Christmas: Take One

It’s Christmas Day! It’s Christmas Day! Holy crap, it’s CHRISTMAS DAY!

In case it wasn’t clear, I love Christmas. I love stuffing my face with as much food as humanly possible. I love giving and receiving gifts. I love Christmas music, Christmas tree, Christmas lights and all sorts of Christmas decor! I love the snow and the cold. I love being surrounded by family and friends. I love everything that comes with the end of the year, including making wonderful memories with loved ones. And this year, I get three separate Christmas celebrations!

First one up: Christmas Day in Charlo. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas Eve! December 24th wasn’t quite as eventful as it had been in my childhood – we used to celebrate Christmas with my dad on Christmas Eve – but it was still one I won’t forget any time soon. We slept in pretty late that morning and got up to make ourselves some lunch. We spent the afternoon prepping for Christmas celebrations, which includes last minute gift wrapping. Please note that I have never done this in my life before given the fact that my dad has everything done and ready by mid-November.

After that, we honestly spent half the day making supper, which was only ready around 7:00PM. Not surprisingly, it was absolutely amazing. Max’s mom made ham with a fudge glaze + quiche for me, Max made scalloped potatoes and veggies with his dad, and Emilie made dessert. It took us about 30-40 seconds to scarf down the food, get up, fill our plates again, and stuff more of that delicious meal into our food holes.

We hurriedly started getting ready as soon as we were all done eating because “Midnight Mass” was at 8:00PM. It was taking me forever to do my eyeliner and I thought we were going to be the last ones to be ready, but as we rushed upstairs, everyone else was finishing up as well and we all headed into the car together.

Christmas mass in another town was an odd experience. On the plus side, it was in French, just like back home, so it was comforting to know all the prayers and the procedures. Everything went pretty smoothly, although lots of funny moments arose during the ceremony. According to the Bernard family, “The pastor must have been drunk!” Good times.

When the mass was over, we all headed back to the Bernard residence together, but not before saying hi to lots of locals on the way out. We got back to the house around 9:20PM and broke out the Bailey’s right away! We spent some time together upstairs, warming up with our drinks, telling Christmas stories, talking about cherished memories.

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Max sipping Bailey’s, as sophisticated men do.

And it wouldn’t be Christmas Eve if someone didn’t keep asking every ten minutes if they could open one gift tonight – Emilie & Maxime, I’m talkin’ ‘bout you!

So we did sit down huddled up in the living room so that everyone could open one gift. T-Gene went first and was pleasantly surprised to receive a Christmas CD by Pentatonix! We put the CD on right away before continuing with the gift opening. Next up was Mama Bernard who got a Tim Horton’s Gift Card – you can’t go wrong with that!

Max opened his gift next and was so happy! His gift was a combination of his two favourite things, as well as his least favourite thing: Batman, Legos, and waking up.

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As for Emilie, she got an adorable Kraft Peanut Butter Box set including a Smoothy Teddy Bear! Too cute!

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But the night wasn’t over night, oh no no! I feel so blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas among a family of incredibly talented musicians, to say the least. We eventually all landed downstairs and the jam session began. It was fantastic to hear the different styles of music that everyone played, but the best part was by far a three-part harmony arrangement of If I fell by the Beatles, sung by Max, Emilie and their dad. If you haven’t already seen it, you have to check out their video performance here.

We finally went to bed around 2:30AM, exhausted but excited for Christmas morning! Max warned me that nobody would be awake early though. Knowing me, I figured I would be wide awake by 9:00AM.

I wasn’t off by much. I was rolling around in bed until I could bare it no more, and when I checked my phone, it was 9:45AM. I poked Max for a bit to see if he would wake up, but to no avail. I scrolled through Facebook and lazed in bed for a bit.

After bugging the crap out of Max for a good half hour, he eventually stopped falling asleep and we talked in bed for a bit. All of sudden, we heard a beeping coming from outside the bedroom door.

“Is that…?”

“That’s Batman!”

Max jumped up and went to grab the Lego Batman alarm clock that was sitting right outside our door! I figured the culprit must be upstairs waiting to open her gifts…

Breakfast was up first though! Celine made us two delicious breakfast meals, neither of which I know the name of. Regardless, she is a fantastic cook so it was no surprise that the meal was nothing short of amazing.

We all took our time eating and everyone made sure to have seconds. And when all the eating was finally done, we crawled over to the living room to sit around the Christmas tree. Celine and Emilie went straight to work and handed out gifts to each of us, and we opened them one at a time. I was surprised when I was given a big Christmas bag addressed solely to me! I honestly wasn’t expecting any gifts – keeping in mind that everyone in the Bernard family had agreed that they wouldn’t be buying any presents this year. It was great to participate in the fun that is gift opening! And I got lovely stuff too! A pair of nice pyjamas and a set of epicure spices! Some of the gifts the family got were fantastic too, especially the handmade wool socks that Max and Emilie got from their mom! Celine, I’m still waiting for mine… 😉

But now I need to take the time to underline/bold/italic/super-duper-fragalistically emphasize the BEST part of this Christmas – also, coincidentally, the BEST Christmas. This year, I can’t even count my blessings because they are so numerous, it overwhelms me. I am so thankful to have been able to celebrate such a joyous holiday with such wonderful people, most of all, my incredibly boyfriend. I will say that I was not impressed by the fact that he played a little trick on me and packed a fake gift to put under the tree, however, he quickly more than made for it by hauling my real gift upstairs. Even by looking at the package in his arms, which he had poorly wrapped, I couldn’t really tell what it was. He sat it down in front of me. I smiled and started to rip some of the wrapping paper. I gasped with piece of paper I tore off and couldn’t even make it half way. Oh. My. God. I kept repeating it over and over, smiling so hard my cheeks hurt. I felt tears slip down my face. HE GOT ME A FUNCTIONAL VINTAGE TYPE WRITER!!!!!!!!!

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OK, OK. I’ve calmed down now. We finished opening all the gifts, so now it was time to get to work! We all got assigned duties and tasks to accomplish for the big Christmas supper that was being hosted at the Bernard’s humble abode. We got to work right away, some taking their shower first, some prepping veggies, others prepping meat. We set up an extra table, made dips galore, rearranged the fridge about seven times, and set the up the main table with enough chairs for every guest.

Ouf, finally finished with the preparations. Max took advantage of this opportunity to take us out to the pit to show us his fancy gun and impress us with his explosives. I was surprised, but every one of us – including Celine – actually took the time to try out firing the shotgun. And the explosion was pretty cool too. Check out this quick video I took of Max firing at the tannerite.

Back at the house, everyone is getting ready for company to arrive – OK, the women are getting ready, and the men are watching TV. Soon thereafter, the guests started to arrive! Typical me, I spent most of the night entertaining the kids, playing with their Frozen Dolls, playing games on their new I-pads, and showing off my and Maxime’s Minecraft skills! They set out the dips and veggies first, so me, Emilie and the kids jumped to the appetizer table and may or may not have stuffed our faces. There were so many, and they were all just so good! But don’t worry, we made sure to leave lots of room for supper and most importantly: dessert.

The main meal of the night was called Cipaille, made from scratch by none other than the chef of the house, Celine. She also made végépaté for me – OMG OUT OF THIS WORLD! – as well as quiche and lots of veggies and salads, including my all time favourite: Coleslaw. ❤

We ate and drank, and ate, and drank. So. Good. And dessert… I can’t even type about it. There was so much food. And I wanted to eat it all. So I did. I regret nothing.

To sum, Christmas number one was a whopper! I cannot contain my excitement. I am ecstatic about the fact that I get to relive wonderful moments like these another two times this year!

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