Dec 17, 2012

This Christmas

Christmas. My favourite time of year.

                         My parents tree last year

Our tree was set up a month ago, (I needed my Christmas cheer early this year).
Numerous Christmas movies have been watched, (including my first time watching Elf- loved it!). 
I've already done most of my shopping- a first.
There have been a few setbacks, including illness, but I'm feeling pretty good about this Christmas season.
If only we could get some decent snow...

Unlike some years previous, I am very happy to be spending my Christmas vacation at home this time around. Our first Christmas in this apartment we went to New York for the week, which was amazing. Last year we were home, but out a lot. This year there aren't any big plans, other than the usual Christmas Eve and Christmas day celebrations with our families, and that's just fine!

With my energy levels so low since I got sick (details for another time, I think), being home seems perfect. Ben and I are also planning on getting a kitten as our present to each other this year (to join our cat Jewel, and Gilmore the turtle), and so of course I want to be home snuggling the new addition as much as possible too. I will post pictures once we've brought her home- and named her.

Ben only has to work two days Christmas week, so he'll be home with me a lot too! Christmas night it's just going to be the two of us. We're usually at a family dinner, but that was switched to Boxing Day, so now we have plans to make a special dinner together, enjoy some chocolate fondue, craft (his idea!), and watch a Christmas movie. I am beyond excited!

As always, I am just feeling so lucky to be able to spend Christmas with my dear friends and family. We spent this past weekend in Kingston visiting our dear friends Morgan and Dan and their kiddos for our pre-planned mini Christmas celebration. I especially enjoyed  the night we kicked the men out to see a movie, and Morgan and I watched Christmas movies in our pyjamas with snacks and a glass of wine. That's an ideal night for me, all it was missing is a crackling fire in the fireplace. Oh how I miss having a fireplace...
Point being, spending time with our good friends is just what we need right now.

Next weekend is pretty busy... in a good way. Friday is my Mom's birthday, and so that night we will celebrate her with Christmas movies, presents, s'mores and cake! Saturday it's off to my friend Jess' place with my other friend Brittany, where we will partake in our second annual Christmas baking day. Instead of presents last year we decided to spend a day together baking goodies, then exchange the recipes. It was a hit, and so the tradition continues. Sunday will be a mandatory relaxation day, combined with any last minute Christmas preparations.

One thing I'm missing this year is our usual trip to a Christmas tree farm to pick out my parents' tree. My parents went and did it early this year without us, since our schedules are more difficult to coordinate now that we're older, sad! I'm honestly tempted to beg Ben to take me to a farm anyway, even if we just look around and enjoy the hot chocolate, it's a much loved tradition for me.
I have such vivid memories of almost all of our trips there- fresh snow crunching under our feet, the wonderful smell of pine everywhere, the shrieks and giggles coming from all the excited children running around, the pain the came from our toes eventually freezing, and the soothing warmth the warm fire and hot chocolate rewarded us with at the end. It was never an easy task, choosing our tree- when you have five opinionated members of your family, it's tough to agree! We always found a good one in the end, and after driving it home there would be Christmas music playing, egg nog poured in small glasses, Christmas cookies served, and we would all decorate the tree together. Wow, I'm getting really sentimental about this. I need to remedy my longing for that trip stat! Followed by a night time drive to see the Christmas lights:)

That's all for now, I'm off to do a Christmas craft...

* I wrote this post last Thursday, and didn't get around to posting it. I wrote it before that awful tragedy struck Newtown, Connecticut. When I first heard the news I'll admit I was glued to my phone, constantly hitting the refresh button on the "live update" page so that I could find out more. I eventually had to stop myself, because it was too much. I cannot even comprehend how something like this could happen. All I can think about are those poor families who are now facing life without their loved one. Of empty beds and unopened presents under the Christmas tree. My heart broke for them on Friday. For those poor scared children. I continue to pray that those families will be surrounded by love, kindness and as much comfort as one can provide them in the coming weeks/months/years. I pray that they know that their children will not be forgotten, at least not by me.

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