We've had a few dustings of snow around here already and it's beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas ~ my favourite time of the year! This photos is taken part way down the lane of my parents century stone farm house just after the sun rose. We have Christmas parties marked on our calendar, days set aside for baking, decorating and some serious knitting and sewing. My friends come for a lasagna dinner and visit. This year it's going to be after the last day of the Caledon Dog Show and Obedience Trials the end of this month, all of their poodles are invited too. It's so much fun to fill the house with so many great friends and a herd of poodles. It's delightful to see the dogs all getting along so well, enjoying the event as much as we do. These are the same women and dogs I spent a weekend with last July at a cottage in the Muskokas. That was blissful, I can hardly wait for next year's trip there!
The kids, dogs and horses love the new snow, but Bonnie especially. She snuffles and plays with it with her muzzle.
I feel the Christmas spirit earlier each year. It's hard to resist bringing out all the decorations too early. We wait until after my dad's birthday on November 13th and then it's daily bits of preparation so we're in full swing by the first Advent. Christmas planning, shopping, list making, organizing and purging the house and getting ready to decorate. Some people have a big spring cleaning, I dig in more just before December. All this snow has me ready to go. I've cut evergreen branches from the farm to add to our front porch urns with funky outdoor LED lit branches.
This year I bought The Holiday DVD to add to our holiday collection. Between the fun storyline and great locations ~ not to mention Cameron Diaz's character wears some amazing knits ~ it'll be a great movie to knit to while the Christmas spirit nestles in to our home. And Jude Law - yum!! Yeah, after this weekend I'm going to start Christmas decorating a little at a time and the trees goes up just before our first party in 2 weeks. I usually like things more minimalist, neat and tidy, but at Christmas it's decorations in overdrive. Trees, the mantle and window are all adorned.
This is the before shot of our family room mantle, next week I'll post the 'after' when it's all decked out. Tradition dictates the mantle is the first thing decorated in the house. favourite recipes only made at this holiday, places we shop only before Christmas, movies and music, decorations that hold wonderful memories, the candle light service on Christmas Eve and cookie baking on a huge scale... I love the familiarity of it all. We spend Christmas Eve with my family and after everyone has gone to bed I stay up late to watch White Christmas on the VCR.
I'll post a Cookie of the Week in December to share our most favourite Christmas baking recipes. I love to collect new tried-and-true cookie recipes and would love to get some new ones from other blogs. I scored a fantastic one last year from Norma! Love these Dutch Letter Cookies!!! Not really a true cookie, I guess. Don't believe the title or first line in her post ~ these are so good they're angelic. They're the first people reach for on the assorted cookie plates I bring everywhere we visit and serve to guests in our home. I can resist most temptations during the holidays, except the cookies...
Dawn is coming over for a day of baking and sock knitting and I'll get to add new recipes to my repertoire from her. We're also planning to make Claudia and Mr. Puffy's Almond Crescents, my husband Don's favourite holiday cookie.
Seeing the evergreen pine bush at the farm tipped in snow brings on my festive mood! Christmas day we drive to Don's family a few hours away. Boxing Day is crashed at home ~ just the 4 of us and the dogs ~ I knit and watching way too much TV. New Year's Eve is a fondue supper followed by a big pancake/bacon/eggs and goodies brunch at our house to bring in the New Year on Jan.1. It's a lot about the food and completely about guests and going visiting with family and friends.
I edited and still used the word Christmas 11 times not including the title in this post! Oops, that's 12. It really is my favourite time of the year. I love our traditions during the whole of December. What are your favourite traditions and cookies?