On Christmas Eve we headed to Evan’s aunt and uncle’s an hour north of the city where we were staying until Boxing Day with Evan’s mom, Brotherman and family. Their house is absolutely beautiful and the town is cute in a Stars Hollow sort of way, so it was a really great place to spend Christmas.
Evan’s Uncle Stevie and Auntie Jan used to live in Tobago but moved back to Ontario in 2016 (whyyyy didn’t we go visit them when they lived there??? Dummies!), so this is the first Christmas we have spent with them. I briefly mentioned in my last post that Evan’s nana unfortunately passed away in the early fall and this was also the first Christmas that the rest of us didn’t spend it with her (first after three years for me). She loved to host Christmas and it felt really weird not to not have her around, and not be watching House Hunters and true crime TV shows in her living room and laughing at her sassy commentary in her proper British accent. I’ll have to tell you some stories about her sometime because she was such a character and her presence was noticeably missing, for all of us. But, that is life and it goes on. At 90, she lived a great one herself. We made the best of the situation and had a wonderful Christmas together.
On Christmas Eve we all congregated in the kitchen and made pizzas.
Evan being a good son and taking pictures for his mom on her iPad.
We picked up dough from Nino D’Aversa (Italian bakery in Toronto) and added all the toppings. They turned out deliciously.
We listened to Christmas carols and drank wine and ate our pizzas with a big Caesar salad with homemade dressing from Uncle Stevie. A very good Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning we woke up, had a leisurely breakfast, and opened our presents. This year we decided to just do stocking stuffers for everyone, which worked out really well because we all had a pile of fun things to open but we only spent $20-$25 on each person. I think that might become a tradition.
It was awesome having Landon around. At a year and a half he is not super enthused about Christmas just yet, he mostly enjoyed the boxes and wrapping paper. Next year though I think he’ll be getting there! He was so cute though and was so good the entire time. Just a little muffin.
I also fell down the stairs, which was not a Christmas day highlight for me… But also not a huge surprise as stairs and I sort of have a history. Actually it probably would have been a Christmas miracle if I didn’t fall down the stairs.
My most embarrassing stair fall was probably at my bestie’s grandfather’s funeral last year because I was in a dress and I almost took out an old man – I realized at the last moment before grabbing onto him that he wasn’t going to be able to save me. This was a close second in embarrassment though because I was carrying my phone and Nintendo DS (with Harry Potter Lego in it!), both of which went flying and made such a giant racket that everyone came running. I don’t know what happened but the stairs were polished wood and slippery and I stepped on a narrow part where the stairs curved and my foot went flying out from under me. I felt it happening but I was powerless to stop it and hit every. single. stair. on the way down.
I had some pretty bad bruises on the right side of my body and am still sore but otherwise escaped unharmed, though I still can’t do a pushup because my right arm/shoulder can’t take it (not that I could do a proper pushup before anyway). Everyone said they couldn’t believe I didn’t hit my head or break a bone and I don’t know what to say except if there is one thing I’m good at, it’s falling. I’ve fallen enough times that I know to let my body go slack and roll with it for minimal damage. Anyway, it was not the first flight of stairs I’ve fallen down and it will likely not be the last. But (YES DAD) I am going to be more careful.
After presents and my big bad fall, Evan, Kelly, Uncle Stevie and I headed out for a walk to the lake. It was super cold but it was super beautiful.
I love a frozen lake. That is certainly not the type of ice that you can just blow across on though. There’s a beach there so we’re going to have to come back in the summer when it’s hot for some swimming!
After our walk we napped, read our books by the fire, took our annual Christmas Day selfie…
The fourth one we have now! The first with champagne, fancy. And then we popped open our crackers and donned our colourful paper crowns for dinner.
Christmas dinner number two (we had our first at my dad and Mona’s the week before) did not disappoint. It was delicious. Holidays are really the only time I have turkey and stuffing with gravy so I cherish every bite.
After dinner we played this hilarious game that Evan’s Uncle Stevie and Auntie Jan introduced us to – I don’t know what to call it other than try to unwrap a present wearing oven mitts.
Evan and Brotherman got matching shirts for Christmas and I love that they were wearing them proudly.
Anyway, there were about four layers of wrapped boxes and you had to try to open them wearing oven mitts while the person in front of you rolled the dice. If they got doubles you had to stop what you’re doing, pass the box and the oven mitts to them and they had to try to unwrap the box while the person in front of them rolled trying to get doubles, and so on. I will definitely be busting this out at every Christmas party I attend in the future because I tell you, it was a time.
By the end there was just a tiny box to open. That man is 96 years old and was killing it. But of course, Evan won, because that’s what he does best. Wins all the things.
The final present was a deck of cards, so we can play together and he can beat me at more games!
On Boxing Day we left Uncle Stevie’s bright and early to hit the road to Evan’s dad’s for Christmas number three, about a two hour drive east. Unfortunately, it had been freezing rain since the early morning and the roads were pretty crappy. They were mostly just wet by the time we set out but there were several accidents on the 401 (the biggest highway that crosses Ontario east/west) and they actually shut down a big section that we needed to travel on. Getting off was a nightmare, and then we had to take a side road that was RAMMED with traffic and that two hour drive somehow ended up taking us six hours. I’d like to say the drive was a good time but I was in the front of the truck in the middle, between Evan and his mom (who we were dropping off) and the hump of the seat was digging into my bruise from the stairs. The worst thing about this though, was that the snacks were all in the back of the truck. So that’s a lesson learned – keep the snacks up front! I have to say that Landon was a SERIOUS trooper through all of this.
When we finally got to Evan’s dad’s, his road was basically a skating rink and we could not get up a hill before his driveway. So Brotherman and I (VERY CAREFULLY) slid across the road and up the hill and trekked to the house to retrieve their dad. Then he had to come and rescue us with his tractor and pull the truck up the hill and into his driveway. It was quite the adventure.
Luckily after that ordeal, dinner was waiting for us.
And Christmas dinner number three was just as delicious as the previous two! I loved the addition of sausages and sauerkraut.
Since the roads in that area were not great and we got there so late, we decided to stay over another night, which ended up being really nice because we got more time with Evan’s dad and Loulou.
It was such a good Christmas with all of Evan’s family and I was so grateful for everyone for having me. But after three days of traveling, I was so excited to go home on the 27th. Evan and I made it home in the afternoon and immediately got into our pajamas and did our Christmas together with Tilly.
My favourite present was this custom ornament of Winnie from Evan!
I love it so much! Dawn’s sister Melon has her own business (Garbaroo Co. you should check her out, her stuff is really cool) doing custom pet portraits, magnets, ornaments, basically everything, and she sculpted and painted this, that talented minx. The funny story behind it is I had actually contacted her back in November and asked her if she could do one for Evan for Christmas, but she told me she was unfortunately too busy and wouldn’t have time to finish it. I was disappointed and then I saw her signing up to do things for people on Facebook so I was all “WTF I THOUGHT SHE WAS BUSY!” Then I received this and Evan said he told her to tell me that because he was already getting her to make the Winnie ornament for me! I had no idea, those tricksters. I will cherish it forever.
So that was Christmas 2016, a good one all around.