Christmas journeys. I’ve made a few. Some of them joyful and easy. Some of them fraught with obstacles of one sort or another. Stormy flights home to New Brunswick. Stormy, white-knuckle drives to the airport fearing that maybe, after all, our flight would be cancelled and we’d spend Christmas somewhere we did not want to be.

A tearful journey to a friend’s house on Christmas Eve, the first year I did NOT go home for Christmas, after my car had been broken into and all my presents from home had been stolen. The year of the great turkey relay when the power in most of Ottawa went out after an ice storm on Christmas Eve, and the Christmas turkey journeyed to the home of whichever member of Hubby’s family had a working oven. Ha.

The year back in the eighties that my roommate and I carried our Christmas tree home through ankle-deep snow. And we laughed all the way because we knew we looked like idiots carrying a tree for blocks and blocks. Scary, hairy car journeys with Hubby on the highway to New Brunswick along the St. Lawrence River in freezing rain.

So yeah, I’ve had lots of Christmas journeys. Short and long. And I’ll bet you have too.

Frosty morning on the Rideau

This year we’ll be staying put for the holidays. Just we two. I’ll be doing up my traditional tourtière for Christmas Eve. And Hubby is handling the turkey on Christmas Day. We’ve wrangled our tree into the sun room. Not that she was a problem; in fact, she was very compliant for a change. And I decorated her yesterday. Her name is Joyce. She reminds me of a Sunday School teacher I knew when I was fourteen. Small, kind, perfectly formed if a bit wide on the bottom, and sweetly old-fashioned.

If you’re new to my blog you won’t know of the longtime tradition in my family of naming our Christmas tree. Begun with an arthritic tree named Arthur back in the seventies. You can read Arthur’s story here, if you like.

Joyce in her party clothes.

I made a short video of some of my Christmas journeys this year. Some on my own, some with Hubby. Hope you enjoy it. Please note that no wine was consumed before the singing of any songs. More’s the pity. Wine might have loosened things up a bit. Might have helped keep things on key… so to speak.

Hubby and I were talking today about Christmases past. When we were children, when the most important Christmas journey of all was Santa’s journey to our house. And how every year we feared that Santa Claus would not make it. And yet he always did. I remember one year when we spent Christmas at my grandmother’s house, I was very worried that he would not find me that year. But, amazingly, he did. Hubby reminisced about how he and his younger brother always crept downstairs Christmas morning, almost afraid to look under the tree. And how they’d shout, “He came. He came.” with great gusto and exhilaration.

Hubby and I are looking forward to our quiet Christmas this year. No journeys for us. Not until next year, anyway. Just hunkering down in front of the fire with some good books, a glass of wine or two, and plenty of our favourite foods.

We hope you have a warm and happy Christmas, too, my friends. Or a warm and happy whatever you celebrate if you don’t celebrate Christmas. We wish you good food, good friends, good health, and, well, everything good. You deserve it.

I won’t be blogging again until January. So, I’ll see you next year.


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76 thoughts on “Christmas Journeys”

  1. Thank you , I feel really Christmassy now . Merry Christmas to you both & a really Happy New Year . Very best wishes to everyone here too – wherever you are …..

  2. Canada is so beautiful. We’re staying put too as omicron spreads rapidly through our community. What a crazy couple of years we’ve had. Enjoy your break and see you in 2022 🎄

  3. Merry Christmas to you and your husband. We are staying in the two of us to drink wine, munch and watch football. Funny how holidays change as you reach a new stage in your lives. It all takes some adjusting to. Lovely video! Made me smile. Look forward to your thoughtful musings in 2022 (how did that happen?),

  4. I enjoyed your video, Sue! Joyce looks much like my tree (who remains anonymous ). Enjoy the fire, the wine and the books!

  5. Wishing you the best of health and warmth for the season. Looking forward to getting somewhere besides the back yard for this next year. I like your ending with 2020 as if starting over this past two. I will be waiting to hear from you in the new year and hope that Santa finds you with a special treat.

    1. Ha. Some days the back yard is all we can hope for. Let’s hope 2022 is better. And thanks for the 2020 heads up. I made a boo boo there, and corrected it after I saw your comment.

  6. Merry Christmas and may next year be all you wish.
    I love the idea of naming your tree each year . My husband and I had balled and burlapped trees for years and should have named them since they’re still around, like old friends.

  7. Very comforting, seasonal video. Thanks so much. Loved watching it while enjoying my morning coffee. Merry Christmas 🎄

  8. Christine Cascadia

    You’re celebrating exactly as we are, but I have to be a little less celebratory with the sweets or I will resemble your tree in girth. Merry Christmas and here’s to a very happy new year filled with good health, good experiences, and good books. (Elizabeth George’s newest one coming in January certainly is a positive start to 2022!)

  9. Merry Christmas to you and your hubby. I really enjoyed the video with my morning tea and my 15 week old cavapoo, Archie , snuggled on my lap. Our tree is behind closed doors away from a marauding puppy.
    We may even have a white Christmas here in Vancouver this year.
    Happy new year to one and all.

  10. Sue, thank you for many happy reading hours from reading your posts and many of your book recommendations. Wish you a happy and healthy and mask free new year!
    God bless you and your family.

  11. A fun blog posting as ever. Thank you. Have a lovely holiday season.

    Being from England, I’ve not heard of a tourtière. Googling it, I note it is traditional to Quebec in particular. Please can you post a photograph of yours?

