I had all these plans for various things that I was going to blog about over the holiday season, but I obviously keep forgetting how busy it is in December, because I did almost none of them. That's ok. Our holiday season was so full of good, fun things that I don't mind prioritizing family first and blogging second. In the end I decided to do a recap post to summarize the highlights in case you were interested. This might be a bit of a long post, but I promise there will be a lot of photos!
One of the first things we do in December is head over to the local Christmas tree farm - in our case that means Woodward Christmas Trees - to pick out our tree. We usually pick out a blue spruce, and that was our plan again this year (the needles are so sharp they are a natural protection for the ornaments against grabby toddler fingers) but we liked the look of a couple of the bargain trees to go for that this year. We knew we weren't hosting Christmas at our place this year, so it made sense to go for the cheaper tree. It was a little tricky to get them set up nicely since they were bargains for a reason (some bald patches, crooked trunks etc) but we had already planned to set up our tree in the corner this year so it didn't matter what the back looked like.
It was just our luck that the Kamloops Wine Trail open house was running the same weekend, and since we were already at one of them (Privato is on the same property as the tree farm) we decided to visit a few others. In the end we only made it out to two, but I am so glad we decided to visit Harper's Trail. I think their wine is my favourite - definitely the one I most like from this area - and I had never been to the tasting room yet. We arrived just as the sun was setting, and were greeted by a roaring bonfire and the glow of the lights. They had a little artisan market set up as part of the open house, and I even won one of the door prizes! If you've never been it is definitely a place worth visiting.
We had a lot of incidental fun throughout the month. It was Graham's second time finding chocolate in his shoes from St. Nicholas on the 6th (a tradition not part of my childhood, but part of my heritage that I am happy to take up and pass on to him), we still had potatoes in the garden to dig (!!!), made and ate our first real mincemeat pie (yes with beef!), and took in the fun of Downtown Kamloops' Winter Block Party.
Another really fun thing that has happened the past couple Decembers is our Church Life Group hosted craft night. This time there was a whole table full of sewing machines so people could appliqué their own pillow covers, "frosted" branches, and embroidery hoop wall decorations to be made. There are always a lot of snacks, and everyone has a great time making things and enjoying each other's company.
When it came to Christmas Day, we were on Vancouver Island visiting my Grandparents in Parksville. One of their friends loaned out the use of their cottages, so on Christmas morning we were lucky enough to have this winter wonderland ocean view. It was great to spend time with a lot of family that I don't get to see very often. We were also so happy to have a chance to connect with friends who live on the Island that we rarely get to see.
Little Forager really enjoyed riding the ferry. He's crazy about boats, cars, trucks, and basically anything like that. He loved watching the water, and wandering around the boat exploring. I realized how much I miss this misty coastline. I really love my home in Kamloops, and I am happy we moved out here, but I'll always feel like coastal BC is home.
The weather on the mountain passes between Vancouver and the Interior can be very treacherous, and since there had been travel advisories for those routes we spent an extra day in downtown Vancouver with my family. There are always lots of amazing things to see, this time including the Bright Nights in Stanley Park. Little Forager was so tired, but he couldn't take his eyes off everything. There was Christmas music playing everywhere, but the soundtrack to our evening was his excited whooping "Choo Choo! Woo woo"!
On our way back home we witnessed some of the damage of the bad weather from the past few days. Stretches of the route were hit with freezing rain and even a day or two later almost everything was still encased in ice. It looked so beautiful as the sun glinted through it, but it was hard not to think of how destructive this could be to an important farming community. I hope none of the grape vines, fruit trees, and berry bushes suffered too much lasting harm.
Now that you've made it to the end of this very long post, I'd love to hear how your holidays were in the comments! I hope 2018 holds lots of joy and wonderful things for all of you. Happy New Year!