We prepare, we decorate, we eat, we play, we celebrate. And then we crash!
These post-Christmas days haven't been terribly productive. (The dishes are finally done!) But the holiday leading up to them was wonderful. Different. But wonderful, nonetheless.
We spent Christmas Eve at Rick's. We decided to do something we'd never done before for dinner -- make a tourtiere, a French Canadian meat pie, traditionally prepared in Quebec homes, eaten on Christmas Eve. Ours wasn't the prettiest (we could have used more crust!) but it was filled with marvelous spices. We used blogger Marie's more or less, but took advice from Quebec blogger Monique, who said the spices are what makes it smell like Christmas! It did!
While Rick was doing the lions share of the cooking, I read our Christmas journal with notations from 2002 through last year.
We recalled current events of those days, those who left us, and were reminded of fun and parties, good recipes and great times. We were also reminded of Christmases that were more challenging, with someone missing because of illness or the year both of us were sick on Christmas day!
After dinner, Rick made a wonderful bread filled with apples that would be part of Christmas breakfast.
Then we took a drive through our old neighborhoods to look at Christmas lights. There were lots of pretty ones, but this message said it all!
When I went to bed on Christmas Eve, the lights on the "Dad" tree and carols keeping me company until I drifted off, it was a good, peaceful sleep and when waking Christmas morning. I was almost as excited as my first Christmas. Yes, a different Christmas for so many of us. But that didn't mean it was bad. It was calm and lovely. There was time to "be" with it all, whether I was by myself or with Rick.
I headed down the street and before breakfast, we opened one present, from Rick's son, Greg. He had taken cuts from an already downed tree he found in the woods and turned it into the most magnificent centerpiece.
It's about two or three inches thick, sanded many times before getting varnish and poly. It was a most remarkable and surprising gift.
That went on the table and then Rick made French toast from that wonderful loaf of bread.
After opening presents and hanging out, I headed back home. I had a table to set!
This time I went for the more formal tablecloth, one with loads of golden threads.
A few cedar branches, red ribbon, fairy lights and my mom's Royal Doulton winter girl and I was almost ready to go!
I just needed plates and yes, party favors. Candy bar snowmen went in Rick's stocking AND on the table!
For a little hint of spring, my paperwhites offered me a special Christmas gift -- lovely, fragrant blooms!
The afternoon was filled with Zoom meetings, first with Rick's family, then with my cousins.
Rick picked out a beautiful bottle of wine for my stocking. It didn't stay in the stocking long!
And finally -- after the roast should have been done an hour before -- we ate!
We capped off the evening with a Zoom with Kevin, Greg and Molly. Occasionally the toddlers flew by in a state of overtired, over-sugared energy! That, and a snuggle with the resident cat-girl made for a wonderful day.
It was different, yes. We would have loved to see those babies in person (Well, maybe not after the sugar!) or had dinner with the friends we often see on Christmas. But we couldn't. And it was fine.
Now, on to the end of the year! Books to read, things to do!
May the rest of your holiday season be filled with light and love.
Beautiful and delicious holiday
The Christmas journal is a great idea, it is wonderful to look back at the happier times too. I love your candle centerpiece,what a lovely gift. Your table setting looks pretty and festive. I like the cute stocking on Rick's plate. The meat pie and the french toast look delicious, I wish I could try a piece YUM! I wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year! Take care, enjoy your day! Have a happy new week!
Sounds like a great celebration with lots of good food and fun. Love that table piece you were gifted. Here it was quiet but festive with plenty of good food. Hugs, Valerie
Your Christmas looks fantastic. What a beautiful table setting! The food looks delicious, too. Len has made apple bread a few times also, though I never thought of using it for French Toast: great idea!
Thank you for letting us all join into your celebration through these great photos!
be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com
I like that French toast with the berries. Yum! That meat pie looked interesting, too. Your table decor was magnificent. So glad you had such a good Christmas.
I love the joy and caring about details that you and Rick put into your Christmas this year. I know you do it every holiday but this year I'm guess it took on extra meaning during the pandemic. Merry Christmas!
Sounds like a jolly good time was had by all!
Stay safe ~
Beautiful and delicious Christmas! Your home is so beautiful and festive, like a wonderland.
You did indeed make it a lovely celebration. I've never eaten a proper tourtiere, believe it or not! I laughed at your comment on my post about the vacuum. I shall think of you the next time I bring it out to suck up more spruce needles on the rug! -Jenn
A lovely and warm Christmas. I'm glad all went well for you, and a journal always brings back memories. I like that idea. I copied the meat pie recipe and will try it, as I know my husband will enjoy it. This post makes me happy, and I wish you a wonderful new year.
