Sunday, January 8, 2012

Winter Wonderland

I have never really liked winter.

Vancouver born and raised, I'm not used to really cold temperatures. As for snow, we generally keep ours on the mountains, where you can go and visit it whenever you want, and then drive for a few minutes and come back home to bare streets. So finding myself spending a lot of time in Quebec and Ontario has been quite an experience. I'm not used to a world of heavy coats and boots. But, now I have a coat that looks like a sleeping bag and boots that are utilitarian and always covered in salt.

I do however love Christmas. For me, it always meant lots of decorating and baking, in preparation for gathering family and friends. A time of rum and eggnog in my glass and my children round the tree. I enjoy every moment. This year was to be different. My children would each be at opposite ends of the earth and I would be in between. That was until we got a wonderful invitation to travel to Eastern Europe to be with my son and his love. We bought tickets and before long we were off, my packsack laden with small gifts, cookie cutters, and an icing set. Sort of a Mama Claus.

It was there that I got a whole new appreciation for winter. These people know how to make the most of it. The squares were filled with christmas markets. Holiday trees and twinkling lights gave no doubt as to the season. Outdoor grills were covered with sausages, pans of perogies, and pots of sauerkraut. Breads were baking in the wood fired ovens. The air was rich with the scent of hot wine. So many of the things that I love about summer...farmer's markets, sidewalk cafes, gathering for a glass of cool wine....just layer on some warm clothes and mull the wine with oranges and spices. A true winter wonderland.

And, just when I thought it couldn't get any did. On Christmas Eve my daughter and her husband arrived, having flown half way around the world to surprise us, knowing that nothing could make me happier than for us all to be together. Oh, maybe one thing. When they asked me to read "The Night Before Christmas", just as I have always done on Christmas Eve. 

"Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles." Author Unknown

No comments:

Post a Comment