merry christmas, friends!

christmas-love

Our Christmas has been somewhat unusual this year, not least because we celebrated on December 23. Number One and her fella flew to LA yesterday to share Christmas with his family, but before they did, we cooked and shared the most stress-free holiday dinner I’ve ever experienced. As someone who’s cooked nearly a bajillion of them (give or take!) for my large army, believe me when I say: this one was smoooooth. And exquisitely delish. The rest of my flock and I will gather at my brother’s farmhouse tomorrow for another feast with extended family. So much eating and even more to be thankful for!

Toronto was deeply affected by an ice storm three days ago, with power outages continuing across the city. Sadly, it’s been a cold, dark Christmas for a tremendous number of people. This morning I looked into volunteering with the Red Cross at one of the many warming stations which have been set-up. Unfortunately, you must be trained by their organization to volunteer with them; something I will undertake when I move back to Toronto next year. We are so very fortunate to have heat, electricity and hot food, which has made not only Christmas, but house-sitting for Number One a comfortable thought.

After breakfast, I talked to my boys about hightailing their strong bods outside to shovel snow. Shortly after, I heard the sound of someone busily clearing the sidewalk in front of the house. When I looked out the window, a neighbour was clearing the path leading to the steps, and from there he moved on to other houses. When Number Two ventured outside to shovel snow from the porch and steps, I noticed that when he finished he went to the neighbour’s house as well. Good deeds are infectious.

Before arriving in Toronto, I finally managed to get some baking done! Woo hoo, indeed, as I was playing beat the clock on that one. The low down: lemon squares, brownies (with a glug of Bailey’s) and best-ever gingerbread and sugar cookie doughs were mixed, rolled and cut. Much dipping in white chocolate and adornment ensued …

I have more baking to do this evening to take with us on Boxing Day. It feels extravagant to say that when I’m finished, I’ll be curling up with two cats, a blanket and a drink to have a movie-fest. But with gratitude at the fore, I aim to enjoy it. The snow is gently blowing, the kids have all dispersed to family and friends, and it’s a quiet, peaceful Christmas day.

I hope your holiday celebrations are filled with joy, and that the kind gestures bestowed upon you find their way to those you love, and those who cross your path!

baking comfort and joy

cookie-dough-stars

jam-filled-sugar-cookies

gingerbread-moose-dough

pinwheel-cookie-dough

boxed-christmas-treats

christmas-squares

christmas-cookies

christmas-cookie-platter

origami-christmas-decoration

pinecone-christmas-decoration

beaded-star-decoration

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photos by: bliss {in images}

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