Friday, December 20, 2013

Old Traditions In A New Home

The snow is falling outside and it has turned our cottage community into a winter wonderland. I fear it has also turned the roads into a nightmare, making me very glad I decided to do the big pre-Christmas food shopping trip yesterday. As I drove home, my vehicle filled with enough food to feed an army, I was struck by the same feeling I have the moment I board a plane for my next adventure.

All the planning, the lists, the mad scramble to get out the door and to the airport in time for my flight - when they close the plane door it's a done deal. I may have forgotten to pack something or do some important errand at home before I left, but at that point it is too late. It's both an exhilarating and terrifying feeling. And that's the feeling I had driving home yesterday. Shopping was a done deal. I will not be entering a store of any kind again until after Boxing Day.

Today will be spent watching the snow fall, listening to some Christmas music, and making cut-out sugar cookies. I think that's just about the best kind of day there is, don't you? But first I wanted to share a little bit of our first Christmas here at our cottage with you. This manger scene is from Mexico, and has been in our family for many years. It has been carefully packed away for almost a decade. I finally have a mantle to put it on where it will be out of harm's way. Harm being loosely defined as our cat.


My Korknisse have put on their appropriate winter attire, and the angel chimes finally have candles.


Rose windows help brighten these darkest days of the year.


These reindeer have been a family favourite for many years.


It would hardly be a Hammond Family Christmas if we didn't have an appliance break down. This year it was the washing machine, which died Monday. We have been promised the new washer and dryer will be delivered before Christmas. I sure hope they are telling the truth, since there will be eight extra people showing up for various lengths of time. It would be nice to be able to offer them clean towels. And one of those people is Lucy.  I think in terms of dirty laundry one baby equals about three adults.

In case you are wondering about our broken appliance tradition, here are the links to the story of how it all started. It is a tale of Christmas disaster like no other. It might not be quite as famous as A Christmas Carol, or It's a Wonderful Life, but it has become something of a tradition here at North of 49 to share this each Christmas. So find a comfy chair, make a cup of tea or hot chocolate, and enjoy a story of a holiday gone wrong. Very, very wrong.

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7

Merry Christmas to all of you! May your homes be filled with family, good food, and holiday cheer. And last, but certainly not least, may all your appliances keep working over the holiday season.




17 comments:

  1. Please take lots of pix of Miss Lucy, I really enjoy seeing her development.

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  2. Oh, a white Christmas. So much nicer than the wet and windy one we're promised. :-) Hope the washer arrives in good time. Our Christmas appliance disaster was the time the oven in our gas cooker packed up on Christmas Eve! DH managed to jerry-rig it to get through the festival, but it meant a new cooker straight after. Have a wonderful time with your family around you, Kristie.

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  3. Well ... at least it didn't stop working on Christmas Eve when everything is closed for a couple of days ...
    Best wishes for a terrific holiday!
    LisaRR

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  4. Merry Christmas to you and all yours as your house fills with family...I hope great new memories are made in your new cottage!

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  5. Love your manger scene Kristie - the Mexicans do great Christmas decorations. Canada must be looking so lovely under snow - spoke to my daughter today and the snow was falling outside the window :) May the washer arrive before Christmas and I wish you much joy and many blessings with your family, and especially dear little Lucy. Have a wonderful Christmas, and it has been really nice getting to know you in blogland this year. Love from Australia.. P.

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  6. Oh Kristie, I so feel for you. The appliance thing definitely does get infectious! My washing machine packed up last week whilst I'm in the middle of trying to pack up my house to move. Plus my son's due back from skiing with a huge bag of extra washing. I so hope you have a wonderful, calamity free time with your family x

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  7. After reading parts 1 to 7 I needed a sit down and a cup of tea! I never thought iIwould be able to think...well, at least it's only the washing machine....

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  8. Your house looks so pretty for Christmas. I will have to come back and read about the appliances later because I think we could really compare war stories. My husband was just working on the dishwasher not half an hour ago! Hang in there. I look forward to hearing all about Lucy's first Christmas. :)

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  9. Merry Christmas, Kristie! Your home looks lovely and I'm sure it feels super cozy, too!

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  10. Ruth in Ontario, CanadaDecember 22, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    A most heartfelt Merry Christmas, Kristie! (Just now I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get today's laundry done before what is probably an inevitable power failure after 3 days of freezing rain...but at least it won't be the washing machine's fault if we're left with soggy unrinsed sheets!)

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  11. Kristie wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas and hope the washing machine arrives in time! I love all your decorations those rose windows are so lovely.
    Sarah x

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  12. Merry Christmas, Kristie! This has certainly be a memorable year for you. Nothing like a broken washing machine to add to the sense of festivity.

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  13. Merry Christmas to you, Kristie, and to the whole Hammond family! If the new washing machine doesn't get delivered before Christmas, it might be time to introduce yourself to the next door neighbors and ask them if you could use their washer!

    If it makes you feel any better, our kitchen sink drain pipe broke on Christmas day one year. Have you ever hand-washed dishes in the bathroom sink before? Thank goodness, it was only the immediate family here--no guests!

    Mary G. in Texas

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  14. Nice to know that our family is not the only one who has its Annual Christmas Appliance breakdown. The furnance, the oven, the stove top, the washing machine, the dryer, a car, the dishwasher, etc. etc. etc. Oh the joys of home maintenance. This went on for about 10 years or so when I was a teenager. Best - Hester from Atlanta

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  15. Here's hoping you had a wonderful Christmas, and that nothing else broke!

    Wishing you peace and joy in the year ahead x

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  16. Kristie, do you break out in hives before every Christmas!? I think I would after that disaster Christmas. This Christmas was the first for us to have a mishap--I apparently overfilled the tree stand so that when we went to open our presents we discovered soggy packages! But we don't have carpet and none of the presents were ruined, so it was a minor mishap. Our appliance breakdowns do happen it seems when we have out-of-town guests during the rest of the year--usually a broken hot water heater. And we've had 3 trips to the emergency room while we had company--one involving the guest. I could go on with burst water pipe stories, but I don't want to put any ideas into your houses' head! So, did you get your washer and dryer delivered in time? P.S. My Westie decided this would be the year he'd start pulling bows off packages and eating the gift tags. He also took delight in chewing on a gift card he unwrapped....

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  17. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your lovely family Kristie...what is it with appliances this time of year? Our Oven is pretty much kaput and my computer broke down just before Christmas which was even more distressing than when the washing machine, iron and dishwasher all died this time last year. All the best over the festive season and a very happy New year to you and yours! Mel xxx

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