STAFF PICKS: Rare Christmas cozying at home

Sometimes you feel roped into Christmas. My advice: Give into it.

EDITOR MARSHALL JONES

I won't add to the shouting, the spite or the noise that now rides shotgun to the holidays every year. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays for whatever it means to you.

If Jesus is your reason for the season, good for you. I’m happy if a Commercial Christmas makes you happy. Go ahead and buy someone a pet for Christmas if you really think that’s best. Drink egg nog. Take pictures with Santa.

Whatever.

Just give to it. When you follow that feeling, when you do something nice, you magnify and broadcast that spirit. Let someone in line. Give what wasn’t expected. Share a thought, a care for someone. Anyone. Everyone. Let it smooth family wrinkles. Let it change your heart, move your mind. Let it colour your outlook on the world, on our future. On your future.

It’s true magic—the more you give, the more it grows. It inspires hope. Drink it in, delight in it, dance in it, whip it to frenzy and give it all away again.
Especially to family.

This year, my family has a rare treat: We are staying home. It’s a concentrated Christmas we hope to make as bright as every other year when we have extended family. This year, it’s just cozying with the Joneses, but here’s my list of things Christmas can’t do without.

Movies: Christmas Vacation, Elf and Home Alone. Christmas just isn’t complete without ‘em. Honorable mentions to A Christmas Story and, of course, Die Hard. Yippykaya!

Games: Video games have always been part of Christmas. I have great memories of playing Nintendo with my brother, my mom and even my grandma. But Super Mario Three is long gone. My two boys have declared war and need to be schooled in the strategy game Civilization Five.

Cards: Video games are fun, but there’s no replacing the face-to-face of card games. I don’t remember a Christmas without a cribbage board. Pictionary is always fun and we have a new family tradition playing Quelf. If you don’t know what that is: Google it, then go get it.

Christmas eve: When we have smaller gatherings, we typically do a Fondu. We’ve tried cheese and chocolate, but we always burn it. And burnt chocolate and cheese produce different memories. So we stick with oil. OK, we have a Deep Fried Christmas Eve.

Christmas lights: Timmy’s coffee and hot chocolate, crank the heater and see how our West Kelowna neighbours have lit their homes.

Christmas dinner: I’m the annoying one who puts Brussels Sprouts on the menu. I never cook with recipes. Seriously: Never. But if I recall, last year my recipe looked like a lot like this but perhaps some almonds or cashews added. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/brussels-sprouts-with-bacon-recipe/index.html

 

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