An Unabashed Christmas Post

Now that my li’l family seems to be out of the woods for now, sickness-wise (yes, my kids did trade germs with each other), it’s time to get FESTIVE!

I’ve realized something, as an adult: Christmas to me, now, is all about the season.

It was a fairly gradual shift from being super-duper-mega-crazy excited about PRESENTS (as a kid) to… you know, enjoying presents but being much more excited about other things.

Such as food!

  • Clementines – we only buy them when they’re really good (even though these days they’re in grocery stores well past their peak).
  • Cookies made specifically for Christmas… they’re just specialer. I’ve been lucky to be part of a cookie exchange for several years now – so all the more special cookies!!
  • Egg nog – but ONLY President’s Choice World’s Best Egg Nog. No other kind is as good. (Well, maybe Organic Meadow.) And don’t even get me started on fat-free egg nog… A travesty.
  • Nutcracker Sweet Tea – we can’t find it in stores these days, so my sister kindly smuggled some over the border facilitated an Amazon order for me. It’s heavenly with the egg nog mentioned above.

nutcracker sweet

  • Christmas meals – some are different every year and some are recurring favourites, but I get stoked about them, and I don’t even eat turkey. (Posting recipes soon.) Folks bring their A-game dishes on Christmas.

And music. I could listen to Christmas music nonstop for all of December, but I think I’d drive my Hubbibi crazy. So we strike a balance, I think. As I’ve mentioned, traditional carols are my preference, but I like a lot of non-carols too. Some of my favourite holiday albums to listen to are:

  • David Francey’s Carols for a Christmas Eve – Just simple and cozy and, well… I just adore David Francey. Luckily, so does the whole family. (Good King Wenceslas is my favourite on this one.)
  • Canadian Brass’s Sweet Songs of Christmas – And anything else Canadian Brass does about Christmas. Those guys rock. We saw them live once, and if you’ve never seen a tuba player “melt” while playing Frosty the Snowman, you’re missing out.

xmas canadian brass

  • Les petits chanteurs du Mont-Royal’s Christmas Around the World – It took me a while to get used to the unfamiliar carols in different languages, but now I love them.
  • Kevin Ramessar’s Acoustic Christmas – Beautiful guitar arrangements of Christmas carols (Away in a Manger is my fave). I would love this album even if Kevin weren’t a (wickedly talented) university friend of mine. Ahem-hem.

Kevin-Ramessar-Acoustic-Christmas-highquality

  • The Barra-MacNeils’ The Christmas Album – A Canadian-Celtic folk album, with unusual versions of carols – some Gaelic (Christmas in Killarney is my fave).
  • Steve Wingfield’s Sleigh Bell Swing – My mom sent me a cassette tape of this as part of a care package when I was in university, and I still use that tape – it’s worth it. (It IS on iTunes, though. Silver Bells is my fave.)
  • Three Quarter Ale’s Shall We Gather By the Fire – A Renaissance Faire trio with an album that runs the gamut of styles from cheesy to sublime (Ding Dong Merrily on High is my fave).

christmas three quarter ale

Also, there are a few individual songs that make me cry, in a good way. I think it has to do with connecting Christmas and motherhood.

And of course there are holiday movies that must be enjoyed. Our family collection includes:

  • Mickey’s Christmas Carol (including the short with Chip and Dale’s shenanigans in Mickey’s tree)

MickeysChristmasCarol1

  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (animated version with Boris Karloff)
  • Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version)

Miracle on 34th

  • White Christmas (the best things happen while you’re dancing)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (still breaks my heart every single time)

Its-a-Wonderful-life

  • The Family Stone (I always laugh out loud, even though I know what’s coming)
  • Joyeux Noël (again with the FEELINGS, man oh man).

joyeux-noel-merry-christmas

And of course there’s The Holiday and Love Actually – not exactly Christmas movies, but they get an in for being set at Christmastime.

Plus there’s

  • Pretty lights
  • Christmas trees and wreaths and boughs and whatnot (this image – and the design behind it – is from my friend Ardis at Rustic Retrievals)

greenery at rustic retrievals

  • Snow (I hope – it still makes me happy for the first couple months)
  • People singing together (I wish that happened more in life)
  • Wood fires (at my parents’ house at least)
  • Games and silly times with people I love
  • Reminiscing
  • Spending lots of time in pajamas
  • Giving gifts that turn out to be perfect
  • Everything reflected in the shining eyes of children – especially mine.

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11 thoughts on “An Unabashed Christmas Post

  1. Skye says:

    Have you heard of the group “Straight No Chaser”? They are an acoustic group of about 10 guys. They have a couple of really fun Christmas songs (and some more traditional ones). Try their version of The 12 Days of Christmas!

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      OMG! They are amazing!! Thanks for the recommendation! We just watched Pitch Perfect a couple weeks ago, and I can tell you I have a whole new fascination with a capella.

  2. Jen says:

    I second the SNC recommendation. Very fun to song along with. Which I totally do, always.
    Merry Christmas to you and your (whole) family!!!

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      And to you and yours, Jen! I can hardly believe this is the first time I’m hearing SNC. We listened to the whole Christmas album today and it was very fun.

  3. Beverley says:

    One of my favourite Christmas albums is “The Perfect Gift” by the Canadian Tenors….now known as The Tenors. I’ve seen them in concert and they are amazing. I also recently saw the Barra Macneils Christmas Concert in Toronto. They blew me away with their talent and the amount of energy that they put into a show. Merry Christmas to you!

    • dilovelyadmin says:

      Merry Christmas to you too, Beverley! I will have to listen to the Tenors. I did once see the Barra MacNeils live at a folk festival, and it was awesome – EVERYBODY danced. 🙂

  4. berty says:

    That was fun, dilovely.
    And WOW, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8 was fun also. My mouth dropped open in delight and I laughed out loud! Talent and silliness – and some amount of genuine Christmasiness.
    Could you please bring that Chip and Dale thing to Christmas this year?? Those crazy chipmunks were always one of my favourite things.
    xoxoxo Merry merry merry times!

  5. emerge says:

    1) DITTO ALL THAT.

    2) This is to everyone else: Last weekend when I was looking after E while his parents were at a movie, we were listening to Phil Collins and E started singing “Someday soon we all will be together…” and asked if we could listen to THAT song. There was not much tune to it and with the Phil playing, I thought it was from that cd, so I started looking through the liner lyrics. Couldn’t find it, so googled it. And yes, it was “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” So we found that on youtube and listened to Ella rockin’ it. E sang along with the part he knews, and was interested by the line “we’ll have to muddle through somehow…” He didn’t know what “muddle” meant but knows the word “model” and thought it was funny to use that instead.

    3) What do you MEAN Love Actually isn’t a Christmas movie? It starts off at “3 weeks till Christmas” or something, and counts down from there to the day when Billy Mack strips in the midst of Santa’s Sexy Backup Band. Plus, the Lobster, and the eight legs, and Good King Wenceslas, and if you can’t say it at Christmas, when can you, eh?

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