Sunday Guest Post Series: ‘Twas a White Canadian Christmas

Hello! I’m Jess from Wagemadness. I’m also Donna’s daughter-in-law.

I’d like to thank Donna for having me guest post on her blog. I have been following it since her very first post!

I am nowhere near retirement, but hope that you will be able to relate to my post in one way or another. I am here to write a bit about our recent family Christmas holiday. It included four generations–eleven adults, two kids, one (large) dog, tons of food and heaps of snow in a beautiful Canadian log chalet up on Mt. Washington, British Columbia.

Christmas 2015

We’ve spent many family Christmases together and they’ve all been so much fun. Now this holiday has taken on a whole new meaning because of the wee ones! We have a thirteen-month-old daughter who is crawling around and becoming her own little diva. She has an older cousin who is two and a half. For our daughter’s first Christmas, she was only one-month-old. I was so consumed in my new mommyhood that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. What did we do last Christmas again? The memory is clouded in sleep deprivation, raging hormones and cluster feeds. However, we were surrounded by family who came over and cooked Christmas dinner at our house so we didn’t have to take the baby anywhere and we were forever grateful for that.

This Christmas, things are much different as the kids are more independent and aware of what’s going on. That gives family time, holiday time, and Christmastime a whole new dimension. It’s true; kids make Christmas better. Santa is real again! Cookies and carrots were put out for Santa and his reindeer. Those are memories that I cherish from when I was a little girl. I hope these little ones will too. Just watching their excitement when opening their gifts under the tree was heartwarming.

We were able to get out into the snow, hike and snowshoe around the mountain, hit up the local pub, check out the tubing slopes and take in the freshness of winter. Where we live in BC, we don’t get much snow, and rarely a white Christmas, so this was very special. Our little one has never seen snow before either, so being able to throw her in the Ergo carrier on my back in her brand new snowsuit from Grandma and Grandpa (thanks for that again…such a lifesaver!) was super exciting! I would plop her down in the snowbank and she didn’t know what to do with it all except smile and point. My little nephew loved the deep snow as well, what kid doesn’t!? One of the aunties and uncles brought their beautiful malamute, Nala, up to the mountain and she was in heaven. She took a nap out on the deck, it was snowing, but she didn’t mind. She was covered in snow and was…happy as a ‘husky in winter’ – okay, that was cheesy!

WagemadnessOur chalet was perfect for us. It was large enough to give everyone their own space.I loved the Haida-carved log posts and the million-dollar mountain view. It was a bit of a climb from the parking lot to the cabin but we were able to hire a snowcat with a freight toboggan to haul up all of our luggage  (babies have a lot of stuff!)

WagemadnessEach couple was responsible for a meal or two and some snacks. It can be hard to provision properly for eleven adults and two kids. With teamwork we managed it nicely. On Christmas Day, Donna (Grandma) and her mom (Great Grandma) prepared an amazing turkey dinner that I am still salivating over. It was delicious! Probably my favourite meal of all time is turkey dinner with all the fixings. Can we just have this meal every day, please!?

Whether you’re eating all the Christmas goodies, singing Christmas carols, watching the plethora of Christmas movies, playing board games or just relaxing on the sofa from that ever-so-strong tryptophan-effect, doing it with your loved ones during the holidays is soul topping. Sharing these traditions with your kids, watching their joy and reliving Christmas spirit like you’re a child again is the cherry on top of an already stacked sweet memory.

So, I hope you, too, had a Merry Christmas with your friends and family wherever you are. From my family to yours, all the best in 2018! Happy New Year!

lessons learnedJessica
Wagemadness
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50 Replies to “Sunday Guest Post Series: ‘Twas a White Canadian Christmas”

  1. Very nice to meet you! What a great idea to get everyone together in a snow-covered log cabin. Also to get to have the babies in your family experience snow for the first time. Sounds like a wonderful time for your family. Happy New Year!

  2. Sounds like that was an amazing Christmas! Mountain air,snow,log cabin, family and the magic of Christmas……everything to make it extra special. Yes children do make it extra special, and we were with my grandchildren this year. I have always believed and told my kids as they got older….it is just another day if you do not believe in the magic of Christmas. Happy New Years Donna and family, may there be joy, love and happiness in 2018!

  3. It’s great to meet you Jessica! Boy, reading your post was like stepping into a Hallmark movie! What a wonderful Christmas you had with the family. Happy New Year to you and your terrific mother-in-law!

  4. What a lovely idea for you to write a guest post on Donna’s blog! I remember Donna mentioning this planned get-together a while ago so it’s nice to read about the results… it sounds like everyone had a fantastic time! Best wishes to everyone for a fantastic 2018 that is full of love, family, great adventures, and good health!
    Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com recently posted…A New Year’s Resolution for EVERYONEMy Profile

  5. Hi Jessica and Donna, what a lovely post to read as we swelter in summer holidays over here! I love the cabin in the snow and as one who has arranged many large family gatherings for Christmas, I know just how difficult it is to organise it so that it all comes together! What fun you all had and all the best to you and your family for the year ahead!
    Thanks for sharing Jessica with us Donna, I loved meeting her!
    Debbie Harris recently posted…2017 – the stats don’t lie!My Profile

