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Christmas and Warm Gingerbread Cake With Caramel Sauce

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.

Burton Hills

Christmas. This Christmas was different in a lot of ways. First, this was our first Christmas in our new home! We had new decorations, new traditions, and a new tree!

For so many years I spent Christmas at 14 Costello Dr. My first home. Even after I moved out I still went home for Christmas every year. Then my parents moved away to BC and they came home to me and my Sister's house on Telfer St. And then my Sister moved to Korea and we spent Christmas at my parent's house in Penticton! And then HBear was born. Ninja and I spent our very first Christmas morning together with our new baby as a family. Of course we still saw my Brother, my Grandpa, and Ninja's family so we weren’t totally alone but on Christmas morning it was just the 3 of us and it was so special. 
And then we moved to BC! Christmases were just like I remember them, my Mom and I cooked and baked for weeks to prepare for the Holiday. In 2012 I had just had SBean, my Sis was pregnant with SweetPea, and my Brother and his partner all came out for one big Christmas together as a family. 6 months later we lost Mom but my In-Laws moved to BC! For the past 7 years we have been in limbo. Christmas has been tough, living in my Mom's house, I have kept up all of her traditions even putting the decorations exactly the way she did while we were growing up. One year Dad went to Cochrane and Winnipeg for the holidays and that was… Weird LOL my In-Laws were still here though so we still got the family dinners and the annual gingerbread making day, a favourite of all of ours!

This year we still did our gingerbread making day but it looked a lot different. This year we saw our family over FaceTime.

On Christmas Eve we got to play Santa! We delivered presents to Grandma and Grandpa and then we went downstairs and delivered presents to Dad and J! It is so weird to know that they are just downstairs and yet we can’t be with them. We all discussed the situation and we all agreed, Dr. Bonnie asked all families to celebrate with their immediate households only. If we celebrated with my In-Laws, my Dad, his girlfriend, and us that would be 4 households that we would be bringing together! Even though that would just be the 8 of us and we consider us all immediate family, none of us wanted to be part of the problem. We all want to be part of the solution and knew what we had to do. I have to say though, it has been very disheartening looking on social media and seeing so many disregard the health rules! There are people that I will look differently at when this is all said and done. People who chose their own needs over the good of the whole. I am very happy with the decision we made even though my Girls did not get to spend Christmas with their Grandparents the way I would have liked them too. Instead, we spent Christmas day setting up FaceTime visits with them and taking turns opening up each of our presents while they looked upon us from our big screen TV! It was definitely not normal 😆 and it definitely wasn’t the way I had pictured our first Christmas in our new home but it is definitely a story and a Christmas none of us will soon forget!

Christmas 2020 was filled with new experiences, beautiful memories, and I was so happy and proud to spend our first Christmas in our beautiful new home. I very much wanted to host a gathering, possibly a cocktail evening with my friends, definitely a brunch with my loved ones, maybe even an open house like both of our families used to do when Ninja and I were kids. Instead, everything slowed down. I could really take the time to appreciate the moments. That hasn’t happened in years! To be honest despite the fear, the uncertainty and the loss of 2020, that is what I will be taking away from this year, time. Instead of being in a rush, we got to take it at our own pace and enjoy every single second of it. And we did! Although I missed our family tremendously, I am grateful for the opportunity to nestle into our new home and celebrate with just the 4 of us. I will never forget this Christmas, not because of what I didn’t get but because of everything I did ❤️.

Check out How Was Your Week, Honey? Episode #204 Christmas Comes & Christmas Goes HERE!

This week the we recap Christmas & marvel at how quickly the Season passed. Topics: getting your license, clean up, Champagne, pre-teen problems, X-Country skiing, Xmas Eve, gifts, Xmas movies & hits you missed!

Last year I made a special dessert for one of our holiday dinner and it was amazing!!! However, I didn’t like the pictures I took of it so the recipe has sat in my draft folder for a full year. This cake was SO good though and I have been on a gingerbread kick lately so despite my awful photography skills I decided to share it anyways! Please enjoy this moist and delicious holiday cake that is easy enough for ME to bake but a challenge to photograph 😂. 

