Sadly, there’s something polarizing about the word holidays. A word that’s meant to encompass the celebration of Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the New Year has become something of a political and religious hot potato. Aside from stumbling across one particularly vitriolic diatribe against the Starbucks “Happy Holidays” campaign, I managed to avoid most such nonsense by choosing to expend my time and energy savouring time with family and friends and enjoying our unique set of holiday traditions.
For me, this time of year just wouldn’t be the same without:
1. Holiday Lights – Nothing gets me into the holiday mindset like the lights on our Christmas tree, lights in our neighbours’ yards along our street and elaborate light displays in public parks. This year I wandered through the Festival of Lights at Confederation Park, the largest free Christmas light showcase in Calgary (with over 300,000 lights). I also popped down to wander through Prince’s Island Park one evening.
2. Christmas Baking – We ate lots of shortbread, gingerbread and salted chocolate chunk cookies over the last half of the month. The baking that garnered the most favourable comments this year was home-baked bread. I made a couple of sandwich loaves, but the rustic Italian dinner rolls we served on Christmas Eve and the batch of baguettes we took along to our big family dinner on Boxing Day were particularly well-received.
3. Family Time – We enjoyed Christmas Eve with my parents and a Christmas Day visit with Mr. GeoKs’ parents. Boxing Day we celebrated with my extended family. This year, I followed through on last year’s resolution to take more family photographs over the holidays.
4. Christmas Lego – As he’s been doing for about 20 years one, Santa left a Lego set for each member of the family. Mr. GeoK built his expert level Technics crane, C wishes his Ferrari F40 would transform into a real world version, K has yet to open his Star Wars Ghost ship and my Winter Village set is on the coffee table. I also had the chance to build a couple of Lego holiday bonus sets earlier in December, including a very cute gingerbread house.
5. Getting Out and About – Although it’s almost impossible to get our boys to join us for a walk these days, Mr. GeoK and I really enjoy the opportunity to get out and about every day over winter break. We got out on snowshoes a couple of times and Mr. GeoK wore his MICROspikes every other time. Most of our outings were in Canmore, but we did make it into Banff one morning.
That’s all for this month (and for 2015). Click HERE to view PJ’s holiday favourites and for the link-up to all the other posts for this month. I’m headed there now to see what “holidays” means to all the other participants.
For me, the photo blogging challenge is a bit like a photo assignment. And the one-month time frame makes it pretty low stress. New participants are welcome to join the photo blogging challenge any time. Won’t you join us in 2016? The January theme will be posted at a ‘lil Hoohaa on New Year’s Day.