    1. Thanks, Debbie – It’s fun to connect with another ‘planner/organizer’. No wonder I love following your posts! Our Airbnb host was terrific, and all of our family members each came up with a unique idea that continued to enhance our experience (e.g. our family t-shirt and waffle shirts, we each had our own ‘elf on the shelf’ with our name professionally printed on the elf’s t-shirt, wonderful dinners and drink specials, etc., etc.). Wishing you a very happy new year ahead!
      Retirement Reflections recently posted…Sunday Guest Post Series: ‘Twas a White Canadian ChristmasMy Profile

    2. Hi Debbie! Thanks for reading! It was really fun to put together and it could have been much longer! We had so many great moments and traditions (old and new) that were really fun and special. Planning big family gatherings aren’t easy, but we all teamed up and made it work! As a family should! Hope you and your family get a chance to cool down in the heat! Looking forward to things warming up around here 🙂 Best in 2018!
      Jessica recently posted…Twinkle Smash PartyMy Profile

  6. How lovely to read about the family Christmas from another point of view. I know how excited Donna was about it all – so I’m glad it all came together so beautifully. I still find it hard to fathom that amount of snow (no snow in Western Australia – EVER) so my granddaughter will never know what a snowbank is 🙂
    Leanne recently posted…GOODBYE TO 2017My Profile

    1. Happy New Year, Leanne – Funny about the snow. We live in the part of Canada where it is minimal. You will need to come out for a visit and experience it for yourself! I was super excited about having a personal experience that I would typically blog about, covered by another member of our family. I loved Jess’s focus on our youngest family members. They did definitely add extra ‘magic’ into Christmas. Wishing you a brilliant year ahead!
      Retirement Reflections recently posted…Sunday Guest Post Series: ‘Twas a White Canadian ChristmasMy Profile

  7. What a lovely, family Christmas. And it sounds like the only thing lacking was conflict and a rousing food fight. Must have been the sedating effect of the turkey that kept things mellow. LOL. What a beautiful family, and wonderful to share happy memories in a beautiful setting.

    1. Hi, Molly – Thank you for stopping by. I agree that for 11 adults, 2 young children and 1 large (indoor) dog, things went very well. Each family had their own bedroom, we stuck to the three day/night rule, and we had a pre-sign-up rooster for who was preparing what meal when — those things definitely helped. For our next large gathering, a “who’s on dishes rooster” may help further…but as Richard finds dishes his ‘meditative’ time, all was well. I do love the idea of a food fight…not sure why we didn’t think of that!
      Wishing you and your family a very happy New Year!
      Retirement Reflections recently posted…Sunday Guest Post Series: ‘Twas a White Canadian ChristmasMy Profile

    2. Thanks for reading, Molly! The only food strewn about was the baby generously sharing with the dog from the highchair! ha! It was really fun to watch. Hope you had a great holiday, as well! All the best in 2018!
      Jessica recently posted…Twinkle Smash PartyMy Profile

    1. Ya! Thanks for reading Lynn! You are so right about that; big, rowdy, messy, loving AND never-a-dull-moment family gatherings. No matter what, they’re always with you and I love that! All the best in the new year 🙂
      Jessica recently posted…Twinkle Smash PartyMy Profile

    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Lisa! It was really nice to have a white Christmas this year. I have had many Christmases surround by palms and beach that I really missed having snow. But it can stay in the mountains 😛 Thanks for reading! All the best in 2018!
      Jessica recently posted…Twinkle Smash PartyMy Profile

  8. Such a beautiful post Jessica and knowing Donna I just know that it would have been a wonderful time for family. I wanted to just keep reading about all that you did and you are right about Christmas being extra special with children. I just love seeing the excitement in our grandchildren’s faces with their Santa Sacks and surprises. I loved where you stayed and living in Australia we never have a White Christmas so I can understand how special that was for you and what an experience for your little one. Thank you for sharing and thank you Donna for having your lovely DIL share your Christmas with us. Can I come next year?????
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond recently posted…Blogging Grandmothers Link Party 23My Profile

  9. That truly looks and sounds like a wonderful Christmas get together – loved ones, snow, a cozy cabin and fantastic food. What more does one need during that time of the year? More memorable moments were created. But, who brought the Christmas tree???

    Beautiful post, Jessica. Totally in the spirit. I’m glad you all had such a great time over the holidays. Have a fantastic 2018 with the family as well!

    1. Hi, Liesbet – Thanks for dropping by. Good question about the tree. Actually the chalet owners provided two fully decorated trees (one upstairs and one downstairs). Not knowing that (and not asking the proper questions in advance) one of sons brought a real Christmas tree that we then put on the deck. No lack of decorations or holiday spirit for us!

  10. Wow, what a perfect place for a family Christmas get-together! As a person from a skiing family, ski hills are a big part of my Christmas memories. We recently went tubing with my grandchildren, and I am looking forward to them starting to learn to ski.

    Jude
    Dr Sock recently posted…Mental Illness and FamiliesMy Profile

  11. What a breathtaking place to spend Christmas. It looked to be the perfect location for the whole family to spend the festive season. It must have been so much fun for you all. Great to read that everyone took it in turns to prepare meals. That gives everyone a chance to relax and take in the season.
    Thanks for sharing your family Christmas with us, Jess.
    Hugh Roberts recently posted…Help Me Raise £250 For The Dogs Trust By Leaving Me link To Your BlogMy Profile

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