December 20th: Our annual Christmas party was cancelled due to bad weather; we had already booked my niece to babysit so we went on a date. We drank hot drinks at a small cafe playing Christmas music and then walked around the old campus in the snow. Weather: cold and snowing
A perfect winter’s day
December 21st: My parents arrived at the yurt after driving through freezing rain for most of the day. Weather: lots of snow in the morning, freezing rain the rest of the day
Decorating a Charlie Brown tree for Nanny & Papa’s hotel room
December 22nd: Church was cancelled due to the ice. Downside: my sweet nieces didn’t get to be angels in the nativity play, which was a bit disappointing for them. The upside: everyone was showered and wearing nice clothes. We spent the day in the yurt with my parents; lost power around lunchtime. We lit the oil lamps, decorated the tree, and hung Christmas gifts from the ceiling. Weather: everything covered in slippery ice, warm
Christmas gifts rained from the ceiling
December 23rd: Still no power. We went for a beautifully snowy walk and took pictures in front of the ice-covered trees; Mike and my Mom had a snowball duel in the field. Weather: a bit of snow, still fairly warm (-10 ish)
It was a good day for a snowball fight
December 24th: No power for most of the day. The grandparents babysat the wee girl at the hotel (they had power) and managed to get her down for a nap (Grandparents: 1, Alma: 0) while Mike and I did some last minute Christmas and grocery shopping. We had a very fun time and were surprised by how friendly everyone was to us. We realized later that we looked like young versions of Santa and Mrs. Claus in our red coats and Santa hats.
We were preparing supper when the Christmas lights turned on and the yurt turned into a scene from a Christmas movie. Christmas lights and music have never been so welcome. The power turned off again about ten minutes later. Alas, we went to church and had a lovely time singing carols with friends.
The Great Christmas Electricity Miracle had returned in our absence and the yurt was again a beautiful sight. We ate way too much food and had good laughs with both Nannies, Papa, and our friend Isabelle. After tucking my two favourite people into bed, I cleaned up the kitchen and got the yurt ready for Christmas morning. This is the first year I understand what Christmas is like for adults as I finally got to bed at 3:30am. Weather: cold
December 25th: We woke up to a smiling baby and a blue sky. Though it was cold outside, the yurt was balmy and we were cosy.
Grandparents arrived; we opened gifts and ate copious amounts of sweet treats. “Brunch” was finally on the table at 1:30pm. We made Christmas supper at Nanny’s house because our oven was at 600 degrees (the husband wanted to keep the guests warm). We had a fun time around the fireplace with friends and family before heading home to bed. Weather: cold.
Christmas in the yurt
December 26th: We had a visit from our good friend, Alex, who not only helped Mike carry a couch from the barn to the yurt and cut wood, but also entertained the wee one for hours. We had lemon meringue pie for my step-Dad’s birthday and played a game of Trivial Pursuit 90’s Edition (my much sought-after Christmas gift). Weather: cold and snowy.
Spreading Christmas cheer
December 27th: Christmas Day II. We cooked a communal meal with my husband’s family and ended up with eighteen of us around the table. We went sliding and sat around the fireplace as we opened gifts. It was a very fun-filled day. We said sad goodbyes to my parents who were heading home and headed home ourselves. Alma was pretty sleepy on the walk home (which was only about five minutes) and fell asleep in her snowsuit as Mike was about to unzip her. We tried to watch a stand-up comedian on the computer but only last about twelve minutes before we also fell asleep. Weather: perfect winter day
Kids, adults, dogs, and a baby all participated in the tobogganing
December 28th: Christmas continued with the in-laws. We had the annual Gingerbread Competition where everyone makes some form of gingerbread house (or van, castle, tree-house, tipi…). Mike ate so much pizza he could barely function. The kids built a snow couch/fort lit with tiki-torches where we enjoyed hot drinks and watched each other barrel down the icy hill on sleds. Alma and I fell asleep in the chair as Mike visited with our friend Alex. Weather: warming up
What could be better entertainment than an oversized cardboard box?
December 29th: Mass exodus by the in-laws; everyone left us this morning. Nanny, Mike, Alma, and the dogs napped this afternoon while I looked through the dozens of Christmas photos we took. Mike chopped wood and filled the yurt; we put Alma to bed early, and watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother. Weather: around zero; ice is melting off the trees
Having a nap in her new Christmas sled
December 30th: Today will be a quiet, nap-filled day for the little one (and probably for me, as well). I will probably make soup and we will watch a Christmas movie of some sort tonight. Weather: cold and blustery
Reading while Mom washes dishes
December 31st: No More Beard Day! Mike is not only shaving his beard, he is also cutting off all his beautiful hair. In 2014 I will be married to someone who looks much younger than I.
Farewell 2013 beard