December 2009


Santa hats are getting smaller and smaller, think it fits my bride better

The holidays came and went so fast this year, I really enjoyed my time off and doing what I love to do, limin with my family. Yesterday we ventured out into the great out doors to have dinner with close friends, and today we are going to take our boy out to spend the gift card that has been burning a hole in his pocket.

So what made the holiday special? My son and wife of course. When we came downstairs Christmas morning the first thing he wanted opened wasn’t a gift for him but the gift he got his mother from when we went shopping,

Showing off her slap chop the gift my boy had to get his mother

Feeding the addiction some more lego

Today is the last work day for me, not my most productive work day but what the hell. I have been thinking about our family traditions and working on a couple of last min things. Traditions we have are as much anticipated as is the  big day, over the years here are some of them:

  • The Christmas letter. I have been writing my Christmas letter to my boy and my wife, since he was born, it is a quick little one page letter to tell him about the year just finished, let him know how proud I am of him. This is partially so he will have the memory in writing to go with the pictures we take of our lives. I also do it because being the son of a mother that, unfortunately, was taken from me way too early, I wish I had some words from her. To not only to reinforce the memory and the pictures but to have a sense of her from before I can remember.
  • We have a nice Christmas eve dinner together as a family, this meal is made of salad, horderves, olives, crackers, pate, cheese, dips,  just nibbly things that we enjoy eating.
  • We sprinkle reinder food on the lawn, this is a new tradition that came from my son’s school last year. It is a mix of oats and glitter that one a child in his class gives to her fellow students.
  • We like most people give our son one gift to open Christmas eve before bed and yes it is PJs.
  • Once the man is in bed, my bride and I will watch a Christmas movie by the fire.
  • This year if not to windy think we will be adding a hot tub soak to the evening.
  • Christmas morning we get up when ever we are a waken up by our son and have coffee and warm monkey bread. This is a heart stopping breakfast  that my wife has been making for the last couple of years.
  • We put on CityTv’s yule log  in the back ground while we unwrap gifts.  
  • We spend the entire day including our fancy Christmas dinner in PJ’s.
  • And all we do all day is spend time as a family.

 That is it for me until after Christmas so Happy Holidays and enjoy your family and time together this season. 

Mark

The advent calendar is showing the 21st as excited as some people are for the 25th,  but for me the excitement is only two more working days. Then I’m off 5 days straight and for my business that is a good as it gets. Yes it sucks compared to some people’s holidays, but I’m still excited. Families have been visited, gifts have all been done (Thank you sweet heart), so it is a quiet family Christmas with my bride and son, but it is going to be so nice. 

So I found myself wondering today what do I look forward to the most about this time of year? Bet you can’t stand the wait, well here it is in no particular order:

  • Playing games, Lego, Wii with my little man.
  • Quiet evenings spent with my bride.
  • Preparing our holiday meal together and eating as a family.
  • Spending quiet mornings in the house while everyone is sleeping.
  • Cookies, Christmas cookies, how I love cookies.
  • hoping for some fresh snow on Christmas eve or morning.
  • Going skiing with my little man for the first time this season.
  • Fresh brewed coffee with… can you guess…… Christmas cookies

I’m sure I have forgotten some things but those are the main ones and looking over them they look a little boring but hey it is what I enjoy and I hope you are excited for the holidays to coming.

So what are you excited about this holiday season?

I had the most wonderful weekend. Yes to some it will be considered boring nothing special, but to me it was fun, comforting, and just enjoyable. So what made it this way.

Friday I left work  early and picked up my boy for a little Dad time, the plan was to go shopping for Christmas gifts for his Mom and Chase (the dog) and then to supper. We decided to head to Wal-Mart since what he had been talking about getting could be found there. He of course did his normal thing I have grown to love, of picking gifts for my reaction, but I could tell when he found the right one. Anyways he picked out all of the gifts he wanted for Chase, his fish and Mom, so I asked him where he wanted to eat and I named off the options that where close by.  He said he wanted to eat at home, okay not the point of the outing but I can understand why, been a tough long day at school and he wants to relax at home. As we walked from the store to the car he decides on the Big Tomato (East Side Mario’s) so we head over for dinner and get a booth. He sits across from me  and then says “Daddy I want to sit next to you”.  Could there be better words spoken? We had a nice dinner, except for the cross examination he gave me about the Big Guy, you know Mr S.

