Merry Christmas!

IMG_9429gTis the season!
Christmas Day is literally only a few days away and it seems like December just flew by. We got into the spirit this year and put up our tree on November 13. Early right? I know. My son had been out of town working for 2 months and was finally coming home. I wanted to have the house all decorated and ready for when he came back. You know…  the whole Home Sweet Home feeling? Isn’t that the greatest feeling ever? Coming home after being away. Plus, having the house all decorated for Christmas and super cozy when you arrive. The best!

Needless to say, my mission to impress him was accomplished.  He loved coming home to see everything. Lights all twinkling on the tree and some of his favourite fresh baked goodies awaiting. Nothing I love more than being a mom to my kids regardless of how old they are.

We love the holiday season and everything it entails. The decorations, food, baking, parties, shopping and the best part is sharing time with family and friends.
This post is about our holiday season so far. Some snapshots of what we’ve been up to during December.

IMG_9409gMcDonald’s tree. How perfect for the kids.

We went to The Four Season’s Hotel Vancouver to see their 28th annual Festival Of Trees. The Hotel transforms 2 floors into a beautiful display of decorated Christmas trees. The trees are sponsored by individuals and local Vancouver business’ in support of BC Childrens Hospital. It is free to visit the hotel and see the trees but it is suggested you donate $2 minimum to vote for your favourite tree.

treesOur favourite tree was the Grinch themed tree pictured above left. How cute and creative is that? This tree actually ended up winning for top child-like themed tree. So fun! You can see what other trees won here.

IMG_9427gThe Christmas trees are displayed until January 4th. We recommend dropping by if you’re downtown and checking it out. Don’t forget to make a donation! Such an important cause and a really enjoyable holiday activity.

IMG_9489tThen we had my 5th annual ‘Christmas Fun Day‘ at my house. It is a special day during December that I have my niece and nephew over to build our gingerbread houses. Actually my nephew Brendan turned 3 so it was his first year that he was old enough to come and participate too. This is exactly what Christmas is all about… the kids. They make me laugh constantly.

christmascraftsIMG_9486gIMG_9492g4I plan an afternoon of action packed kid fun! We do our gingerbread houses, crafts, games, movie, dinner and when they are good and tired I bring them straight home to mom! (aka my sister) Ahhh… the sweet benefits of being an auntie!

2Then it was an evening of grown up fun at my house. I had a ladies only party and invited a few special girlfriends over for Christmas cheer and appetizers. And wine. Lots and lots of wine! 

3We had such a ‘holly jolly’ great time catching up. Sharing stories, girl talk, listening to Christmas music, eating and drinking. Everything a holiday party should be.

We finally baked these delicious candy cane cookies (pictured top right) that I’ve always wanted to try but never had a chance to. We used the recipe from one of our newer favourite cookbooks, Family Celebrations by Buddy Valastro aka The Cake BossThe recipe called for red food colouring but when we realized we were actually out of red we substituted for pink. We think they turned out quite pretty and girlie this way! Recipe here.

We’ve done plenty of holiday baking this year. Check out a few of our absolute FAVE family recipes from previous posts by clicking on the images below:

017Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies – So amazingly soft and delicious. Everyone’s favourite.

029-2Gingerbread Cookies – Our go-to gingerbread recipe.

062Shortbread Cookies

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas… 
Laura & Natasha xo

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