Jeanie, That looked like a wonderful Christmas for two people in love. I think Rick is a very good cook !! That bread made the best French toast. I am happy for you both. Ted and I did rather well by ourselves. Nothing fancy. But we felt a bit of peace and my friend we needed that. Blessings to you and Rick for a fabulous new year. Blessings, xoxo, Susie
I definitely need someone living with me who likes to cook. Food looks yummy. Your celebrations sound sweet. Have a great week!
I'm so glad you had such a wonderful Christmas, it sounds pretty perfect to me and looks like it was delicious too!
Sounds like a wonderful Christmas, your table looks fantastic and I love the wooden centrepiece made for you, its a beauty. Oh and that read! Amazing!
I found you whilsst blog hopping, be lovely to see you over on mine at emeraldcottage.blogspot.com
What a beautiful table setting. Ricks bread and French toast look delicious. I love your mother's Royal Doulton winter girl. I'm so glad that you had a happy and peaceful Christmas. Much happiness to you and Rick.
I have just been swooning over all these gorgeous photos. But (if I'm honest) the one that got me the MOST was that French Toast!!!!!! I am salivating! Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas even though it was "different". I know we were luckier than most because not much changed for us. Kids came over for our usual Christmas breakfast and then opening gifts. I do pray that next year Christmas will be back on track for EVERYONE!!! Wishing you, Rick, and all of yours a very HAPPY AND SAFE NEW YEAR. Thanks so much for dropping by my blog:)
We make a really good tourtière, Jeanie. You may be interested to know the origin of this French Canadian treat. The word for dove in French is tourterelle, so a Mourning Dove for example is a Tourterelle triste, literally Sad Dove. When the early settlers arrived in New France the most numerous bird was the dove and it was easily killed and made into a pie; hence the term tourtière. It lives on to this day but is generally now made with minced pork. My daughter makes a truly excellent tourtière based on a recipe obtained from an ancient grande mère in Trois Rivières, Québec. She had friends over and they liked it so much they asked Caroline if she would make a couple for them and they would pay for them. Long story short - her renown spread and she wound up making two hundred. She has already declared she would never do it again! All the best for the New Year, Jeanie. May you and Rick enjoy great happiness together.
Wonderful Christmas, i do like the candy bar idea! That would work for easter as well- Do you have two houses? You did a fab job this year in spite of ...everything!
Everything looks so festive and pretty. WOW...and the food looks great. Seems like Christmas came and went so fast. I am going to take the balls off my tree and leave it up for the lights for just a bit.....cause I have enjoyed them so much this yr.
What a nice dinner and breakfast. Looks all yummy! Great present given to in that wood centerpiece. I am sure it will be cherished forever. Janice
Merriest Christmas, the table looks wonderful.
I loved reading and seeing pictures of your Christmas.
What a sweet girl in the middle of your table. The wood center piece gift is gorgeous. Rick's bread, well gorgeous too. The french toast breakfast, yummmm! And the meat pie sounded just perfect.
What a treat to celebrate TWO Christmas dinners !
Very fun for those faraway who can’t :))
Love the T-Shirt! And your journal-idea.
A bread filled with apples?! Cool idea, too!
Beautiful, clever present.
Arme Ritter! That´s how we call French toast. "Sweet" memories!
Oh, Spring... Zoom has not arrived here yet. Pfft. How some people always assume Germany is advanced... nope. And ohhh, I remember those "pull-things" from Australia! Sugared kids.... stress! :-) Know it from the Nieces... a "pain"!
Yes, to love!
Looks like you managed a very good day indeed. Now I'm hungry for French Toast, or Eggy Bread as it's known here!
Deb in Wales
Thanks, Jeanie, for sharing your Christmas celebrations and Rick’s food prep and then the results. Your table setting looked very festive and nice to see that the holiday went on as it did in our home as well, including Zoom family meet ups. Best wishes to you both for a Happier New Year.
It looks like you have had a wonderful Christmas Jeanie, despite the restrictions, etc. We make the best of what we are given don't we! I wish for you and Rick a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2021! A fresh page for us all to write upon! Stay happy and stay safe and healthy! xoxo
That wood centre piece is very pretty and unusual, great gift.
Your Christmas table looks so pretty, I feel terrible that mine was so plain.
I like the idea of a Christmas journal to notate food served, gifts given and received, guests who visited, etc.
Bread with apple, sounds delicious, you should give us the recipe too Jeanie :)
Wishing you and Rick a wonderful and healthy New Year.