Warm Gingerbread Cake With Caramel Sauce
Adapted from The Recipe Critic

9 tablespoons butter, softened
⅓ cup sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup water

caramel sauce ingredients:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup cold water
¼ cup butter, cubed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
heavy whipped cream, optional

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.

In your mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in molasses and egg until blended together. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with water.

Pour the cake into the 9 inch pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack.

To make the caramel sauce: In a medium size saucepan, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Add the water and bring to a boil until the sauce starts to thicken about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cubed butter and vanilla until melted and smooth. Serve over warm cake with whipped cream.

Like I mentioned above, this year's annual Gingerbread houses with Grandma and Grandpa looked a bit different! Ninja and the Girls decorated their gingerbread houses while Grandma and Grandpa FaceTimed in and watched them from the computer screen! It was a little different but we made it work! While they did the decorating, I made gingerbread men. This week we got snow for Christmas! Over the years we have not had many white Christmases and this was another reason for me to be grateful! Ninja and HBear might not agree though 😂 they were up at 4:30 AM with the rest of our employees to shovel out all of our clients. HBear did a great job and rewarded herself afterwards with a hot tub to ease her aching muscles 😆.

This week we ate delicious dinners and drank a lot of spiced rum and eggnog. I hung up my 3 finished Stockings and the Girl’s 12 days of Christmas ended. SBean still hasn’t figured out that it was J and her Mom showering them with presents every morning for the past 12 days!

We also did another week of my festive season challenge! We built gingerbread houses, played in the snow, went on a light hunt, enjoyed Xmas, spent all day in pj’s, wrote a list of thanks and had a family game day!

We took the Girls up to Nickel Plate this week to do a little cross country skiing. It was such a fun time! HBear was a little sore from shovelling the day before but still was able to laugh… A lot! SBean had never done it before but caught on quickly and kept up like a pro! It was so peaceful, and warm and just an all-around fantastic day! Later we relaxed with a beautiful sunset and a spiced rum and eggnog.

We woke up on the 24th to our Christmas Eve box and a lovely gift from one of my favourite clients 💛.

We delivered our gifts, visited Mom and then came home to open our Christmas Eve presents. This year the box was stuffed with matching pj’s, a 2020 ornament, a new home ornament, a Vince Guaraldi Trio Xmas record, hot chocolate bombs, Trivial Pursuit, the Peanuts Xmas movie and the Garfield Xmas movie, chocolate treats, our magic key, Christmas magic and sparklers!

It also came with a Christmas FAO Train!!! I have always loved the magic of trains at Christmas! Actually, I’ve always had a thing for trains period 😂. Maynard our Elf left us a beautiful train set to set up and next year we can’t wait to put it around our Christmas tree! We played our new game, made my Mom’s famous Xmas overnight breakfast, enjoyed homemade pizza, good wine, and baked goods for dessert. We watched our new movies, went on our Xmas light hunt, came home and watched The Christmas Chronicles 2, did our sparklers with Dad and J (outside and socially distanced), sprinkled the magic key with magic dust and placed it on our door handle! We put out our letters to Santa, cookies and THEN Ninja and I set up!

Christmas morning began for us at 8am. We headed downstairs to where Santa put his gifts under our real tree! After we played with those and opened our stockings we ate breakfast. After breakfast we opened presents and then went back downstairs to FaceTime with Grandma and Grandpa while we “exchanged”presents. We returned upstairs and set up the computer to do the same with Dad and J! Ninja and I decided to do a small turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and green beans for dinner with an great bottle wine. We ended our magical day with a Mario Kart tournament and cuddles.

We spent Boxing Day in our pyjamas and ended our week with a family board game day! We played all of our new games and enjoyed every single one of them!

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas, hopefully you all abided by the rules and did your part to keep your friends, family, and neighbours safe and healthy going into 2021. Merry Christmas and may you all have a healthy and safe New Year’s Eve!


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