December 13th is Day 1 of our “12 Days of Christmas” so get ready!
Each day we will post the day before so you can be prepared to get er done…
As we get started I will just run out and pluck a partridge off the pear tree and we can get started. Oh… we are in Alberta. No pear trees and I have not seen a partridge in years and I think that was when I was visiting the zoo as a child. Even if we could find one we would have to shoot it to get close to it, so guess that is not an option!
So if we were to do the 12 days of Christmas how would we celebrate that?
At our house we love the Christmas season and we often start in November by getting the first ornaments out and shifting the house into the holiday mode. By December the decorations are out and the only thing left is the tree. These days you can actually get a pretty good fake tree. They look a lot more like the real thing than they use to and they are more environmentally friendly.
This year we set up the fake tree that we picked up on special last year in our downstairs living area but the kids really wanted to have a real tree so we got a second one and set it up in our upstairs living room. When I was a kid on the farm we use to look forward to the day that my Dad would come in early from his daily chores and declare that we would go looking for a tree in the forest. Am I the only one who remembers that?
My brother and I would get dressed up all warm and pile into the Ford pickup truck and drive out to our bush quarter. Dad would carry the axe and we would stomp around in the woods examining every possibility while freezing and shaking in -40 weather. We would try to find one that looked good from all angles but if that was not possible we would try to get one that had one side that looked good and we would set it up with the bad side against the wall. It is so nice today to just go to a Canadian Tire and find the one we like. White spruce or some exotic fir? Which would you like? Would you like it delivered? They are all the right size. They are all perfect on every side. Just get a stand from Walmart and wallah – Instant tree just add water!
Decorating is easier now too. So much to buy… so little time. Dollar store is amazing! The wonderful thing about a tree is that you can put a real hodgepodge assortment of things all over it or you can do a theme tree. Ever been in one of those great Christmas stores where the whole tree is covered in angels or teddy bears? Or there is only one or two colors on the whole tree. You can make a Canadian tree or a musical tree. So many choices…
Those are really nice if you are Martha Stewart and have an unlimited budget but the reality is for most of us that kind of uniformity is too much money. It is better to get that kind of thing after Christmas is over at half price and save it for next year or plan for it all year round. So our theme is a bit more simplified. Downstairs all the store bought colorful ornaments and garlands will decorate the fake tree. Upstairs we will go with a homemade theme. So tonight we set it up and put on the simple lights and the popcorn and cranberry garlands that we made earlier this month. We also have some ornaments that we made over the years with different crafts. Those can go on immediately, and over the next few days we will add some new ones that we create as a family.
We will play Christmas music and drink some apple cider while we decorate it.
Tomorrow we will decorate the cookies that we will hang on it.
Take out the crockpot and put in 2 Litres of apple juice and turn it onto low.
Add 3 long cinnamon sticks.
One package of mulling spices. Mulling spices are not the easiest to find these days. I have been getting mine from a Hallmark store in Okotoks the last few years. You may want to Google to find some. If you can’t find any that are made already you may want to try making your own. I love Google don’t you?
Just put this mixture on at about 4:00 and let the aroma fill the house up into the evening. Drink it as you like and add more apple juice if more guests drop by.
More coming tomorrow follow the RSS feed so you get it all!
Kerry George was has three children Zechariah, Joshua and Naomi and started her writing career by publishing the book “Juicy Fruit Christianity” in 2001. Since then she has written numerous articles for Today’s Business Woman, Faith Today and multitudes of blogs and online publications for ministry and business related publications. Currently she is the owner of Loyal2U and the Calgary Business Network and has a personal blog at http://loyal2u.blogspot.ca/ She also creates content for a variety of businesses in the Calgary market.