Friday, December 28, 2007

Jmb's Christmas Season

Apart from the religious aspect, I think that Christmas is for children. They are the ones whose eyes sparkle on Christmas morning as they see presents under the tree and their Christmas stockings filled with all kinds of delightful surprises. They still have the wonder and joy of it all and it is truly lovely to see it.

This year, my granddaughter, who alternates Christmas celebrations either in Italy with her nonni or Italian grandparents or with us here, came with her parents to spend it in Vancouver. Being what I call the perfect age, four years old, she made Christmas day very special for us. She was not so excited that she was up at dawn, thank goodness. She had written a letter, with the help of her mother, to tell Santa that she was going to be in Vancouver for the celebration and he had replied that he would remember that. She played happily in the family room until her uncle came over at about 11 am and then we moved to the living room with the tree and the gifts.

It is a long standing family tradition to play the Luciano Pavarotti O Holy Night collection while opening presents. We used to have the record, but now I have a CD. It still sends shivers down my spine, after all these years. Stockings are a very big thing in our household and they always contain colourful underwear, sox, books, a huge Toblerone and a Terry's chocolate orange along with assorted other small things. We get so carried away with buying little things for each other that sometimes the goodies will not fit into the stocking.

As you can see the little miss has a very large stocking, absolutely stuffed, with a new red hat holding in the overflow.

With her Mum looking on, she explores the bottom to see what else is in there

Her Nanna, namely me, gave her a red dress to wear for the celebratory dinner
along with some tights, decorated with cats

With nine for dinner on Christmas Day I only had time to take a
photo of the table and not the food

Dinner is a very traditional meal, with turkey and cranberry sauce, potatoes Romanov, brussels sprouts and other vegetables, Christmas pudding with a Foamy Eggnog Sauce, all made with recipes we have used for more than forty years. The only thing that varies are the appetizers we serve with drinks. We have celebrated Christmas with Scottish friends for these past forty years, alternating houses each year.

Another celebratory meal at our house during the holidays is with longstanding friends and it always features Prime Rib Roast and this for dessert.

English Trifle, this year Raspberry and was it ever good.

I'm sorry that I was too busy cooking and serving to take photos of the food as Welshcakes does, but it was a very enjoyable season for us with our daughter and family joining us.

I'm also sorry that I haven't been able to visit my favourite blog friends very much at this busy time of the year. There are some intrepid bloggers out there who are not taking a break, but I will be back in the near future to touch bases with you. I hope you all enjoyed this special time of the year with family or friends.

Soon it will be another new year and my how they fly at my age. May I wish for each of you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year for 2008.


Love Bears All Things said...

It is our tradition to open gifts on Christmas eve with our immediate family. We have our stockings after breakfast on Christmas morning. Ours were just the same as yours, in fact my daughter decided to fill the children's again for New Years since we had bought so much. I remember when it was hard to find little things for them but not so anymore. I bought those two disposable cameras and premade Christmas scrapbooks that you just add photos to. They were still taking pics when I left for home.
I'm happy you had your grand with you.

Carver said...

I enjoyed reading about your Christmas. I'm glad your granddaughter was with you. I agree with you that Christmas is for children. I miss that. Then again, my adult daughter played Christmas carols on the piano and we sang together which was fun. I'll admit we are better at making a joyful noise together now that we're both older and more low key about it. If I don't "see" you before then, Happy new year.

Grendel said...

Re the last paragraph.

Thank you and likewise to you and yours.

Heart of Rachel said...

I'm glad to know that you had a lovely Christmas celebration with people dear to you. It's really wonderful to watch children open their Christmas presents. It's heartwarming to see their eyes glow with delight.

Thanks for sharing all these lovely photos. You have a lovely granddaughter. That's a huge stocking she has there. The dessert looks so yummy.

Have a promising New Year ahead.

Sarabeth said...

Phill and I don't even get presents for each other any more. Instead we discuss what we want together and buy it together. This year, we bought a house, so very lean.

Our holiday is for the children. What amazed me this year was that the coloring books, fancy pens, puzzles, and plastic sword with armor were the favorite toys. The laptop we got the kids received a "Oh, cool, Mom, Dad."

I like your table-scape. Nice set up for dinner.

Dreaming again said...

Merry Christmas ...and have a Happy New year Joan!

Voyager said...

I'm looking forward to grandchildren after seeing your photos. But not quite yet. Did you catch Hanel's Messiah on CBC on Christmas day? It is my favourite tradition.

Sienna said...

That was beautiful... reading about your xmas, and the photos of your granddaughter are gorgeous.

The xmas stocking pic with her is incredible, boy, you really do fill the stockings; I think we need a little trailer for her to wheel it all around. :)

The little red dress picture is so beautiful....absolutely heart melting.

Precious moments in time shared, they grow up so fast.

Wishing you the best for 2008 too JMB and family; has hit 115f here today, a good dry heat day with the lightest of breeze. Supposed to be even hotter tomorrow and Monday!


