Christmas, For Me

Having been brought up in a family that believed Christ WAS Christmas, we had  family gathered at Christmastime in our parents home, gifts under the tree and then some, smells of a turkey in the oven….Wow! It always brings a tear or three in remembering wonderful and sometimes, not so wonderful, times in the past.

What is Christmas really? To me, it is giving to others, helping others without looking for a return ‘payment’, sharing your home, selves, food and laughter with others, and going to Church Christmas Eve. This was the gift given to me by my parents. I miss them every day but probably more than ever this time of year. They LOVED Christmas. Every part of it. Thank you, it was the best gift ever for me.

This year, for us, was the biggest bonus we have received ever. We have had, including tomorrow, all our children and grandchildren, except for our grandson, for three different, but wonderful, Christmas celebrations. How did we do it? Well. let’s see……

Don ‘s daughter was coming from Belgium in July for her vacation. We had asked that the kids pay us at least one and,  hopefully two visits, this year. So, in July, we had Christmas…turkey, music, decorations for nine family members.  Then 10 days ago, another family member came, and again, we celebrated Christmas. This time, the tree was up, lights on and laughter abound AND tomorrow, my daughter will arrive to spend, Yup, the third Christmas this year for us.

The feeling of happiness, joy within and being thankful everyday for this family of ours, I am sometimes overwhelmed with it all. When family is spread around this crazy world of ours, we should make the time and effort to share and celebrate when you can with any of them. So what if you have more than one. Trust me when the temperature is in the 90’s, turkey gets a second guess, but always comes through.

So…here’s the emotion coming through…Merry Christmas to one and all, and if you can, share it with someone who is either alone this year, doesn’t have a home but needs only a good and sincerely given meal and most of all, say a huge thank you to God and to your family. May 2015 be the best yet.


Christmas can be happy, sad, reflective, noisy, lonely, bringing back memories of Christmas’ past. I found this year, that my husband and I were not alone in insisting (if you will) to say, hear or read in print,  that Canadians WANT Merry Christmas and not what has been called, politically correct nonsense, anything other than.

I can remember when I was a little girl that if my father didn’t know or wasn’t too sure what somone’s religion was, with a firm and sincerely meant handshake, he would look them in the eye and wish them Compliments of the Season. Other than that, Merry Christmas was the mantra.

Christmas….Christ….that is the reason for this….a birthday celebration for the birth of Christ. This is what we,  in this country, celebrate. It matters not which faith you believe in, they all center around this. Anyone coming to or newly arrived in our beautiful land, cannot really believe that we will change what we believe in or stand for, just because they believe in something else or nothing at all.

Peace…Faith…..Understanding….Sharing….Helping someone in need…prayer……contemplation….

Okay, kids love presents and Santa. Sure! Who doesn’t? But have we stopped teaching our children also the reason for this time of year? The real reason?

Have we, as a worldly community become so callous or dead inside from feelings and faith due to all the tragedy in this world?  I don’t believe that.

From my heart, and my family, we wish one and all a very Merry Christmas and secretly hope, you also got your wish from Santa.

Packing Up

Today is the day my nerves have taken a bit of a hit. Tomorrow I am going to Osoyoos to demonstrate different ways to set the table for company during the festive season, beit for casual wine and cheese to Christmas at the lake, perhaps or at home and going all out.

We will be posting pictures, probably under the heading of “table settings” and I hope you will go and take a peek.

I hauled out everything that I would normally use in my home and then it hits me……this is Frances’ store and I am suppposed to showcase everything she has to offer. Let me tell you something….I could set tables for 8 hrs a day for a year and not use everything this store has to offer.

One thing that is too cool….Wild Hibiscus Flowers in syrup. When put into a glass of sparkling wine or 7-up, gingerale ….whatever is fizzy..and the flower opens up. They can be used on crackers and goat cheese with the flower on top or on top o f cheese cake slices. Beautiful …all edible as well. Way to go Frances!

So….after putting all my stuff away, I pack up what is essential and say a prayer for the best. I need a glass of wine.

Candy Cane Martinis

I was thinking of Christmas and I used this as a signature drink last year. Really yummy! Put it on the dinner plan you have going.


  • 3-4 peppermint candy canes, crushed fine
  •  4 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 2 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • 2 1/4 oz. white creme de cacao, extra for dipping glasses

Pour a little white creme de cacao in a saucer and dip the rims of 4 glasses in. In a small bowl, put the crushed peppermint cane and dip the edges of the glasses to coat the edge. Fill a shaker with ice and shake ingredients to chill. Strain into glasses.

Remember, this makes 4 signature drinks. Two or more of these tasty delights makes it a hangover.

Getting Giddy Inside

Hopeless that I am, I am getting giddy at the thought of another Christmas shared with family once again.

We are blessed this year with 3 of “our” 5 children and grandchildren. Two are coming from out of Province and one from here.

One daughter is in Japan and won’t be here. One son and his family are spending Christmas with his wife’s mother.

From our home to yours, God’s Blessing for peace and joy within your walls and all the best wishes for a super great 2011.

Thinking ahead

It is a beautiful autumn day here and as I look out my office window I started thinking about November 11th, when I do all my christmas baking and Don makes all his tourtiere pies. We have been doing this now for 20 plus years and look forward to it every year.

As I usually make about 15-18 different  items, I like to build up with some staples so it won’t be too expensive. Things like butter, pecans, sugar,cherries, etc.

So I am going to start my list and will get back to you when I am done. Later.