Hey, Dear Reader! I think I might be going through post withdrawal. I was so busy before Christmas posting back to back recipes. The 12 Biscotti of Christmas series was fun to do, but I enjoyed working on the 24 Cookies of Christmas series so much more!
How are you doing? Have you emerged from your food coma yet? I find that starting on December 23rd all the way through to at least the 27th, I am bloated, stuffed, and in a constant state of “I can’t eat another bite; oh, look, chocolates!” Thank goodness for track pants!
Leading up to Christmas, I’m all in. I live for every minute of it. I will bake as much as I possibly can. And, every decoration I see, I want to buy it. There’s always room for more Christmas decorations. Every time I see a new decoration that I want to buy, John.e will ask the same question: Where are you going to put it? My response is always the same: Don’t worry; I’ll find a place!
This year was quite the exception though, wasn’t it? Because of the dreaded covid situation, we have been living at our house since March. We still have our apartment in Toronto. Both John.e and McKenna go back quite often and spend a week at at time there. I don’t. I’ve only been back to the city once since March.
Living out here, away from the city where everything is at my fingertips, I have had to rely on online shopping quite a bit. It’s just not the same! I was able to buy a few decorations, but not nearly as much as I had intended to get. With that being said, we were able to find a few items that I want to show you.
Please note, if you compare the pictures in this post to the pictures in previous Christmas posts, you will see some similarities, but some big differences too. I just read last year’s post – the one where I was so excited to tell you about buying our home. There’s one section where I said the dining room and living room were done. But, there have been some touch-ups since last year.
Up first, let’s talk about the main tree. This is our living room tree and it’s the one we use to place all of our presents under. I fully intended to change this tree a lot this year. I wanted to decorate it with a deep green and gold theme. But, it was so hard to find the right decorations. Instead, I used some decorations we had on hand already. We did add some extra ornaments, and a whole lot of picks!
We actually cleaned out two Michael’s locations! We drove to Kingston and purchased 20 picks of this particular style. (See the white sequin thing over the deer’s head.) I was sure that would be enough! Not at all; we drove back and purchased all they had. Then, we went to Brockville and bought all of those too. Finally, I was happy with the volume and we settled on it.
Let’s continue with the living room. I was not able to add to my new nutcracker collection this year. Because I’m so much a stickler when it comes to things looking even, cohesive, and symmetrical, I didn’t want to order any online. I feel like I need to see them in person and hold them in my hands, you know? I saw a few, but not any that I had to have.
These two black reindeer were a must have! We were shopping at HomeSense, which was right after I raided Michael’s of their picks, and I found these. They were only $5! I love a good bargain.
The two white houses you see here are metal. I got those at Michael’s too. In fact, it might be safe to say that most of our new decorations came from Michael’s this year. Our home is out in the countryside, so we always hit up a Michael’s (and a Starbucks!) whenever we’re in town. I think they look great in the daylight, but are gorgeous at night too!
The two tall trees framing the moose head also came from Michael’s. I felt some height was needed on the cabinet, and even though those green trees are on a green wall, they both work there. Don’t you think?
Okay, on to the next cabinet. The two gold candle holders you see there both came from Michael’s. I remember John.e asking if we already had enough candle holders. My response: “Um, never, and secondly, they’re gold which means we can keep them out year round. You see, our living room has gold accents.
The two bears and the tree behind them, both came from Canadian Tire. (Aren’t you relieved that I didn’t say Michael’s!?) We had walked up and down each of the Christmas aisles at least two times. (I make it a point to go up and down each one twice, and only looking at one side of the aisle at a time, so that I don’t miss anything.) These bears were not in the aisles.
John.e wanted to look at extension cords, so we walked through the appliance section to get to where he wanted to go. On the way, I saw these two bears and the tree as a part of a display. Obviously, I took them. Don’t worry; the display wasn’t ruined. It still looked good!
Next, we have these three Santa figures from – you guessed it! – Michael’s. The one with the whisk represents me, of course. The one with the hammer is a great representation of John.e. McKenna was stuck with not much to choose from. None of the Santa’s were sarcastic, artsy types with a stylish librarian aesthetic! So, she is represented by the one in the middle with the buffalo plaid coat.
Here are a few more pictures of the living room and some of the decor. I promised myself that I wouldn’t write a paragraph about every single thing! By the way, I think the coffee table decor is the same as last year!
Next, let’s move on to the foyer. This is one of my favourite parts of the house. It still has all of the original flooring and the trim. I absolutely love the trim! Because it’s old, we thought this would be the perfect spot for our vintage tree.
There are some new ornaments on this tree this year. It was much easier to find new ornaments that either looked vintage, or had a retro vibe to it than any other type of ornament this year. I’m still very bitter about not being able to have that gold and green tree! (I’ll get over it.)
McKenna is a huge fan of bad Christmas stop-motion animation movies. She had to have these two ornaments.
For anyone who grew up in Canada, and watched Mr. Dressup, you will know why this vintage TV ornament was a must have! I got it at Retro Festive. I lived for Casey and Finnigan!
