I arrive home the Thursday before Christmas, and this is how may cat, who hasn't seen me in over two months, greets me:
Fuzzy lovable lump.
Then, I find this on the counter.
For a second, I thought my dad was practicing for Christmas Eve. But then I realized he was leaving it for my grandfather, who was bringing Rachelle home.
Denise and Mike came Friday, and we put the tree up. Every year, we argue about who gets to put the star on top, and this year was no different. Denise won.
I also went to the library where I worked, but no one I knew was working. I did some other puttering, and came home to get ready for mass. Oddly, Mike didn't put up a fight this year, and came willingly.
After mass, we had the whole family over for the traditional Christmas Eve meat pie (my grandfather's family's recipe; every French Canadian family has a different one - this one involves stewing beef and a really rich crust), fruit cake (not the stuff we made this year, the well aged stuff from last year), and plum pudding. This year, we also had perogies, courtesy my aunt and cousin.
Christmas morning, 7am, Denise wakes everyone up. I think she might have held off until 7:30, but that would have been torture. In our family, we do the present opening on Christmas morning. We make a pot of coffee, nosh on leftovers from the night before, and take our time.
Denise and Mike went to Newmarket to see his family, and we went to my grandfather's. Happily, this year I didn't overeat.
Monday was spent vegging and watching movies and knitting. I'm reasonably certain we didn't eat anything healthy all day.
Tuesday I did my Boxing Day shopping. The stores are usually too busy the first day after, so I wait until the next day, but this year I didn't even make it to a mall. I did hit the Book Depot, but it was way nutso, and I could only find one book I wanted, so I left. My aunt had told me the bead store had moved, and there was a new yarn store in that location, owned by the same people. I wasn't expecting great things, but I was overwhelmed. Yarns I had only heard of on other people's blogs! Debbie Bliss! Rowan! Noro! Fabulous alpacas and silks! I was overwhelmed! And went nuts, basically. (If you're at all interested, the pictures of my haul are here, here, and here.) Then I went to the bead store, and was reasonably sane.
Rachelle had some friends over for a pot luck that night, and Dad went out, so Mom and I laid low.
Wednesday Mom had some of her teacher pals over, and it was loud but fun.
Thursday, I went to help my grandfather with some computer stuff, and we had lunch together. Somewhere along the way, he'd caught a cold.
Friday, we taught my cousin Rachael how to knit. She's keeping up with it, but it's tough since all of her teachers left after the holidays.
Saturday, Denise took Rachelle home, and I went back out to do some more shopping. I found a Starbucks where I could go online with my laptop. That night, we had the traditional New Year's Eve dinner - steak, potatoes and veggies on the barbecue, and fried mushrooms. Dad had come down with an awful cold, so he was pretty low key. We watched the World Junior's hockey game, and then Mom and I watched a tribute to Steve Martin on PBS. Which is how we rung in the New Year. Yeah, party animals, I know - the neighbours had to call the police because we were too quiet this year.
Sunday, we went for a walk, made dinner, and had the family over again.
Monday, I left to come back to Sudbury. I did make a pit stop at Ikea, and set a new record - less than an hour and less than $100! Julie, aren't you impressed?
And thus ends the exciting tale of how I spent my winter holidays.