Christmas Traditions

Today I am talking about Christmas traditions and my favourite things to do this time of year! We are only two sleeps away from Christmas and I have one day left of work before 7 glorious days of holidays!

I mentioned in a previous post that I have been blasting music since well before December 1st and I make an effort to watch a Christmas show or movie every night. My all time favourite Christmas movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (which I watched last night & always watch while I decorate my tree). My other favourites include Home Alone 1&2, the Santa Clause and the Family Stone (sob). I love enjoying the lights in our neighborhood each night when we walk Poppy, our neighbor has a wild display that people drive to our little village to see.  

I am not usually a sweets person but I have definitely been indulging in hot chocolate and spiced eggnog on the regular!!And I finally got around to doing some Christmas baking. These sugar cookie bars and Christmas crack are AH-MAZING!! Last night I finally started my gift wrapping and tonight before people arrive I will hopefully complete the last of my Christmas cards and food prep for the weekend!

We will be busy for the next few days celebrating with family and friends. We are starting tonight by having friends over for appetizers and cocktails at our house. December has flown by so I haven't had an opportunity to host anything yet. We always spend Christmas eve at my parents so we will head there tomorrow to enjoy tons of awesome food, cocktails, board games and a lasagna dinner (my fav) !! We will spend the night and then head to TKs parents' on Christmas day for breakfast. As we have gotten older, we do less and less presents with family, it's more about spending time together. Later on Christmas day we have a turkey dinner with TK's extended family and then head back home to get together with friends. Boxing day we head back to my parents' to celebrate with my niece and nephew and exchange gifts. We are making a day of it again and ending with breakfast on the 27th. Then we have a party at our friend's who live down the street as well as our annual girls gift exchange. I am excited to share my DIY gift this year but have to wait until after the exchange!! And starting the 28th, we can relax for two days before I head back to work on the 31st:(

We have had two extended family Christmases already and as mentioned will spend the next couple of days back and forth between our family get togethers. Here are a few of my favourite Christmas appetizers I will be making this weekend;

Cranberry feta pinwheel recipe  here

Cranberry feta pinwheel recipe here

Spicy Cranberry Meatballs  recipe

Spicy Cranberry Meatballs recipe

Spinach Dip Bites  recipe

Spinach Dip Bites recipe

I'm not going to lie, with Christmas just a few sleeps away, I have found myself feeling a little bit sad thinking about how soon it will be here and gone and I am not ready for my decorations and tree to come down! 

Christmas is my favourite time of year and I am so excited to spend the next week celebrating, indulging in waaay to much food, too many cocktails and spending time with my favourite people!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Jess xx

'Tis The Season

Happy December!! I know I always say that October is my favourite month...until December comes along! I just love how the entire month is so festive and full of fun holiday activities and celebrations!!

This past weekend I experienced the Toronto Christmas Market for the first time with my girlfriends and I absolutely loved it! The twinkling lights, holiday décor & music, local vendors, mulled wine & craft beer--just the best! We may have spent the majority of the time enjoying the festive cocktails but it was a really great experience with friends and I will certainly be going back! Things like this make me extra excited for Christmas!

At this time last year we were in New York City surprising my mom for her 60th birthday. I was thrilled to get to experience NYC at Christmas time despite the weather feeling and looking more like fall. I loved seeing the sights of the city as well as the holiday decorations and of course the Rockefeller Christmas tree!!

It has been awesome to have the opportunity to travel to places before Christmas that get me more excited for the holidays. This weekend we are heading to Montreal and I am looking forward to bundling up and walking the streets of Old Montreal, visiting their Merry Montreal Christmas market and enjoying amazing local food and drinks with my favourite guy!

As much as I love travelling,  I also really love being at home at this time of year. Once I get my decorations up I am totally content with getting cozy and staying in. We got our Christmas tree up this week although this makes me a lot happier than it does TK. He is not a big fan of real trees due to the mess but I insisted we went with real this year rather than faux. I have a small fake tree but really missed having a real one last year. I hope to find a taller and more realistic faux one, perhaps on sale at the end of the season. There's nothing like the smell of a real tree (despite multiple candles and wax warmers with this scent throughout my house :) 

 I love carrying on traditions from when I was a kid. Each night, I watch a Christmas movie or show and my car has been blasting Christmas tunes for weeks. I haven't done any holiday baking yet but have enjoyed some store bought shortbread cookies and eggnog. I also love enjoying the Christmas lights in our neighbourhood each night when we walk Poppy.

This time of year is so special and it puts a smile on my face just thinking about it. What gets you most excited for the holidays?

Jess xx

 

 

$10 DIY Christmas Wreath

My girlfriend Erin works at our local library and asked if I was interested in running a Christmas craft night. I love Christmas and any opportunity to DIY so I jumped at the chance!!

I chose to make a holiday wreath, the challenge being to make it for $10 or less. I used this wreath from Etsy as my inspiration.

I purchased the grapevine wreath for $5 at Walmart and $5 worth of greenery and Christmas stems from Dollarama. I also had burlap ribbon on hand to make a bow.

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I attached the greenery by threading the stick between the vines of the wreath and used wire to secure it.

Close up of the wire

Close up of the wire

I adjusted the placement and branches of the greenery prior to securing with wire. I thought I would need hot glue but found the wire to be sufficient.

I used this tutorial to create my burlap bow and attached it to my wreath again using wire.

Keeping the materials under $10 was less challenging then I originally thought it would be. I could always add more materials if I wanted but I am really happy with the simplicity of it.

I was so thrilled for the opportunity to host this craft night. We had an awesome night with a great group of local people. We enjoyed hot chocolate and Christmas tunes while we created our wreaths and everyone left happy with their new decor. The advertisement for it turned out to be very popular so the library asked me to host two more events!! I am so happy to be doing something I love for the community. This has really put me in the spirit for more Christmas crafts and seasonal décor. Tis the season!

Jess xx