Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Today is Boxing Day - the quiet day of the holidays.  My plans for the day include eating leftovers and Christmas goodies, reading magazines, and perhaps even watching a movie.  It's definitely a lounge day for me.  Christmas was a lot of fun, but is also a lot of hustle and bustle so it is nice to take time to relax afterward.

Here's a little Christmas recap.

Every year on Christmas Eve day we do something together as a family.  Usually we go to the museum or art gallery or science centre, but we felt like we had already been to all those places fairly recently so we had to think of something new and different to do.  So this year we went to Chinatown in Toronto for a visit.  

To make it a special outing I thought we should put a little Christmas spin on it by doing a gift exchange.  Everyone was given $20 and had to buy a present for everyone else in the family (including Malcolm and Christie who weren't with us this Christmas because it was their turn to be with Christie's family - boo hoo).   

We went in pairs and spent an hour poking around the little shops in Chinatown looking for just the right treasure for each person.  Then we met up and went for some lunch at a Chinese restaurant and exchanged presents.  

Gifts ranged from the funny to the frivolous.  You better believe that one of these little bouncy toys will be going to Halifax with Kate after Christmas.

And someone I know will be kept busy with this highly entertaining chicken feeding game.

And then there is the strange fruit that William got for me.  Not only is it heavy and painful to hold with all the spikes, but the waitress at the restaurant told us it stinks when you open it.  I forget what the fruit is called, but I'll let you know what we think when we taste it along with the other unusual fruit I was given.

We were home in time for me to take my time setting the table and snapping some photos.  I love that moment of quiet before the hubbub of dinner and church.

We used our new tablecloth that I bought when I was in Bangladesh this past summer.   It's more pink and orange than a true red, but the colours are so vibrant and so close to red that it all seems to mix together well.  

I even had time to get a shot with some Christmas bokeh before the daylight was gone.

We finally got to taste the tourtiere that I made with my friend Kim (you can find the recipe here).  It was delicious - just the right amount of seasoning.  I will definitely have to start a new tradition of making my own tourtiere every year.  

After dinner we lit the candles in the living room so we could cozy up and read our favourite Christmas stories aloud to each other and enjoy a slice of yule log.

This was probably the wonkiest yule log I have made.  I think I even rolled it the wrong way as it was almost too long for the platter. Fortunately by the time I dusted it with "snow" and put the plastic axe in it and dimmed the lights nobody noticed or cared that it had been a nuisance to ice and really was a botch job.

Christmas day starts much later now that the kids are older.  My parents and my sister joined us Christmas morning and we opened stockings and presents starting at about 9:30.  

Afterward we had a festive lunch.  The table was loaded with meats and cheeses and fancy breads and decorated with Christmas crackers and the two new salt-and-pepper shakers I was given by hubby.  

Christmas dinner was at my Aunt and Uncle's home in Toronto, but I didn't take a camera so there are no photos this year.  

I hope you had a lovely Christmas.  Are you putting your feet up today or do you have family parties still to attend?


  1. Lovely photos! We took a school trip to Chinatown years ago and I still remember all the bright colours. We are in clean up and relaxing mode for now, but we hope to start some work on a mini bathroom makeover later today. All the best!

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday. I love the shopping trip to Chinatown, and I can't wait to hear about the stinky fruit. Your pictures are wonderful, and I love your new tablecloth that will forever remind you of your trip last summer. After a hectic few weeks we are taking life very slowly today and will likely even take a nap!

    Kat :)

  3. What a great idea for Chinatown. I am spending the day juicing pomegranates and then making some jelly. Happy New Year.

  4. Sounds like a holiday full of food, family and fun. I love the little s & p's you got from your husband. I haven't accomplished much of anything today. I spent some time picking up and putting away after my kids left. It's very quiet here now. I have mixed emotions about that. I love the peace but I so miss my children. Anyway, Happy New Year...and best wishes for 2012.

  5. Grace, you are such an inspiration! Your photos make me feel like I am right there, and your text is so warm and welcoming. All the best for 2012!

  6. Hi Grace,
    I've been reading your posts for a couple of months now and I really enjoy them. So glad that your family had a good Christmas. I just wanted to comment on the Stinky Fruit - it is called Durian! You can read more about it here
    It's a very popular fruit in South East Asia. But please don't eat too much - it may not go well with your tummies :):)