Saturday I was up early for coffee and enjoyed the quite of the early morning. Saturday is hockey in the AM and then normally shopping for groceries and then relaxing at home. Well we did all that.  Hockey was fun, we divided and conquered for groceries and were home to relax. Since it is the holiday season we are (okay my bride is ) doing baking. I enjoy baked items and enjoy helping out, but it is not my favorite, I like to cook more than bake. She made buckeye balls, and short bread and I made the first of two nostalgic recipes, confetti square. I have great memories of my Mom baking as a child and I loved to help her. I think that is where my enjoyment of cooking came from. This is a recipe that was a staple holiday item when I was a kid. It was so fun to remember this since it has been such a long since I have seen her. The rest of our day consisted of more normal stuff playing with our boy and eating supper together. My boy had his turn bringing the Advent wreath home, so we did that after supper and then the 3 of us enjoyed a little time in our hot tub. It was a nice night for it. After he went to bed we watched my new favourite Christmas movie, Christmas With the Kranks.

Sunday morning for use is normally the most relaxing day. I was up before the man and was able to do new blog headers finally, and finished up a post for Ordinary Joe. Mr Little Man is not a morning eater so when he got up he watched a couple of cartoons then ate. After that I decided to make the second nostalgic recipe, Monster cookies. This is a great recipe I remember from being a child, it wasn’t a holiday cookie but one that I enjoyed as a kid and one of the first cookie recipes I made all on my own as a boy. Definitely wonderful when my son asked what I was making and I said “monster cookies” he said “you can’t make monster cookies it’s not hallowen” I said “sure you can, are you not going to have any” and he said “NO”. As a parent you kinda have an idea of flavours and tastes your child has for me the recipe had, peanut butter and chocolate chips. need I say more. And of course the cookie monster seemed to sneak off with two or three till he got caught crumb handed. The rest of our Sunday seemed to flow by. We did manage to squeeze in a few exciting sets of family Lego Rock Band.

Yes to the outside person maybe not too exciting for a weekend, but to me great times spent in the company of the two people I love and mean the world to me. And some wonderful memories of my mother and being a young kid.

And thank you Marla for the recipes, I really appreciated them and will add them to our cook book.

We headed out one beautiful Sat morning to get our family Christmas tree. Before we went out we enjoyed our traditional pancake feast, and put on a pot of hamburger soup in the crock pot. Just like picking apples, we keep it local and support the local farmers. This is our third year going to this tree farm it is run by a husband and wife team, and they are very nice and friendly. We didn’t have any snow this year so not as feastive as other years, but luckily it wasn’t the blizzard that we had the year before. This year my boy chose the tree for us, helped to cut it down and carry it. For me, I think, this is one of the most fun and most memorable parts of the holidays. Below are some pictures of our adventure.

Do you use an advent calender? We do. We actually have two one, is a fabric calender we have had for 5 years and we place chocolates inside it or when are son was younger food he was able to eat. This year it has chocolate Santas (kinda like a chocolate egg with different wrappers) and peanut butter cups. Both are my son’s favorites and I also got some extras for my bride and me of course. We also started last year to give him a second advent calender this one has a little toy each day. Last year it was this  Playmobil calendar and he loved waiting to see what was next and adding to the scene it made, or playing with them. This year we have gone with my son’s all time favorite thing to play with LEGO, this should be interesting and fun to see what comes out each day.

This year advent calander #2These are both far cries from the calender I had as a kid, that had the worst quality chocolate in them and for some reason never had chocolate under all the windows. I just remember why, it is because I used to sneak the other days out through the openings I made before. Kinda clever I think.