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Merry Christmas & Tissue Paper Wreath

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying "Toys not included"
Bernard Manning

So yeah... Christmas happened. :) 

There is always so much build up to Christmas. For months you prepare; you change the house around, you put a tree in your living room, you spend countless nights wrapping, bowing, ribboning, you save up all year and then it's all done in one morning. 

I know I'm a bit late but I have been enjoying my holidays rather than just writing about them :)

Every day I miss my Mom but this Christmas I miss her so much more. You know why?

Because I've never had a Christmas that my mom wasn't there to HELP before!!!

I've never cleaned up, made breakfast, hosted the work party, made appys, entertain friends,made dinner, have I mentioned the cleaning? I have never done the whole Christmas thing by myself. Oh, well I guess I did it last year but really I was just going through the motions last year. My heart was still too broken to really feel the merriment of the season. I barely remember last year! Seriously, I did risotto last year... AND this year?!?!?! That is sooooo unlike me. Every year I try to do different things :(

Our Christmas Eve began when Ninja and the girls met his parents on the waterfront for breakfast. 

They left pretty early in the morning and for the first half an hour I just laid in bed. 

It was so quiet. 

Quiet before the storm LOL. 

During that time all I did was concentrate on telling myself, I will not cry today. I will not cry tomorrow. I will miss my Mom but I will be strong and happy for my family. Repeat. 

And then I got up and prepared for HBear's Besty and my MBesty and her parents to come over for some gift opening and snacks :)

After they left to go to their family dinner I started preparing ours. While I cooked a huge dinner HBear FaceTimed with cousin Cassandra in Edmonton. They gabbed for like an hour LOL it's so weird to see my daughter talking on the phone and socializing. Just sitting in the kitchen listening to her I was bursting with pride and a little bit of sadness that she's growing up so quickly. 

We all got ready and Grandma and Grandpa came over for dinner and Christmas Eve festivities. Ninja and I did a Baked Ham, Champagne and Cremini Mushroom Risotto, Bacon Corn Casserole and Feta and Apple Salad with Honey Dressing and Curried Candy Pecans. I promise to post recipes later next week :)

Every Christmas Eve we go outside with sparklers and line the driveway so Santa knows where to come and then we  sprinkle our key. Our elf Maynard leaves us a bottle of "Christmas Magic" and we sprinkle it over our Santa Key and hang it on the front door for the Big Guy to use. 

This was my second Christmas without snow and I didn't like it. It so did not feel like Christmas that on December 23 at like 11 o'clock at night while I was looking at the calendar preparing for the next couple days I said "oh and we still have to go on our Christmas lights tour!" and then we looked at each other and realized OMG tomorrow's Christmas Eve and then it's Christmas... we had run out of time. It wasn't like we were super busy... it just didn't feel like Christmas without snow LOL

HBear wrote a very nice letter to Santa. Santa wrote back and said "Yes, you both have been good this year, but, I know you can be a much better listener than you have been. I would like you two to work on this for coming year." Bahahaha "Santa" just kills me!

I love looking at the Christmas Eve Christmas tree. Right before bed the glow of the lights, all the stockings stuffed, Santa presents out on display, and all the presents piled up beneath the tree. The camera never captures it or at least my camera, ahem, the person using it, me, never captures it the way I see it. 

So HBear asked Santa for a guitar for Christmas. A couple days before Christmas she changed it to a guitar or a piano or a violin. 

My brother got SBean a gift certificate for her fall music class. After HBear and I took our baskets of goods to SOWINS, we stopped at a music school of sorts. It is a house that's been completely renovated to be different rooms for different specialized music teachers. Guitar, piano, cello, violin, musical theater, vocal... whatever :) I was talking to the lady that thought that Penticton needed somewhere that was less, well, Conservatory and more creative. I really liked her and I adore SBean's music teacher, who works there. Anyways, the owner and I were talking about the piano and after our conversation and when HBear and I ran out to the van she said, "Mommy I want to learn how to play piano." Lol HBear also has friends that are twin boys and their Grandpa plays the violin and they play the piano lol. 

She loves her guitar and my brother and his partner bought her an awesome Fender amp!! Yesterday at bathtime she could barely keep still because she was told after bath she could go outside with Daddy to play guitar. This girl loves music!! 

We assume the SBean would like a bike LOL. Our bikes are all parked up against the railing in the carport beside the van and every day she says "Bike ride? Bike ride? Bike ride? Bike ride?" Every time we get into the van. She loves being in the blue trailer behind our bikes, she loves being on her trike, she just likes to go LOL. My BCBesty has a daughter that also likes to go LOL and she has a balance bike. 