This “I love Yarn” ornament reminded me so much of my mom. She loved to knit and crochet. She must have spent a small fortune on yarn in her 63 years on this earth. The ornament fits well in our vintage/retro collection, so it was added to that tree.
The Bay had a huge selection of Santa ornaments this year. I fell in love with them and purchased one of each. I’ll continue to collect Santa ornaments and in the very near future, I’ll have enough to decorate a tree with only Santa ornaments. I have goals, Dear Reader!
These next few ornaments are on the vintage tree as well. They are from Winners and Canadian Tire.
Back in early November, we were at Canadian Tire. I found this galvanized bucket there and fell in love with it. I thought about using it to set one of our Christmas trees in, but it wasn’t big enough. So, I just filled it with artificial branches and sat it next to the French door in the foyer.
This is my second time ever decorating a banister. I must say, I’m not a fan of it. I love to do it, but with two cats in the house, it’s a constant fixer-upper. Jake in particular, loves to pull the red berries off and play with them. I was able to get a semi-decent picture before he pulled too many of them out.
Let’s continue upstairs to the landing. The landing in our home is quite large in contrast to most homes built in the same timeframe. I really didn’t change much up here this year. The only difference is the addition of the two black cabinets. We usually keep books and board games in the tall cabinet. This year, it housed our Lego village collection.
The cat’s Christmas tree is here too. Maggie sleeps on that chair almost every night. On the opposite end, (not pictured) is the cat tower where Jake tends to sleep. Water and food bowls can also be found up here, so it’s kind of a home for them. It made sense to put their tree up here.
McKenna has not been a fan of Christmas at all until this year. Last year, just after New Year’s, we made a deal. I promised to decorate for Halloween, (her favourite) and not play any Christmas music until November 1st. In exchange, she would embrace my Christmas whoredom. That is why she put a tree in her room this year. Mind you, it’s black, but it’s a Christmas tree nonetheless!
Most of the ornaments she made herself. She wanted a Nightmare Before Christmas theme, but due to limitations on what she would find in stores, she ended up painting ornaments. I think she did a wonderful job for her very first go at her own tree!
McKenna is an old soul. She would not let me update her closet doors and she insists on having lace curtains. I did paint her room, but at her request, we left one wall of the original wall paper. She’s all for modernizing, but she likes to leave a little bit of the old in for good measure.
Now, since we have not yet remodeled the upstairs bathroom or the spare bedroom, I won’t show you anything in there. I’ll save it for next year! For now, let’s go back downstairs to the dining room.
So, just off the foyer, is the dining room. It’s a stand-alone room with one of those hole-in-the-wall things to connect it to the kitchen. The kitchen renovation is hopefully happening this summer, so I’ll save that until next year too.
For the dining room, I did a little decorating on top of our little cabinet. Because the wall is blue, I wanted to keep the decor very plain, which is why I opted for silver, black, and white.
For the taller cabinet, I added only the Santa dishes that my dad has been gifting me over the years. I know he has more for me this year, but we have not seen him yet, due to covid and travel restrictions.
Lastly, I had to have a tree in our dining room this year. It was a last minute addition, and in the spur of the moment, I opted for gold and blue. But, it’s not quite what I wanted. It’s okay though. Next year, I’ll change it up!
Since we’re in the dining room, maybe now might be a good time to talk about food! This year, I published 12 biscotti recipes and 24 cookie recipes. This is my 3rd year publishing a 24 Cookies of Christmas series. And, yes, Dear Reader, I’m already working on next year’s series too!
As you know, we package up the cookies and give them away. This year, I sent John.e back to Toronto with 14 boxes of cookies. Each box had about 30 cookies in it. And, we delivered another 22 boxes of cookies to our neighbours at the house. The biscotti were given to anyone who would take them. There’s no possible way for us to eat all of it!
That brings us to Christmas dinner. It was just the three of us again this year. I think that’s something that we are going to have to get used too, since we are so far away from any family or friends. I prepared both a turkey and a tofurky for John.e. Of course, there had to be mashed potatoes, stuffing, lots of gravy, and a few sides too.
Even though I could not get my hands on a package of Newfoundland Savoury, the meal was quite good. But, turkey without savoury is not really a turkey at all! All of my fellow Newfoundlanders are nodding in agreement.
Lastly, what is Christmas without a few shameless selfies?? We managed to get a few in this year, despite the fact that we couldn’t get the lighting just right. Ha! Every year we have matching pajamas, and John.e always designs the t-shirt. This year’s t-shirt just had to have a Santa wearing a mask!
All in all, this was a great second Christmas at our house. We enjoyed the shut in and the quiet. It would have been wonderful if we had more snow, but there’s always next year! We had a completely green Christmas. In fact, it rained all of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But, just to be contrary, Mother Nature treated us to snow most of the day on the 26th. One day too late!!
We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and that your New Year is filled with joy and happiness, prosperity and health. Lord Byron’s Kitchen will return to regularly scheduled recipe posts early in January. Stay tuned! XOXO