Venturing outside on a cold winter's day

When the wind chill pushes the temperature below -30 or colder, it takes a special reason to venture outside into the Canadian winter.   Like visiting the cows. Or experiencing a golden sunset. Maybe just to roll around and throw some snow in the air. Layers and several hats make this all very possible - but only for a few moments. Because as every real Canadian knows, the crunching snow and winter scenes are beautiful - until you no longer feel your toes, your eyelashes and facial hair are frozen and every breath brings you closer to becoming a human icicle. 

Christmas Eve at the farm

Christmas Eve was beautiful - sunny and warm. Up north, the winds were blowing strong - shingles and siding flying everywhere, trees uprooted and power lines down. It appeared the North was going to have to celebrate Christmas without power - no heat or lights, no electricity to make Christmas dinner. As I loaded up the car in the dark, I was happy to be headed south to Toronto to spend time with family.

Our Christmas is always a mix of Finnish, Canadian and family traditions. This was the first year that we didn't all fit at mom and dad's for Christmas Eve so the girls at Dear Heart Events decided to host Christmas dinner at the farm. They did a gorgeous job - setting a charming and warm mood for us all to enjoy.

As the ladies prepared dinner, the kids took a look around the farm - visiting the horses, exploring the barn and climbing on the equipment. We ate dinner by candlelight - enjoying numerous Finnish casseroles, turkey, ham and deer roast - topped with delicious sauces and jams. As the boys cleaned up, the kids played games and explored the farmhouse. Everyone gathered to sing Christmas songs - ending with joulupukki - a song to Santa Claus.  Before the last notes stopped ringing, the kids ran to all the doors to see if pukki had found us at the farm - shrieking and laughing with excitement on discovering the gifts outside. Mayhem ensued as the gifts were brought inside, handed out, opened and enjoyed.