Hidey ho ho ho folks,I hope this Yuletide season has treated you well.This Christmas was packed full of fun and friends for me.
It started with the annual Wreck Beach Preservation Society Christmas Dance held at the beautiful Heritage Hall just a few blocks from where I live. There were about 10 different bands playing, all friends of mine from the beach. I am very blessed to know so many talented people. It was a wonderful evening of great music and good times catching up with everyone I haven't seen since summertime.
The following week my roomate decided to host a Christmas dinner here at her house. Somehow I got kitchen duty and ended up cooking a full on turkey dinner with all the trimmings for 20 people. Didn't know I had it in me as I usually get invited somewhere for Christmas dinner and have never been the host before. Luckily it all turned out awesome and no one got food poisoning, so I can add that to my resume. Martha Stewart would have been so proud of us,it's a gorgeous heritage home decorated to the hilt and the most beautifully set table I have ever seen, loaded with scrumptious food.
Christmas Eve I was invited to another friend of mine's cabin in the woods for a traditional Czech celebration. A group of 10 of us drove up to Cypress Mountain( a local ski resort in North Vancouver) and hiked into the forest to the rustic 100 year old cabin nestled in the snow covered pines. We chose a small tree behind the cabin, read a blessing to it then decorated it with all things edible for the local wildlife. There were pineapple and red pepper rings, bird seed bells, strings of cranberry berries ,a star made from an apple and carrot sticks and cooked noodles for tinsel. Candles were lit with a prayer for each one and sparklers were added on the tree. A small birdhouse nearby was also decorated as a tribute to the spirits of the woods. It was the most beautiful sight to see the tree twinkling in the snow covered forest. It didn't take long for the whiskyjacks( a kind of bird) to find us and they were soon eating right out of our hands.
Some of our crew at the rest stop at Cypress Mountain
Our Cabin in the woods
Getting the tree decorated
Our hosts posing with the tree
Proud tree decoraters
The tree all lit up with candles and sparklers
Feeding the whiskyjacks
Feasting by candlelight
We then made our way indoors where a thoughtful caretaker had prelit a fire in the woodstove for us. The cabin has no electricity or running water so many candles were lit and we shared a potluck meal of foods that needed no preparing on-site. Eggnog was drunk, stories were shared, presents exchanged and smiles were shared by all.
I am admittedly not a big fan of snow but I do love to see it at Christmas. Living in the Wet Coast of Canada we often have no snow in December and wake up to Christmas drizzle and grey skies. Going to the cabin was perfect,there was snow all around us, decorating the trees and the ground, but the roads were dry all the way to the parking lot, so we didn't have to deal with the inconviences snow can bring.
The next day we cleaned up the cabin and made our way back to town. That evening I went to another friends house for a full on traditional turkey dinner. Shelley and Todd have had me over their home for Christmas dinner almost every year for the 13 years Ive known them. Bless their hearts for adopting me on a day when I can't be with my own family and giving me the perfect experience every time. Her home is gorgeous,filled with beautiful antiques,and its always decorated with all the holiday trimmings. A fire crackles in the fireplace and the dinner table looks right out of a foody magazine with yummy homemade wine to wash it all down with.
My gracious hosts, Todd and Shelley
The cheery fireplace
A closeup of the wonderful houses that Shelley made to deorate her mantle
The decorated dining room
A cool old radio that Todd refurbished into a hidden bar
Boxing Day I dragged myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 8 am and by 9 I was shopping for bargins at Homesense. I manged to spend over $200 (but saved $140) on all the gorgeous ornaments I would need to decorate my own home next year. It's incentive to me to actually manifest this home of mine. I dragged my booty home and spread it all out on the floor and just looked at it all with delight for a few hours before packing most of it away to join the rest of my stuff in storage.
My new Christmas treasures
Later that afternoon I headed over to my friend Dee's house where she was hosting a Boxing Day jam for all her beach friends. It was a wonderful gathering, lots of good music, especially when they started to sing carols. It's so much better to sing them yourself , then be inudated with them as muzac at the mall.
Making beautiful music at Dee's
All in all it was the perfect storybook Christmas.The only pea in the mattress was that I couldn't be with my own family or David( he went home to Ontario for a long overdue visit with his own family). My brother has offered to buy me a ticket to visit them in Ottawa next year. I am so looking forward to that. The last time I spent Christmas with my whole family in one room was 30 years ago. I'm hoping my Dad can join us so we can be all together again. But until that happens , I have to thank my Wreck Beach family from the bottom of my heart for taking me into their hearts and homes and making this holiday a most amazing experience. Bless you all, each and every one of you!