  12. Lovely video, Canada is beautiful. Thank you for all your blog posts and reading recommendations. We too are staying quietly at home here on the South Coast of England, triple vaxxed but Omicron wary. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.

  13. Merry Christmas Sue and hubby. Looking forward to more of your blogs in the new year. I loved the video.

  14. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you for all of your lovely posts, fashion ideas, and excellent reading suggestions this year.
    It’s nice to find someone else who names their Christmas tree,
    great minds!

  15. Yeah, yeah it’s Covid 2.0 get used to it. Even boosted ( all the adults anyway) we are keeping it small this year. Listening to Drs. Tam and Etches. Just #1 and his family (5) and our household (3)
    Three of us are under five so not vaxxed and the rest are boosted adults ( luckeeeee)No access to Rapid tests so we will take our chances. Had to cancel my 96 yr old father’s trip to Ottawa this year so that’s a drag. Oh well, things could be worse. At least this year there is a vaccination! We have a new grand daughter. We have champagne for mimosa’s, four tourtières, three turkey breasts, and a seafood casserole full of PEI lobster and Nova Scotia scallops and plates of glorious Christmas baking. The sun is shining, the air is clean and freezing cold. It has been an extraordinary year the likes of which we have never seen before. I believe it beat its brother, 2020 in the Bizarre Year category, hahaha. If I named our tree it would be Christmas Present…big, brash, loud and laden with ornaments and lights (500 of the former 800 of the latter it’s prelit) I have two Christmas babies (21st & 24th) so enough holiday hilarity and ‘jest of God’ stories to last a lifetime and beyond! I do love them but really? After 15 & 20 years awaiting their births did it have to be Christmas? Of course it did!!! What better time? The Universe knows what she is about!
    Merry Christmas to all. Stay safe, mask up, keep it under ten and for the world’s sake, if you have not yet, get jabbed.

  16. Oh Sue, a bit of melancholia here. As you know I lived on the other side of the river in Osgoode for a lot of years. Remembering Christmas with my parents, and other family….all the snow, which was normal. It seems we will be getting almost the same weather on the West Coast, except it’s not normal here.
    Thank you for all the work you put into your blog. It is much appreciated by us all.

    Have a HAPPY AND MERRY how ever you celebrate the season.

  17. From one river to another…Canada is beautiful and it is always interesting to see different parts.
    I like Joyce,she is such a lovely Christmas tree!
    I believe that I’ve spent all of my Christmases in Zagreb-if I travel,it was after Christmas. Better not to change the tradition this year
    Merry Christmas And Happy New Year to you and Stu

  18. Merry Christmas. My husband and I made the drive from North Carolina to Ottawa where we’re hunkered down for three blissful weeks of family, friends, food, and snow! This is the very best place to spend Christmas…

  19. Sue, I’m wishing you, Stu and all the wonderful readers of your beautiful blog, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a much brighter 2022!

  20. Thanks Sue for all your hard work in putting together blogs for us all to read and enjoy. Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas and a safe and happy 2022.

  21. What a treat to go along with you on your tree-hunt and see snippets of the towns. It’s so beautiful where you live and I love the old houses. Hope to explore that area some day. Snow is expected here in Washington State which is unusual for Christmas! Wishing you a healthy, happy Christmas and New Year!

  22. Merry, merry, Sue,

    JOYCE is gorgeous in her authentic finery and Christmas aroma. My “hubby” and I have continued my family tradition of naming homes, cars, etc. Perhaps, we’ll consider adding Christmas whimsy by naming our tree.

    May you experience God’s generosity as peace during this unsettling time,
    love, Diney on Camano Island, WA.

  23. Happy happy Christmas!
    We have a big Christmas Eve this year! My new mother-in-law turns 80 tomorrow and we got married 2 weeks ago after 11 years 🙂

  24. Best Christmas wishes to you from Vancouver! Your home looks very cozy and
    I loved your video. It made me smile as I spent my high school years in a stone
    house not far from Manotick. I truly enjoy your blog; fashion musings, book
    recommendations and travel. I haven’t been for 2 years although my mother
    still lives in the same house due to… know. If you ever hear a big squeal in
    Manotick’s used book store or Kelly’s Landing, it will be me fangirling you once
    I’ve had my much anticipated booster.

    Happy holidays!

  25. There are some gorgeous BIG old houses in your hometown….would love to hear the stories that could tell about past Christmas. Would make a great book where the houses all talk with one another about their experience of families and Christmas

  26. I passed your vid to my hon, which he loved, and explained that although the high heels gang is virtual, I feel that you’re a friend. Thanks for this and the many hours you spend on us! Have a very happy hunkered down Christmas and lets all hope for a safer New Year.

  27. Merry Christmas, Sue! After a quiet Christmas at home by ourselves last year, hubby and I are making memories with grandchildren this year. Just us hunkered down with our daughter’s family at their house. No one going anywhere except Grandpa and the kids spending some outdoor time on the tobogganing hill. See you in the new year!

  28. Just read this post while enjoying a butter tart and a cup of coffee. Your holiday plans sound quite blissful, actually. Thank you for all the enjoyment from your blog in the past year.

  29. Joyce looks very sweet! Our tree was tiny this year, the house is small and there were 10 of us (just the allowed size for a holiday bubble around here). Moreover, the young folks think it may not be the right thing to do to cut a tree and throw it away after a couple of weeks. They are probably right. We will have to think about it. Being able to see the people I love was the best thing about Christmas anyway.
    Wishing you a quiet time “between the years” (as we say in German).

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