Dragonstar said...

Christmas doesn't seem quite the same without children, does it? Your granddaughter is beautiful.
Have a great New Year.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It sounds like you had a very happy time, jmb. Your daughter is so like you and your grandchild is adorable! Nice to see her as a "lady in red", like you! Wonderful pics, as always. I think it's lovely to evolve your own Xmas traditions, as your family obviously does. Thenks for the link, btw. Auguri

Gledwood said...

You did a really posh Xmas dinner I see. We just ate ours off trays in front of the television haha!

sally in norfolk said...

Sounds like a perfect day !
best wishes for 2008 :-)

leslie said...

We should get your granddaughter and my grandson together for a play date. They're BOTH so cute! He's turning 4 on Jan 1 and when he was over on Christmas Day it was so much fun. As you say, it's for the little ones. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers re my daughter and you can read an update over on my site now.

jmb said...

Hi Mama Bear,
Lots of people, especially of European extraction open presents Christmas Eve. I was saying this year that perhaps we should just have stockings for the adults and not buy presents.

Hi Carver,
I'm glad you daughter came to be with you and what fun to sing carols together. Does she have a great voice like you and love to sing?

Hi Grendel
I hope you too had a wonderful Christmas with your family. You have a child (do you have more than one?) young enough to still have the wonder of it all.

Hi Rachel,
Thanks for the nice comment, I hope you enjoyed the celebration with Yohan and your family.

Hi Sarabeth,
I think that is a wise decision, to buy something you want instead of maybe wasting money on something neither really wants. I think your house is lovely so a great present indeed and I hope your children had a great time. A laptop is a wonderful present for them.

Hi PK,
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a very happy New Year.

Hi Voyager,
I have been thinking of you all over Christmas and hoping that things will go well for you Dad. I missed the Messiah, but have it on CD. I used to sing it with a big Choir when I was in Australia. I should go to the sing along Messiah.

Hi Pam,
We certainly did go overboard with my granddaughter's stocking, even considering two at one point, but we managed to jam it all in.
Have a very Happy New year and hopefully the drought will break.

Hi Dragonstar,
Children give Christmas a totally different dimension, don't they?

Hi Welshcakes,
We did have a very enjoyable Christmas. She is quite the cutie and adorable most of the time, except for the meltdowns. Yes, another "lady in red".

Hi Gleds,
As long as you enjoyed yourself with your friends, that's the main thing. The trappings don't mean that much.

Hi Sally,
It was a lovely day and I hope you have a great 2008 as well.

Hi Leslie,
They are both cute and they both have curly hair although your grandson's is more curly. I'm glad your daughter is doing well and I will be over to get the full story.

Thank you all for visiting and commenting. I hope you all had as wonderful Christmas as we did and I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.


Lone Grey Squirrel said...

You have a lovely family. Your granddaughter is sooooo cute. Only thing missing was photos of the food!

Josie said...

What an absolutely gorgeous little girl. Your Christmas is identical to ours, even down to the Terry's chocolate in the stocking. It's fun to watch the little kids' eyes sparkle, isn't it?

I'm glad you had a wonderful Christmas, I did too!

And then I was sick in bed for the rest of the week with a really bad cold. *cough*

Happy New Year, JMB!


Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I think it is a day for the kids, yes. Still, we get out turn New Year. I think that IS a special day for everyone.

Ian Lidster said...

Such a gorgeous granddaughter. I am envious. Otherwise, please invite me over for trifle sometime. I would appreciate that.
Have a very happy New Year.

Chervil said...

Thanks for your Christmas post! We also opened our presents on Christmas Eve. As you say, Christmas really is for the children, and our three little ones made it all worthwhile. We try to combine our different traditions in our family - we have Christkind come on Christmas Eve. Christkind gets a helping hand from Santa (so that the kids don't tell the neighbours that "Santa doesn't come to us"). We have a combination of traditional Christmas foods from Germany and Australia. We actually celebrate St Nikolaus (=Santa Claus)-Day as a separate occasion, on the 6th of December, when St Nikolaus brings chocolates and a small present.

All the best for 2008

Vic, the Cariboo Ponderer said...

What a lovely picture of your grand-daughter in her red dress. I am glad you had a wonderful family Christmas. Wishing you all the best for the New Year Vic

Cariboo Ponderer

jmb said...

Thanks for the nice words. Too bad about the food but I can't cook and photograph apparently.

Hi Josie,
Children make Christmas very special for us adults. Too bad that you are ill, I hope you get well soon

Hi Crushed,
I'm not such a big New Year person myself, I don't know why.

Hi Ian,
She is adorable, well most of the time. I'll make trifle for you any time, for you entertain me mightily over the year.

Hi Chervil,
You are lucky that your little ones still make it special for you. You have lots of traditions to follow for your family with the mixture of two cultures.

Hi Vic Grace,
Yes red, her nanna's favourite colour! It was a fun Christmas this year.

Thanks to you all for visiting and I wish you all a wonderful New Year.