December 31, 2019 marked the one year anniversary since we made our move from Ontario to the beautiful rock of Newfoundland. The year was filled with ups and downs, as all years naturally are but overall moving here has been the best decision for us. We knew that moving here meant we would be seeing a lot less of our family and that would also mean Christmas without them.
A typical Christmas in Ontario for us would include hopping from house to house, trying to visit as many people as possible. I would also be making Christmas breakfast for my family and a Christmas Eve dinner, as well as two desserts for Josh's family gathering. To sum it up, it is a frenzy. From overspending at packed malls to spending most of our time racing between houses, it isn't a hallmark movie set . The above description makes it sound like I don't like Christmas, that is very untrue. I actually really enjoy this time of year, but what I don't enjoy is the craziness that comes with it. Which is why, amongst other reasons, we decided to spend Christmas in Newfoundland.
I think this was the first Christmas that I actually felt relaxed. Firstly, my work is very generous with our time and gives us from Christmas Eve to Jan 2 off, so it meant I had a whole week and a half to simply take in what this holiday is all about. Spending time with those you love. Which this year meant my husband Josh, crazy cat Ringo and old dog Roxanne, as well as some new and old friends.
The month leading up to Christmas we watched a marathon of Harry Potter, which is our annual Christmas tradition. I don't know how those movies are "Christmasy" to us but it's our thing. I also got a real tree for the first time since I was a kid, which honestly felt so magical. Surprisingly our cat did not attack or eat it, which was very welcomed as we had no idea how he would respond. Of course a few balls have been tossed around the floor but that is why we buy mostly shatter proof Christmas decorations.
This year I also was able to add to my handmade/specialty Christmas ornaments. Each year I try to buy 1-3 beautifully crafted bobbles for the tree, so that eventually the tree will be filled with meaningful decorations over our many Christmas' together.
Since we were away for the holidays I arranged for us to have some "family" Christmas photos done for a personalized card.
We did some shots in our house with the animals, obviously Ringo was not impressed, than we headed to one of our favourite places, Quidi Vidi, for some photos where my husband works. These are some of the only professional photos we have of the four of us and since Roxanne (our dog) is 13 we really want as many as we can get.
On Christmas Day we were very fortunate to have new friends of ours, who were also staying in Newfoundland for the holidays, over to our house for a boozy brunch. We sipped grapefruit and basil mimosas and ate so much delicious food, including roasted Brussel sprouts, upside down apple French toast and a "Cracker Barrel" hash brown casserole. So freaking delicious! I've linked the recipes themselves but you can also find them on my Coffee is Needed Pinterest board. I try to make new recipes as much as possible for special occasions. I've only had a few Pinterest fails (a runny cheesecake) otherwise Pinterest is my go to for new foodie inspiration.
Christmas Day also came with A LOT of snow. We actually received the most amount (100 cm) of snow from Christmas Eve to Old Christmas in 80 years, so when I say a lot I mean over 30 cm of it. The nice thing was we didn't have anywhere to go, so we snuggled in for the rest of the evening, phoned our families and enjoyed the winter wonderland that was swirling outside our home in St. John's.
Overall our first Christmas without family was hard in some ways as we really missed seeing our family especially our grandmas and my niece and nephew, but it was also the first Christmas where we got to just be a family of 4.
How do you celebrate Christmas with or without your family. Do you have any quirky traditions, like watching a marathon of Harry Potter?