It's Christmas Eve and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
As every year, we will be hosting our family Christmas Dinner at our house. It became a tradition in 2011, when we moved to the current house we live in.
We love to take pictures of our kids and their cousins in their best outfit by the Christmas Tree and see how much they have grown every year. We went from feeding the babies first, then moving them all five together into a small picnic table to share the table with them...It is unbelievable how eight years go by so fast!
My Christmas table setting has also evolved a lot throughout the years...the live centerpiece with candles disappeared quickly as there wasn't enough room for all the food we prepared and the wine bottles we shared. The candles in the middle of the table were the next to disappear as the men were burning their arm's hair passing the gravy across the table. Individual gorgeous bamboo place mats I bough in Montreal on top of my white and gold Italian grandma's table cloths are all gone too...The bamboo place mats were an uneven surface for the wine glasses that were unavoidably spilling on my grandma's white table cloth, leaving large red wine stains!!
So I am practical now...No more, centerpieces, no more candles, nor fancy place mats and table cloths. I moved on to a red table cloth from the Real Canadian Superstore that washes like a charm and doesn't need no ironing, (that's gone too!!).
However, practicality doesn't necessarily mean giving up your tasteful Christmas decorations and Christmas table. I simply moved my candles and centerpiece where we gather for pre-drinks and appetizers. For the table, I find that just the right napkins can dress it up! In addition to that, I started adding Christmas crackers on every plate. They are really decorative and the kids love them. They too became a Christmas tradition for us!
But the best part of our family Christmas Eve is the time we spend together, away from the dinner table. Our house faces a pond that freezes every year in December, (we live in the heart of Canada). Some of the dads in the neighborhood clear the pond from the snow and place hockey nets so that all the kids that live in the area can play hockey, (we live in the heart of Canada, don't you forget, and hockey is a staple for every good Canadian!), or simply skate on it! Every year, before we start our Christmas dinner, our family gathers on the ice to shoot the puck and have some fun together!
After dinner we open the kids presents, (as adults we decided a few years ago we didn't need to exchange presents). This is an absolute ballistic time of the evening. I am sure you have seen it at your house too. Kids go crazy opening presents. Wrapping paper and tissue flies everywhere and everyone screams...Dads are lined up with recycle bags to throw in wrapping paper and boxes and grandma is frantically trying to save tissue and wrapping paper for the next Christmas by patiently petting the paper and folding it...I don't even try taking pictures of every present the kids open anymore...I just sit and watch...
Every year is a great new life time memory.
What will make this Christmas different for our family will be the presence of friends and Rufus the Westie, the new addition to our family!
What are your plans for the holidays this year? What makes this Christmas special for you and your family?
Whatever the answer may be, I wish you all a wonderful time with your loved ones...