I love all the holidays. I am a sucker for food, family, costumes, decorating: anything that has a party vibe. However, the Christmas holidays are by far my favourite. It may have something to do with growing up with the ‘Griswolds’. My parents would decorate the house from top to bottom, inside and out. There would be an EPIC back yard hockey game. My mother and my grandmother would bake enough Christmas cookies to feed a small city, or two. In all this ‘It’s a Wonderful Life-isms’, by far my favourite is the tradition of my parents hosting the neighbourhood open house every Christmas Eve…I LOVED IT! My parents had the cheesy fake wood veneer bar in the burgundy carpet-adorned basement. My dad would mix drinks and spin the 8 tracks. That was until I became a bartender and the cheesy bar became all mine. All in all, the holidays growing up for me were all about us kids.
It is not surprising that all my family’s traditions are the ones I grew up with.
I love my home and I so look forward to dressing it up for the holidays. I just can’t wait until Halloween and Thanksgiving are over so I can get into the basement and dust off the Christmas decorations. Finding a home for all the sparkle and family treasures, it is like my own special Christmas morning.
The cookie baking tradition is by far my favourite, although it means a lot of mess. As messy as this tradition is, my controlling, neat-freak OCD side goes nuts. Two of my four children have November birthdays so ‘Christmas Cookie Baking Parties’ have always been a staple in our home. Sprinkles, icing and flour OH MY! All worth it to see the sticky finger licking kids, covered in flour and green sprinkles smiling and laughing while learning in the kitchen. This tradition encompasses so many amazing things I would never trade it for a perfectly clean house. And the best part of all is the amazing smell of cookies baking! I love how just the familiar scent of holiday cookies in the oven can instantly make me feel like I’m right back there in my childhood home, helping my mom and grandma bake dozens upon dozens of cookies.
Following in my father’s footsteps, my husband and I have always opened our home every Christmas Eve to our family and neighbours. On a ‘pop-in-if-you-can’ type of invite, it is always an amazing night. I love to have fun with it and do a ‘naughty and nice list’ table cloth; it’s a simple and very inexpensive way of making your guests feel special and adding whimsy to your party. This night is full of joy, sharing, anticipation and the best part – it ends early. People start coming by around 4:00 and all are gone by around 9 to get ready for the big guys’ appearance. I have met so many amazing people because of this tradition. There is something very special about sharing your home with friends and strangers alike.
Finally, the season really is all about the kids. We all know the kids love the ‘Big Guy’ so why not make him the star of your party? Every Christmas Eve my computer transforms into the NORAD Santa Tracker and it is a HUGE hit with the kids. They love to check in and see where he is delivering his toys, watch the videos and see how long before he works his way into our time zone. This way all the kids can scurry home, leave out their cookies and carrots, and make sure all the Elves are nestled in their beds. On Christmas morning my favourite tradition is the single mandarin orange in the toe of each stocking. The smell takes me back to my childhood and brings back so many wonderful holiday memories.
Regardless of how you celebrate the holidays or what holidays you celebrate, the most important thing is to surround yourself with those who matter. That is truly the greatest gift.
In keeping with the holiday spirit and gift giving, to help you make more wonderful holiday memories. I am giving away a weekend at Olde Bridge Place, my country Inn in the heart of Mennonite country beside the last covered bridge in West Montrose, Ontario. Known as the Kissing Bridge.
Your weekend of memory making will include 2 nights in the Kissing Bridge suite. A fabulous 2 room suite with king size bed , full kitchen and living room. A Cozy fireplace and your very own private porch over looking the Grand River and so close to the Kissing Bridge you can almost touch it. Also included is a delicious farm style breakfast for both mornings that you prepare at you leisure in your suite.
Good Luck …and I can’t wait to be part of your holiday memories.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This post is sponsored by Pine-Sol. With a strong heritage and long legacy, Pine-Sol is a long-standing tradition in many Canadian homes. Apart from the classic pine scent, Pine-Sol is also available in a variety of long-lasting scents – mandarin sunrise, lavender, lemon and sparkling wave. The smell of pine and mandarin always remind me of the holidays! So, you can use different scents throughout your home to change the mood too.
With Summer quickly approaching, thank goodness… It is time to think TRAVEL!! European travel to be exact.
The faboosh folks over at Air Transat have a Bid on Europe Auction going on. London, Paris and Athens OH MY! And so many more!!
Head over to the Air Transat Bid on Europe Auction page.
Test your knowledge and take a short quiz on your favourite destination. With every correct answer the starting bids get lower!!! Be sure to sign up to follow all the action. The rules and regulations will be listed on April 22, 2015 and the one day Bid on Europe Auction is Thursday April 23rd.
As some of you may know I have recently started a new adventure in my life…Because I wasn’t busy enough…I decided to buy a Bed and Breakfast!
Not just any bed and breakfast, mine has a bit of a twist to it…naturally…
Olde Bridge Place is NOT a traditional B&B…Here’s how it works..
There are 2 suites that are situated in a 130 year old converted garage at the base of the Kissing Bridge. They have full kitchens, living area, large bedrooms and gorgeous bathrooms. The larger of the 2 suites, The Kissing Bridge suite even has it’s own private patio over looking the river and the bridge.
I stock your room with FABOOSH local ingredients , fresh breads, pastries, eggs, bacon, fruit, juice, tea, coffee etc…and you make your own breakfast at your leisure..At NO TIME do I ever cook for you…
You have your own private entrance, you get your own key and you come and go freely. At NO time are you in my home…However you can join me for cocktails on the porch…
It’s a B&B only better…because you get your privacy and there is no awkward ..”I’m in someones house” stuff…
The B&B is located in the middle of the St Jacobs, Elmira, Elora triangle in the heart of Mennonite country..So many great things to see and do..
So..to celebrate my new adventure I am giving away a 2 night stay in the Kissing Bridge Suite at Olde Bridge Place…
BUT WAIT…that’s not all…you are about to get SPOILED!
I am also going to celebrate all the FAB local business I have the pleasure of working with…(shop local)
Here is what you can win…
2 Nights stay at Olde Bridge Place in the Kissing Bridge Suite – $370
Vintage milk painted side table from My Vintage Nest – $125
Gift Certificate to the FABOOSH Herrle’s Country Farm Market in St Agatha – $50
Gift Certificate from the drool worthy Lancaster Smokehouse in Kitchener – $50
10 X 6oz Brady’s Meats famous certified Angus beef baseball steaks – $70
Mini photo shoot up to 1.5hrs , 10 images included + printing rights 1 -11X14 print from CL Buchanan Photo – $600 !!!!!
HUGE thanks to all the FABOOSH local business that joined me in this AMAZING weekend escape…We LUV our region and want you to join us and see for yourself why it is just a wonderful place to be…CHEERS
Here is how to Enter…GOOD LUCK and we can’t wait for you to BE OUR GUEST!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please show your support to all our fab sponsors of this contest by being SOCIAL with them..Like, Pin and share with your friends…CHEERS