We are a tradition-laden family which makes Christmas seem all the more lovely as we make our way through familiar customs and routines that tie one year to the next. Festivities start on the 24th when most years we go to the Art Gallery of Ontario or Royal Ontario Museum or Science Centre as a family. This year we went to the Royal Ontario Museum because we wanted to see the special exhibit of the Terracotta Warriors from China.
The amazing thing about going to the ROM before Christmas is how few people are there. We have the place to ourselves and love it.
There was a Christmas tree in the foyer of the museum decorated with a Chinese theme in honour of the terracotta warriors.
After we had a good look around we headed home to enjoy our Christmas Eve dinner which consisted of tourtiere and salads. I took a little extra time to set the table with our nicest dishes and some sparkly silver and lots of candles
and the napkin rings my parents brought us back from Russia (each hand-painted with a different winter scene)
and the sweet little nutcrackers a student gave me this Christmas.
Then we went to church for the Christmas eve service. I have to admit all the good food and wine left me feeling drowsy in church - but it will be our little secret, okay?
After church we had our yule log. I'll tell you our disaster-to-delicious story in another post.
We lit candles and sat in the living room to read aloud our favourite Christmas stories. Even Juno joined us.
On Christmas morning I took the obligatory photo of the kiddies with their stockings in front of the tree (two of them were even willing to have their photos on the blog - thanks guys - I really do know you aren't kiddies any more).
Following a few hours of chaos with presents and wrappings everywhere, we ate Christmas lunch.
We always have Christmas crackers which means telling silly jokes and wearing silly hats during lunch.
After a bit of a rest we go to Christmas dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's house in Toronto. The extended family comes from all over to join in on the fun and everyone brings a part of the dinner. We numbered over 30 this year. My sister from Kentucky was up visiting over Christmas and we had a baking day which meant I had a good selection of cookies and squares to take to dinner.
My Mom brought the Christmas pudding that Kate and I helped make a few weeks ago (you can read about it here).
My Aunt always adds brandy to the top and lights it on fire. It's all very exciting and for some people is the best thing about Christmas pudding.
My Uncle is a magician (and a lawyer by day) and he puts on a show for us every year, after which we have a gift exchange.
Then we took our tired, but happy, bodies home to bed.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Even though I wasn't on the computer much I was thinking about my bloggy friends enjoying Christmas in far flung places from Australia to Texas to France to British Columbia to Maryland to the prairies and even right here in Ontario.
Linked to Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life