By the time you are reading this blog, I will be firmly planted in the middle of our family Christmas celebration. I love Christmas and being together with family, but this year is extra special because my baby brother and his family are visiting from California. They moved away twenty years ago and this will only be the third Christmas we have spent together in all those years. There will be four generations together with ages between 3 months to 82 years young!
We have rented a local Air BnB in Almonte, which is the original home of the Rosamond Family, founders of the Mills and the textile industry in Almonte. Pinehurst was built in 1890 and is located on an 8 acre parcel of land, overlooking the town. There are hills ideal for sliding on, and a bonfire that we hope to make use of as well. The house is approximately 7500 square feet in size with 10 fireplaces, 8 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms. The home is absolutely beautiful and the view is stunning.
We have a photographer coming one afternoon to hang out with us and “capture” the moment of us being together. Hopefully we will get some great candid moments. No posed photos for our family with all those grandbabies. One the young ones have gone home to bed, the “bigger kids” will stay up and play some new board games purchased specially for this occasion.
Christmas Eve we will all be together to enjoy our Appetizer Dinner, with many favourite recipes including Emma’s Mushroom Stuffed with Escargot; my Mom’s Jalapeno Pepper Poppers, and Shayla’s favourite – Chinese Pork Dumplings. Because Pinehurst is in our old neighbourhood on Union Street, we will take an after-dinner stroll down “Santa’s Run Way” as we watch for Santa and his sleigh overhead. Again the young families will head home to ready for Santa (and an early rise) while the rest of us will spend the night at Pinehurst and prepare for a big family meal the next day.
Pinehurst has a new addition of a wood-burning sauna this year, so I am hoping to have the opportunity to take advantage of this – either Christmas Eve or first thing Christmas Morning, before the rest are up! Christmas morning breakfast is always lots of good coffee, a large fruit salad and my mom’s Cinnamon Buns (sorry Baker Bob – hers are better!)
The rest of the family will join us again in the late afternoon, hopefully after naps, for the turkey dinner. There will be Grandma Laird’s Savoury Stuffing recipe, Tomato Aspic (don’t knock it until you try it!), Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, a green salad with pink grapefruit and vinaigrette, and roasted root vegetables. My mom always makes an English Trifle for dessert and this year, there will be a Gumdrop Cake for the little ones.
And during all this food and frivolity, I am looking most forward to the family moments that will be shared. Spending a few minutes in the kitchen with the girls as we prep the appetizers. Watching Uncle read “T’was the Night Before Christmas” to his grandnieces and grandnephews (a new tradition I am about to introduce this year, that he doesn’t know about yet!) I am looking forward to spending a few minutes catching up with each of my brothers and spending some time with their partners as well. Sharing a glass of wine with my Mom and Dad and celebrating in the fact that we are all together, and healthy and well, and so blessed. And finally, at the end of the day, falling exhausted into bed, and sharing a few whispers and giggles with Ken, marvelling at all the years we have been together and all the amazing memories we share.
I wish you a beautiful Christmas celebration, however you choose to spend it, and may your heart be filled with love and light during this beautiful time of the year.