I swear. Santa told me.

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