Tag Archives: holiday traditions

Old and new traditions

11 Dec

“It smells like Christmas.”

Either Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry says this at least once a bake as I re-watch Christmas episodes of The Great British Baking Show Master Class. This is a new holiday tradition for me, as I came late to the GBBS game. But I’m all caught up now!

As I watch, I think of all the holiday bakes from my childhood and plan out some old and new things I’d like to bake this year. I am not doing any baking until this weekend. I have my annual physical on Thursday and I don’t want to be all sugared up before my blood test!

Seasonal tea has long been a part of my suite of holiday traditions. there are some old standbys, but I love discovering new ones. This year I have discovered two that are new to me. The first is Celestial Seasonings’ Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland. The second in Stash Tea’s Christmas in Paris.

The first blends cranberry, rooibos, hibiscus, cinnamon, and vanilla. The second swirls a chocolaty flavor with mint and lavender. Both are herbal blends, so I like to sip a cup in the evening as I knit that days portion of my Advent knitting project. And each of these teas make me echo Paul and Mary’s words, “It smells like Christmas” .

Our traditional holiday lies

22 Nov

“I’m worried about the package,” my sister told me when we Skyped on Sunday. “I had to go to a different post office and the clerk gave me trouble.”

“How so?” I asked.

“Well, I lied, as always. Instead of saying the package contained tea, I said it contained chocolate. The clerk said it was a violation of Canadian and American law to send chocolate throughout the mail. So I said it was candy. I’m worried she flagged it for inspection.”

I laughed. We are always lying to federal officials on both sides of the border, about what our packages contain. They never contain anything illegal, but we lie just in case.

When I arrived home last night, I mounted the stairs chanting my new apres-knee mantra: “Good foot up, bad foot down”. I can walk unassisted, but am using a cane for security. As I reached the top step, I looked up and saw a small package at my door stoop. Oh, to be able to run or skip! It was, of course, my illicit Advent calendar.


I sent a quick message to my sister then opened this tiny cabinet of wonders.


One tea a day until Christmas! As a naturally curious person, I had to peek at my birthday. What tea would December 23 hold?


Organic Kashmiri Chai! I resisted the temptation to peek at any others. I just have to wait patiently for 8 days, until I can open the first drawer.




Holiday Postal Traditions: A Slice of Life Story

2 Dec


My goal the week after Thanksgiving is to get the Christmas cards and packages in the mail. All of my family lives in Canada so packages must be mailed by December 10th, accruing ti USPS, but I like things to have time to sit under the tree. We have had years of packages arriving at the last possible moment and that os stressful for the sender.

Yesterday, I mailed off the first packages. I knit socks for my dad & a hat and mittens for my mother. I also sent a package to an online friend in England, who is part of my wider basset hound community. Right now the basset community is going crazy over red trapper hats from Target. Morse the basset doesn’t know this is coming, but I can picture him walking across the fields of  Devon wearing it.

My wackiest holiday postal tradition is the Daily Drool Howliday Card Exchange. Every year the Daily Drool, an online basset list serve, organizes a card exchange. everyone creates a holiday card with their bassets in it. You sign up for on of three lists (full, medium or short) and the are sent a pdf of ready to print  Avery 5160 labels with the names and addresses of the other participants. every year, I get around 100 basset themed holiday cards and decorate my house with them.

What is your wackiest holiday tradition?

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