What is your best childhood holiday memory?
I can't remember how old I was, but probably 6 or 7. We were spending Christmas in London Ontario with my grandparents. My great aunt Irene and great uncle Don were there too. We played Kids' Pictionary and Irene had "fridge" and she drew a rectangle with a round handle like a regular door. We got it, but for some reason we thought this was so funny and we laughed and laughed.
(this photo is from years before that memory, but with my grandparents)
Another memory from when I was a bit older is really from several Christmases. On Christmas Eve after going to church and maybe stopping in to visit some others, we would go across the street to our neighbours' house to play rummoli and have snacks and drinks. We would stay pretty late but we always managed to get home before Santa ;)
At holiday parties, I sip on...
White wine. I like red wine but I prefer to drink whiteso it doesn't turn my teeth and lips dark, and in case I spill it, then it won't be as much of a disaster. I am a bit of a wine snob, I do not like Chardonnay, and I prefer Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.
What's your ideal host/hostess gift?
I like to bring wine and if it is around Christmastime, then I will bring a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau since it is in season, and it works for both red and white wine drinkers (I know it is red, but it is light and is served chilled). I also like to bring festive napkins, homemade or purchased cookies or other treats.
(Last year's B-N selection)
How do you entertain over the holidays?
We have a holiday drop-in party for our neighbours, friends and family. We just had our 3rd Annual this past weekend. Some people have come to all of them, but we always have a different crowd and that makes it fun. We have also hosted our parents for the past three years for Christmas Day and we always try to have special food and drinks for them while they are here.
What are your holiday decorating secrets/tips?
Don't worry about having too much of a theme or finding the perfect ornaments, rather find things that you like and that have memories. Our tree doesn't have a theme, but is filled with old ornaments from our childhoods, gifts from friends and families, and mementos from our travels. The decorations in the rest of our house have been collected over the years from various places. Here are this year's decorations.
An M from anthropologie in New York City.
What is your current favourite holiday tradition?
I love our party, visiting Santa, and sending Christmas cards.
What is Christmas Eve and Christmas morning like in your house?
On Christmas Eve we eat an early light supper, usually a couple of salads, and then go to church. After church, we make some appetizers and some drinks, and play some games and/or work on our puzzle. Last year we put the Santa Tracker on and when Santa got to Montreal, E scampered off to bed to make sure he was asleep before Santa came to Toronto next. One of my favourite parts of night is putting out the last of the gifts and cards and looking at the lights of the tree - all is calm.
On Christmas morning, I like to get up fairly early and depending on who is with us, I may be the first one up! We do stockings right away and a few gifts and then eat breakfast. Last year I made a french toast casserole and fruit salad, and we also have mimosas and Irish coffees. Gifts are opened throughout the morning. We then start getting the turkey dinner ready and maybe go out for a walk if the weather is fine.
Our weather last year was very fair, we may be getting a white Christmas this year (fingers crossed)