The past two weekends, I’ve found myself in Toronto for holiday festivities. Christmas always turns the city into a magical place, with window displays, skating rinks and music everywhere you go. There are always great events and activities (I’ll include links to my favourites at the bottom of the post), but there is something to be said for spending time cozy inside with family too.
The first weekend of December, Garrett and I were in the city for a friend’s play and stopped by to visit my sister. She had just bought a little evergreen tree for her apartment, and we made an evening of it – ordering in Indian food (a real treat for us country folk now), putting on a Christmas movie and decorating this sweet little tree with lights, garland and her keepsake ornaments.
I surprised her with her own Squeeze Santa’s Cheeks ornament, just like the one we had growing up (and a bag of Hershey Kisses to go with it).
The finished result was so lovely and made her whole apartment glow.
Last weekend was my second trip into the city for the annual tradition of making our Family Christmas Carrot Pudding with my great aunt.
While the pudding was steaming away, we had a nice lasagna lunch, one of her specialties. She has lived in the same apartment since she moved to Toronto in the 1960s, splitting her time between here and her farmhouse up north. Every nook and cranny of this place always brings back memories from my childhood – visits on weekends, March Break, the summer, New Years and Christmastime. This time the thing that caught my eye were these black cat salt and pepper shakers. They used to sit on a shelf at the end of her counter at the farmhouse and I remember being absolutely mesmerized by them. And I guess I still am to this day.
After three hours of steaming the pudding, it was time to take it out for a “mouse bite” and make sure it had turned out okay. It may not look like much now, but man did it ever smell good. On Christmas Eve we’ll steam it again and serve it up with a rich brown sugar sauce and freshly whipped cream. We’re all usually too full to enjoy anything more than a small piece after our big Christmas Eve feast…so we bring it out again at the end of brunch on Christmas morning. My family has already requested that we make our favourite Morton Family Strata (the recipe from The Family Stone) for Christmas morning, using our fresh chicken eggs!
My mom whipped up this lovely Christmas arrangement for my great aunt using some leftover greens from my Holiday Planter project and fresh flowers from the market. I love how these arrangements always make the house smell so great. She sent me home with the last of the flowers to make a few arrangements for around our house too. We’re got company coming this weekend and I’m working away to get it all festive!
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My Favourite Christmas Activities in Toronto