This time of year really brings home the emotional double smoked, organic bacon from start to finish. We were lucky enough to start the season with our urban family party. It involves songs, stories, 'what's new letters and a committed start to the gorging season.
Like all families, our urban family is scattering to different cities and to the open seas so getting everyone together leads to photographic moments that have defined long term relationships for many many years.
We sang long, passionately and with gusto!
All of us together, with our children, new jobs and new loves. It was the perfect kick off.
It was followed by a smaller tree dressing party. We have a large collection of ornaments made by my family through the generations. Exhibit A would be my Poppa's Festive Manta Ray. Exhibit B, our niece's first Christmas lightbulb reindeer, she was 5 when she made it and I love it.
My wonderful Aunt Sally makes us or gives us very special ornaments every year. If you look closely you'll see this year's flower nests.
After that tree was up, Christmas began in earnest. My bio-family is also spreading out and growing and being together on Christmas day is increasingly impossible so we get together a week early for a sleigh ride in Barrie.
You can see almost everyone here but mostly, notice the snow. It was fantastic. I miss snow.
This year we almost got everyone, my sister Charlotte worked nights over the entire holiday period so was unable to attend. We have big plans for 100% attendance next year. I like these people a lot.
The sleigh ride is the brainchild of this lovely sibling. Liz is one smart cookie who knows that if we don't keep busy, trouble arises in the form of too much liquid Christmas spirit. Also, it's hard not to be in the festive spirit singing carols that one's 10 year old niece has organized!
We were so lucky that Liz and Pat got to spend so much time with us in Toronto, Barrie and Brockville. Fenner is in deep love with both of them and the seemingly limitless amount of energy they have for snow play.
We had Christmas dinner with both of our families at one table. They love each other. The table was in Charlotte's old home where she has been renovating since FEBRUARY. It was warm, welcoming and filled with laughter. Everything Christmas dinner should be and more.
Jason has perfected multiple cheesecake recipes and thus inspiring another 3 of my 50 New Year's resolutions. If my father had any questions about his son in law, the cheesecake has turned him into a committed somewhat worrisome fan.
I had no idea cheesecake was the way to the patriarch's heart.
It would be easy to say that Christmas was the smooth and seamless event that I remember of my youth but I would be leaving out fantastic stories of influenza, patient zero and whole family trees being felled by the bug brought by little Patient Zero.
It really speaks to the commitment of our entire family that I think every single Auntie, Grandpa and Grandma was willing to sit and read and snuggle with Typhoid Mary every chance they could.
After the dust of life settles, isn't that all we can hope for. Family to help us recover from what ails us and celebrate, standing together at the end of the day
My sister walking through the woods with Fenner exploring forts and finding bunnies. Thanks Charlotte for hosting one of the best Christmases ever.