Sunday, December 23, 2007

It's almost Christmas!

I love the lead-up to Christmas as much as I love the day itself, and this year has been great. The past week at work was totally relaxed and festive; we moved offices over the weekend (well, movers did it for us), and so Monday was spent unpacking and reorganizing. I've now got an amazing huge wooden L-shaped desk, which means that I've got lots of room to spread out and draw, or edit, or whatever. I've brought in pictures and posters and things to make it homey, and I've got a couple of lamps instead of the awful overhead fluorescent lights. The only thing I need to make it perfect is one of those plug in mug warmers, as I can never finish a cup of tea or coffee before it goes cold. I'm very much pleased with it, though. On Thursday, we did presents, and my boss and the ESL sales manager were thrilled with the covers that we had blown up into posters for them. The hubby took the images over to Staples for me, and they turned out great. Friday was mostly chatting, eating cookies, and frantically finishing off the 2008 price increases to they could go into the system before the holiday, as the office is closed until the 2nd. And we got to go home early! It was great.

The hubby took off the days in between the stat holidays, so we both have the same holiday. It is fantastic to know that neither of us has to go to work on Monday. We've spent the weekend relaxing, napping, listening to music, and reading. I haven't felt this relaxed in ages. So nice. We went shopping for Christmas Eve dinner goodies (mmmm...steak & shrimp), and later on, I'm going to make Mom's birthday cake. Her birthday is on Christmas Day, which she hates, rightfully so, so the least I can do is make her a great cake: Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Orange Cake, maybe with a Cointreau-spiked ganache if I'm feeling creative. I love cooking around Christmas, and it always inspires me to try new recipes. Another one I'm giving a go is the Barefoot Contessa's Breakfast Bread Pudding, for Christmas morning, which is essentially a baked French toast made with brioche and lots of cream. I'm substituting evaporated milk for the cream, as I can't go quite as far as making a breakfast with 8 eggs and 2 1/2 c. of cream in it, but I think it's still going to be pretty phenomenal. I'll post the recipe if it turns out well, and I'll definitely post the Chocolate Orange Cake, as everyone raves about it.

Now that we've got all of the Christmases sorted out (the first was on the 16th, which meant slogging to the west-end in a blizzard, but it was well worth it. Can't beat great family celebrations), Christmas & Boxing Day should go quite smoothly. Tomorrow night is the carolling service at the closest United Church, and on Christmas Day, the hubby's parents are lending us the car after our visit, as they're off to Florida, so we can get to Mom & Dad's easily. I can't wait to open presents and drink hot cider in front of the fire. That and open my stocking from my parents. My Mom is the stocking queen, and that's always been one of my favourite things about Christmas.

Tonight is going to be a night for drinking coffee and Bailey's while watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the 1966 version, not the Jim Carrey version, which while it might be amusing--I wouldn't know, because I refuse to watch it--would be a Christmas sacrilege). I love Christmas!