December was tough this year- November and the beginning of December seem to be when family members pass in my family. Sadly, this year was no different and my family faced the loss of a treasured woman who meant heaps to all of us and who had deep roots with our family both in Canada and the UK. Needless to say, I didn’t feel much Christmas spirit heading into the season this year.
We had some very special visitors just before Christmas, which motivated us to get some decorations out and to go get a tree. Leonie and her sister Laura are from Germany; Leonie was the host daughter of 2 of my best friends and so Leonie has become my German niece and I her Canadian Auntie. Living in England has allowed us to connect more which has been such a blessing.
Since T and I agreed that we’d rather save for travel in the new year than buy gifts, we focused on quality time and took a Vietnamese Street Food cooking class at the Jamie Oliver Cookery School. We learned how to make Pho, alongside Vietnamese meatballs and prawn summer rolls. Mmmm. Food dates are the best dates!
We were also inspired to make a traditional Canadian Christmas dinner for the girls as Laura hadn’t experienced one, and with a Ukrainian twist in honour of T’s family roots meant that we included pierogies as well. The highlight was the pumpkin pie, because it accommodated several allergies: no gluten, no dairy, no egg, and it still tasted amazing!
It’s not a month I want to talk much about here, but we did get the most beautiful tree EVER so I thought I’d share some sparkly joy here for all of you.. including the process of watching the tree settle which we were all quite enamoured with! The tree was pretty massive in our small London flat. It’s diameter was about 6 feet once it settled. Seriously, we had to move ALL of the downstairs furniture to make space for this monster. Totally worth it. This tree brought some much-needed joy to the holiday season this year, and we enjoyed it well into January!
With a bit of a heavy heart, but lots of gratitude- another Christmas passed and we headed into 2018.