You had a ball:) And feasts:)Happy for you..love how you document EVERYTHING..WE zoomed too..and it made our Christmas..I was blue without seeing them all..My family makes me laugh..and that's my medicine..for everything..their sense of humor is over the top..all have kept great attitudes during all this..♥
What an amazing centerpiece at Rick's. It was incredible. Sounds like you had two very different and very happy meals on Christmas day. One quite rustic, one quite elegant. I was SO impressed with your sharing this day with us. I know it was different, but at least you were able to share it with another human. Happy after Christmas wishes and happy new year wishes, too. May you find joy in this season. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay upbeat.
Your home is decorated so lovely, the food for your Christmas sounds like it was delicious, I'd say that the two of you made the most of the circumstances when it came to celebrating Christmas. Wishing you two all the best.
If your dishes are all done you're ahead of us lol The Christmas journal looks like a sweet way to bring back memories. That bread looks delicious! And made into French toast and with all that fruit. It looks like the perfect dish. That centerpiece is truly remarkable! Books to read! I'm with you!
Glad you had a good Christmas Eve and Christmas. Hope you have a good New Year's Eve and Day.
Jeanie sounds as though you and Rick had a perfect Christmas Eve and Day.
I made the tourtiere once a few years back and we both loved it. My recipe came from a Canadian friend. I will have to dig it out - I had forgotten about it.
The holidays were different, but certainly not bad. We are being very lazy and I have been reading and enjoying not doing too much of anything. Miss Lizzie looks sleepy in her photo. I believe she is waiting for you to tuck her in.
Wishing you and Rick a Happy and Healthy New Year!
P.S. Jeanie, your Christmas table was beautiful!
What a beautiful table setting.
I love the cat hair in the Lizzie photo. We have lots of that too.
Happy New Year Jeannie and Rick!
It looks like a fabulous Christmas Jeanie. I think yes this year was different, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. Of course I know there were people alone and that is sad. Love seeing all the photos. The meat pie (spell check was being a bear about the actual spelling) looks good. Those are fairly common here in NH and are delicious. Hope you have a wonderful New Years. Hugs Erika
How purrfect. And that breakfast looks mouthwatering.
You are right. Different doesn’t make it bad. It sounds like a lovely holiday in this tricky year. And I love that you made meat pie. ( spell check keeps making a mess of the actual French name). I bet it was good. They are common here in NH with our large French Canadian population. The bread looks yummy too. And your table looks beautiful. It was a good day. Wishing you a wonderful rest of 2020 and happy new year too. Hugs Erika
Looks and sounds good :)
I am returning your wishes to you, and also saying 'may the rest of your holiday season be filled with light and love.'
All the best Jan
Seasons Greetings, Jeanie and Rick!
Love from Cath and Family in Australia
How nice that you had such a festive Christmas! Happy New Year!
This was definitely making the best of the situation. It all looked quite lovely and peaceful. I rather enjoy a less hectic holiday. Happy New Year, Jeanie.
What a beautiful celebration you and Rick enjoyed. The French toast looks amazing, now I am craving it and maybe I should have it for my breakfast. Your table was so lovely, perfect for your Christmas dinner. Wishing you and Rick a Healthy and Happy New Year!
Your Christmas looks delightful! And that breakfast holy moses, it looks good! We had roast too. Lol. We didn't have it until Boxing Day although we were planning on it for Christmas dinner. We chose to be ultra lazy and eat our leftover chicken and rice from Christmas Eve. :)
Everything looks great, and I need some of that apple bread! LOL.
Happy Holidays Jeannie.
That Christmas Celebration sounded absolutely perfect! Happy New Year!
So wonderful! :) I love the picture of cat-girl.
All the best for the new year!
Your Christmas sounds just lovely Jeanie! You found joy in everything, and that's what it's all about! Merry Christmas!
I am glad you had a special day despite spending it differently than you would have chosen! That present from Greg is so cool!!! We had a nice Christmas, too. Having a quiet one was kind of good with a newborn and sleep deprivation. We had Paul open gifts over the 24-28th! He got so many presents so it worked well to spread it out and extended the holiday a bit. I made ham, gravy, mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Fairly simple meal but delicious!!
You know I loved that wood slab centerpiece -- fabulous. And the thought of a meat pie is delicious. We still haven't gotten the really cold weather that makes me think of pot roasts and meat pies, but it isn't quite January, and our coldest times generally are January/early February. We'll see. On we go to 2021!
Wonderful post! Surely a special celebration!
Thanks! Your paperwhites brought me a sweet spring fragrance.
It was a lovely moment!
Love the wooden candle holder!
Sounds like a wonderful way for you and Rick to spend the holidays. Different, yes. But wonderful by the sound of it.
You had a wonderful Christmas, Jeanie. I love that lady in red. I always try to find those figurines, but they are hard to find. Your table setting is lovely. Peace to you as well, Jeanie.
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