Monday, January 1, 2018

A Few Christmas Scenes

Well, Christmas has come and gone. It always feels like the work will never be done but then the day arrives and after that it's time to pack it all away for another year.

The baking all got done and I even got the Christmas Dinner table set on Saturday night before Christmas Eve.

We were invited to friends' for Christmas Eve lunch and it was such a treat: lightly falling snow outside, seeing our friend's brand new home, eating on Friendly Village china (a shared love), enjoying good fellowship. It was a gift!

The dessert table...yum, yum!

There was time for Laura's weekly Sunday afternoon tea, which felt even more festive being Christmas Eve.

The living room was ready for Christmas morning!

After church we had our family pow-wow but it included extra special food treats: Portuguese cheese puffs sent from down the street, crispy chicken, pears, apples, fancy cheeses and nuts sent from another friend.

I had my red shoes on -- a little gift from my mom.

And then it was Christmas! And a white Christmas at that! The kids get up around 8 to do their stockings and by the time breakfast is ready it ends up being 10 am for present-opening. We started with the Queen's speech which made me almost teary-eyed this year. One never knows when it will be her last speech and she is a huge role model for me personally. We read Luke 2 and then came the presents.

Traditional morning food:

Laura looked super cheery in her new scarf!!!

My mom arrived and joined the fun as Michael handed out what was under the tree.

The older boys were pretty excited about their warms scarves and soccer balls.

There was an hour to sit and enjoy some hot tea and bask in the glow of the holiday before guests began to arrive. We had friends from church and three new friends we had never met -- international students from downtown. It was so fun to get to know them and learn about their countries of origin (India and Sri Lanka). Several people played games, there were meat pies, cheeseballs, spiced olives, and hot cider to enjoy as well.

Part way through the afternoon I started in on Christmas dinner with help from several of our guests. One guest even made an impromptu pan of Indian chicken which was SO good. Around about 6:30 it was time to eat!

We had chicken with leek sauce, ham, potatoes a la Nigel Slater, colored carrots, Sri Lankan potato and fish balls, asparagus, rolls, roasted butternut squash, mashed cauliflower, and a fancy jello I was trying out for something else.

We had fun introducing our guests to British Christmas crackers with the crowns and jokes inside.

Then we congregated in the living room for another first for most: a White Elephant game. Plenty of fun and laughter.

We ended the evening by bringing in the flaming Christmas pudding with the lights dimmed and everyone singing, "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." It was so much fun!

And now today we've packed Christmas away and just this hour divided up the last mince pies: two per person. School begins tomorrow, my Paint Your Cake and Eat It Too class begins tomorrow, and Rachel leaves for Spain on Wednesday. 

A very Happy New Year to you all! May God bless you in this year ahead.