So Santa brought her one too :)

After we did clean up and SBean had a nap we went up to see Mom. It's crazy that as soon as we make a specific turn she knows where we're going. 

Nanas house?

Yes SBean. 


Dad bought 4 Baileys and we all had a toast... even Mom :)

Then it was off to Ninja's parent's for more presents :) and an amazing Christmas dinner. I mean, I'm talking turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, the dreamiest mashed potatoes, carrots peas, buns, brussel sprouts, and plum pudding for dessert!! Ah-mazing!

So a while back I was looking on Facebook and a guy about my age passed away suddenly. I noticed a picture that one of my friends posted of this teddy bear made out of his high school T-shirt. I noticed in one of the comments someone mentioned the lady's name that made it. 

So I messaged her and said you don't know me but I would love if you could do this for me and my family. I didn't hear from her for over a month and then one day I got a message back saying I'm so sorry I never check Facebook of course I would love to meet you. It turns out that she lives 2 streets behind me and I mean, directly behind me! LOL 

This woman was so nice, she asked me all these questions about my Mom. I talked to her for quite a while, I explained each piece of clothing. I explained about my Dad and my Sister and my Brother. And then she said okay I have enough I'll let you know when they're ready. About a month later she called me, they're ready. I went and picked them up and I was so excited! She had put up an inspiration board above her work station and used all my stories to make the bears. They were exactly what I was hoping for so I gave one to each of us for Christmas. My Sister's bear was made entirely out of the dress my mom wore as the Mother of the Bride to her wedding. 

In my Sister's and Dad's box I placed 2 special tags. Last year while I was wrapping I found 2 old Christmas tags at the bottom of the ribbon bag.  One was to my sister from Mom & Dad... in my Mom's handwriting. The other one was to Ronnie L.O.V.E Stumper. That was my Dad's nickname for Mom.

I searched the WHOLE bag for one for me... it was ugly lol ribbons were everywhere and all I could think was please let me find one she wrote to me... please... but no.

I was going to give them to them last year but I thought it was too emotional as it was so I would save them for a better time, this was it!

Oddly enough the tag was missing from my dad's box???? :(

Mine was made from my silk. My silk has been with me since the very beginning. It's a nightgown that my Mom used to wear when she breastfed me. I used to rub it between my fingers and it calmed me down. It became my Blankey, my confidant. Lol It had stains on it, rips, no hem, no arm, it was grungy and dirty and Ninja hated it LOL. I used to even take it to tests and exams! If I didn't have it in my pocket or under my sweater it was definitely in my bag... knowing that it was right there was comforting enough. 

Apparently I have attachment issues we will discuss this at a later date LOL. 

Anyways, so I gave her my silk to make my bear. Under it's necktie of my favorite place to "silk" LOL there's a cigarette burn hole in the shape of a heart that she left. 

My Dad's was made from an old blue cardigan. My mom bought my Poppy that cardigan when my parents still lived in Winnipeg years ago. He wore it all the time and when he died she began wearing it all the time. It's the first picture I have of her if I thought Mom... no it's not. It's her smile. But suffice to say she wore it a lot. 

She used the buttons and the cuffs and of course she gave all those bears big brown eyes, just like my Mom's :)

She used some of the yellow dress and some of the blue cardigan for my Brother's. As my mom was my his stepmom, they had a winding, interesting road to get to where their relationship was at the end. My Mom loved my Brother like her own. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you from ME :)

I didn't get to post this before the holidays so this is my holiday craft post Christmas. :)

Tissue Paper Wreath

HBear loves Mandarin oranges. In our house as I grew up we used to call them Christmas oranges but now because we eat them all year they're just plain old Mandarin oranges LOL. So usually I buy them in bulk but at this time year they come in for 5 pound boxes yay!! You know how they are all individually wrapped in tissue paper? Yeah that's pretty annoying hey? Well I figured out a great use of all of those individual wrappers to make the whole process a lot less annoying. 

Remember when you were in elementary school and the teacher had all of those green tissue papers cut up into squares and all that white paste and you got to dip in all of your green papers and make a wreath and then roll up all the red paper and make berries?

Yeah I taught HBear how to do that this weekend and while I did some cooking she did some crafting all on her own! Fabulous win win!!

It turned out amazing and she did every last bit of it by herself! What a perfect craft. Thank you Mandarin orange boxes.


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