it’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since we were at the cabin, dreaming about all the things we planned to do in 2013. it’s been a busy, crazy year and it’s been full of surprises (the good kind). but, maybe because i’ve been so busy, i’ve been struggling to get into the christmas spirit this year. thankfully, a snow storm hit toronto yesterday, and mounds of white, fluffy snow seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.
after spending an hour in bed watching the snow pile up outside, pierre and i made 24 jars of pears in cinnamon syrup, decorated the house for christmas, and shovelled the sidewalk twice. i also begged a few christmas tree boughs off the nice people at bill’s garden centre and made a few things out of them, including this bouquet (?) for our door. it’s totally impractical, of course.
we’re trying to keep the emphasis on people, not presents, this year, so everyone for whom we normally buy (except our nieces and nephews, who we don’t expect will love preserves as much as plastic toys) is getting a jam jar of pears in syrup. i handmade almost all of the gifts i gave this year — and i don’t know if recipients really appreciated that, or if it was like getting macaroni art. sorry if it’s the latter, but i really enjoyed the process.
no christmas tree this year, so i put some of the boughs in empty wine, rye, and beer bottles and they’re adding some cheer to our dining room. i could picture the exact style of receptacle i wanted to hold the boughs — narrow necks, varying sizes — but i couldn’t articulate what they looked like, or where i might buy something that fit the description. i couldn’t believe i didn’t have anything that would work — so many vases above the fridge and mason jars in the basement and nothing was exactly right. i was about to give up, when i tripped over a box of empties waiting to be returned to the beer store. wine bottles were exactly what i had in mind! i soaked these to remove the labels, and there’s no need to keep and store them, even — empty wine bottles are always around.
ps. three years since we took possession of our house today. i spent it pulling one hundred rusty nails out of one-hundred-year-old floors. now that’s love.