There is no Christmas
Like a home Christmas
For that’s the time of year
All roads lead home!
Christmas is fast approaching. If you’re one of those people counting down you already know that there are only 12 days to go. And as we grow nearer and nearer to the holidays, I find myself thinking more and more about home. When I moved out West almost four years ago now, I knew that I would be leaving behind my home town, my family and my closest friends. It was a hard decision to make, but life had a whole new adventure waiting for me in the West. It lead me to where I know I am supposed to be in life. I met the man who I intend to spend the rest of my life exploring with. We are building our little dream farm together. And one day I plan on having a little family of my own. We have created a home here together, full of love and plans for the future.
But every year as Christmas creeps up on us, I cant help but think of my first home, in Ontario with Mom and Dad and my brother. The way Mom always had the most gorgeous Christmas decorations around the house, her greenery out front on the veranda and of course the tree. The bits and bites cooking in the oven, making cherry cheesecake together because it was and always will be my favourite dessert. Dad going out early in the mornings to check the roads, perhaps having to wait to open gifts until he got back from plowing. Our traditional Christmas movies: A Christmas Story, National Lampoons and of course the old school Grinch cartoon.
January will mark one year since I have been back to Ontario. And this year has brought with it a lot of change. We said goodbye to Grandpa this year and to my sweet little pup Emma Jean. My heart breaks to know I wasn’t there to be with family in these times. I know this will be a hard Christmas for my Grandma, but that she is such a strong woman with a strong family by her side and that they will make it through. I also know Christmas will be a little different this year without Emma nosing through all the gift wrap and tissue. Coming home the first time and not having her to greet me at the door will be the hardest part.
I’m not the best “Christmas” person. I think that Christmas has lost its true meaning. That it’s become a huge market for consumers and producers; commercialized past the point of return. It’s all about the gifts and glam and money. When it should be about family, time and memories.
Dan and I do a good job here of keeping traditions strong to keep our, or should I say my, spirits bright. Each year we host a Christmas party for friends and family. We have a huge dinner, of turkey and ham (which this year was from one of our very own pigs raised here on the farm). There is drinks to be had, fun games to be played and a gift exchange to end the night. The house is always full and bustling and to us that’s what the holidays are about. Getting together and catching up with everyone.
This year we also went out back and cut down our own Christmas tree from a tree grown here on our land. We took our old trusted farm truck Randy out back, found the perfect tree, cut it down and hauled it back home. We had to take about three more feet off the length to get it to fit in the house, but it came with a good laugh. Once inside, I will admit, it a looked a little sad at first. If one is used to store trees or fake trees, this one we chose was not uniform or full in any way. But once the lights were up and the decorations on, it become the most beautiful tree you ever did see. It has character, and that farmhouse look and feel. It couldn’t be a more perfect tree; covered in home made decorations, decorations collected through out the years and even decorations from childhood.
This year we tried our hand at making home made eggnog from farm fresh eggs from the chickens. It was quite yummy, topped off with a little whipped cream and nutmeg. How could it not be when it was made with bourbon and real maple syrup?! It’s perfect for curled up by the wood stove knitting or reading.
Another way Dan and I make Christmas special is by putting together our handmade gifts baskets for Christmas gifts. They contain samples of the canning and preservatives we made in the fall from the garden, bottles of our home made wine and this year the mead we made, as well as home made laundry soap, hand knit dishcloths and tins of bits and bites that I made from scratch. Some of the best gifts are home made, hand made and straight from the heart.
With this man by my side, I am making it through the holidays. In my new home, that I’m making complete with my man by my side. We will get back to visit my parents in the new year, and it will give us something to look forward to.
This will likely be the last post until the new year as we get busy with Christmas plans, dinners and travelling around the province. May you all have a very Merry Christmas. May you be surrounded by friends , family and loved ones. And may you not forget the true magic behind the holiday season.