almost christmas eve

In exactly one week it’s going to be Christmas Eve. How is that even possible? I’m so behind on my usual pre-Christmas blog posts; I had planned to share a Christmas recipe, some Christmas wish lists, some Christmas activities, but with one week to go, I know I won’t have time to do any of this, so I’ll combine a bit of everything in this one. I truly wish I had more time, but between our school and the boys’ school events, the Christmas shows, all the baking, gifts wrapping, sneaking a movie night to watch Mary Poppins, a family cousins reunion AND the actual Christmas festivities, not sure how I will ever survive this next week! But even with all that, I’m still the most excited one in this household! I just LOVE Christmas! And here’s a little recap of what we’ve been up to the last couple of days.

Picking our Christmas Tree: The official opening of the holiday season always starts with the cutting of our tree at Ian’s Christmas Tree Farm. I’ve already shared with you how big of a deal our tree is, and you can read more about our magical tree tradition here. Let’s just say this year didn’t go according to plan. It had snowed a few days before, it was beautiful outside, the weather was great, we were 11 of us crammed into 3 cars, but once out there in the field, we couldn’t find a tree we would agree on. We walked and walked and walked some more, but nothing, nada, zero. All of them too small, or too big. After searching for the perfect one for over an hour and a half, we finally placed the bag under the magic tree, the boys found it, they were happy, we pretended to cut it and hitched a ride on the wagon to go back (actually without a tree). So while we were having hot dogs, maple fudge and brownies by the outside fire pit, Brian picked up a pre-cut one! Only once we had already paid and wrapped up the tree we were told we were actually in the wrong field. Well, you just watch me next year, Clark Griswold will eat his heart out when he sees my perfect tree. After that, we all came back home for some drinks, pasta diner and to decorate the tree. All in all, we didn’t cut it ourselves, but our tree still looks beautiful and smells wonderful, which is all that matters. 

Christmas Party number 1:

We’ve had our annual friends Christmas party ever since I can remember, and for the last 5 or 6 years, we’ve been hiring a chef to cook for us, at home, and it’s been amazing. But this year, our chef double-booked the date and we were left with no one with about two weeks’ notice. So at the last minute, we all decided that each couple would be responsible to take care of one service. And it turned out to be amazing! Saved us a ton of money and the food was delicious. Vero and Mat have the greatest basement for parties like this, with mirrors and lights and loud speakers and a dancing floor, so let’s just say that the next morning was rough for a few of us who drank and danced too much! I just think there may be a little less Tequila involved next year, or so I’ve heard. But we had so much fun, as always, and I can’t wait for next year’s party already.

Nutcracker:

I love the Nutcracker. We saw the new movie a few weeks ago and Liam loved it so much that when a young girl from my school was chosen to take part in the ballet, I knew we had to go. So last week, Liam and I added the Nutcracker Ballet to our list of Christmas things to do. On Thursday night, we skipped the school homework and went to see the show. It truly puts you in the Christmas spirit and I was so proud to cheer on Victoria. She was wonderful to watch, and Liam and I just loved the entire thing, as it was beautiful and so well done.

Christmas Parties 2, 3 and 4:

Last weekend was filled to the brim with activities. First, Friday night was my workplace party at my co-worker’s new house. Well, now I have severe house envy. Well, how could I not? She has a dream kitchen, PLUS a stage (well, an open staircase that looks like a stage) where I came up with a singing/lipsing performance! The games were hilarious, I will definitely plan games like these for Christmas Day at our house. Family, beware and be ready! After my work thing, I drove back-and-forth to the other side of Ottawa to pick up Brian who was at another Christmas party at his friend’s house… so by the time I went to bed it was pretty late! And then Saturday morning I was up early to get everything ready in time as I was hosting family members for diner. We don’t see each other enough, but we do this every year now and we always have a great time. I really love this new tradition of ours. This year was no different. My aunt, uncle and the boys all played a few songs on the piano. We shared old and new stories. The boys saw their baby cousin Evely, who is definitely one of the best dressed toddler ever! And then, on Sunday morning, we drove to Brian’s dad to get the house ready for the Christmas Eve Woodbury family ‘Réveillon’. So while Brian, his brother and his sister were picking up and decorating the tree and the house, I decided to cook my Christmas ‘boulettes’ for the 24th midnight lunch; at least one thing to check off my list, finally!

It’s going to be a busy week, but it’s one of the best week of the year, as this is what it’s all about: gatherings, reminiscing, spending time with the people that matters, with all the love, the bickering and the dirty dishes in between! Christmas would definitely not be the same without all the craziness that comes with it. So, no more complaining about everything I have left to do before December 24th, and I will enjoy each day to the fullest and I’ll catch up on sleep sometime in the new year! Cheers my friends, and have fun, and be safe, hoping the next few weeks are filled with Christmas magic for all of you, as we all deserve some of it this time of year. I wish you all the best Holiday Season possible. Merry Christmas.

 

         


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best chewy ginger cookies

So for a month that is usually pretty long and boring, November literally just flew by. It was a crazy busy month and it doesn’t seems like December will be any different. At least it will be a joyful month, as the house is fully decorated, I’ve received our Holiday cards, Christmas music is playing non-stop on our record player, and the smell of the freshly cut tree makes me really happy every time I come in. There’s still a lot to be done before the 25th, including all my Christmas shopping, which is definitely my least (yeah right!) favorite December activity. One of my new favorite activity: sitting in front of our Christmas tree with a homemade Hazelnut latte and a delicious homemade cookie. I don’t know if you drink latte, but as for the cookies, I’ve got you covered!

Last year, a mom from my school brought some homemade cookies to the admin staff… I initially didn’t have any but when my co-worker told me how delicious they were, I took one. Literally, this was a life changing event as I had just discovered my new favorite cookie! They were simply the most delicious ginger molasses cookies ever, and even tasted like Christmas. I hadn’t finished my cookie that I was already emailing the mom to thank her… while also asking for the recipe, of course! I was so happy when she agreed to send it to me. Well, even if SHE made the best cookies, I clearly didn’t. I tried the recipe 4 times with no success! I spoke to her, checked the recipe… nothing was working, and just could figure out why I couldn’t get this recipe to work. 

So fast forward to 2 weeks ago, I was craving for that said cookie and decided to go on the hunt for an another recipe, one that I could make. And I found it!!! 20 minutes later, I had baked the perfect Chewy Ginger Cookies. They are really easy to make, and guess what, I’d say they’re kind of as good as the one I tasted last year! So I really want to spread the cookie love and share this recipe with all of you. Fast and easy enough to bake after diner or early Saturday morning to enjoy all weekend long. This recipe will give you about 16 large cookies or 22 small ones (just make sure you bake them a little less).

You guys have to try these this December or for Christmas. I’m already on batch number 6, as we just can’t seem to get enough. These stay fresh for a week in an air-tight container. But I don’t think they will last that long! You’ll just have to whip up another batch. Pretty sure these would be awesome as ice cream sandwiches as well… mmm, yep, will definitely try it this weekend! Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

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