December was a little strange this year. We had our friend-based gathering on the first, which meant a flurry of Christmas-y activity at the tail end of November (which I am totally blaming for my lack of ‘wrimo victory). And then… a strange lull, during which I procrastinated shamefully on getting our cards mailed out, and doing any extra decorating, and getting more gift bags sewn up for present wrapping… and then, before I knew it, Solstice was upon us!
…with an enormous gift of snow! I’d say that I celebrated the day with a fire but… that’s pretty much every day lately. And besides, we weren’t home, since we were busy celebrating a birthday!
Our neighbour stopped in to present The Smelly with his very own Christmas gift (are we bad owners that we don’t give him any?) — a squeaky rubber pirate chicken. He has yet to to leave it far from his snout since.
After that, we headed north, to spend the holidays with The Boy’s family! We spent Christmas Eve in Kapuskasing, where a chaos of boys and dogs made for a small whirlwind of wrapping paper…
Among all the happy exclamations and joyous unravelling, I was very pleased to see quite a few hand-made items! A cowl (sassily modelled by the recipient’s husband), “un pillow!” (as a happy nephew exclaimed when he unboxed it), a hand-woven necklace. Hurray for handmades!
The following day — after Christmas morning monkey bread, of course — we headed south to Timmins, for a girlier affair… that featured no less wrapping paper! It was fun to meet new-to-me extended family (my in-laws-in-law?); a wonderful reminder that we’re all woven together, especially at Christmastime!
Casper, the fluffiest, best-behaved little Pom I’ve ever met, stole the show for most of the night, although the kids did vie for center stage. The Boy and I alternated taking pictures of the goings-on and cramming ourselves full of food (there was so much!). I know those little strawberry santas have probably been all over Pinterest or whatever, but this was the first I saw of them. So cute! (So delicious!)
A tradition carried out: the “14 years old at Christmas” first peach schnapps with mom and daughter! Also: matching bracelets (for both The Boy’s sisters, and me) from The Boy’s parents — so sparkly!!
The Boy gives the gift of a tired out puppy, and his niece pioneers a cross between yoga and Twister.
One thing I forgot to take a picture of is the ornament The Boy’s parents got us, which is wonderful — especially given the somewhat sparse state of our tree. (I’m picky about ornaments, so we’ve been quite slow to accumulate them.) The ornament has our family name, and little stockings for each of The Boy and me, as well as our various furry family members. So cute!
I’ve propped it up in our living room for now (since the tree is in the basement), but next year, with the tree in the front room where it belongs, that ornament will be hanging front and centre.
After a couple more days of relaxing up north (less snow than here!) and finally making some progress on my grandmother’s gift cowl, we headed home… through a giant blizzard!
Happily, The Boy has nerves of steel and got us home safely and with very little delay. A goodly amount of snow clearing and wood piling later, and we were settled back home with two very relieved cats and a dog up to his ears in snow in the front yard.
This Christmas was wonderful: busy and sparkling with people and laughter, but blissfully stress-free and relaxed. Hope you all had a similarly wonderful holiday with your families!