Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas in Montreal

We just got home from our wonderful trip to see my family in Montreal for the holidays. Christmas was almost as I remembered it as a child...except that now my brothers, cousins and I are all grown up. There were Christmas carols as we gathered around the piano. There was the smell of logs burning in the fireplace and the crackling of the wood as it burned. There were decorations aplenty, putting everyone in a festive mood. The tree glittered and sparkled as it stood proudly amongst all the presents. This year, the presents were of love and thoughtfulness. The young gave presents to their elders, while before it was the "adults" giving to the kids. We're all grown up now and it's our turn to return to our aunts and uncles, grandparents and parents. Thoughtful little trinkets to show how much we care were all that was given. Our aunts and uncles gave us little presents too, but we're trying to turn the holidays into something more than just gifts.

The thing I love the most about the holidays is just being with my family. It's the laughter, the warmth, the togetherness and the memories that mean the most to me.

Downstairs, the boys played Guitar Hero.

The next few photos are some of my favourites.
Here's one of me with Baby Bro. I just saw him yesterday and I miss him already.

In the above photo: The newly engaged couple, Ren and Sharmander.
Below: The newly married couple, Marriedl Winkel and wife.

Above: Baby Bro and Papa.
Below: Boys will be boys!
Au lieu of buying into the commercial aspect of the holidays (that's what it seems to have become), we all brought a few funny gift items and played a game. Two decks of cards were shuffled and each person got a card. When your card is called, you get to pick a present. When there are no presents left, and there are still cards being called, your present can be stolen from you by someone else. It was a really funny game and we all had lots of good laughs. This has become a new family tradition for the holidays.

My uncle received an empty popcorn bucket (there was a bag of microwave popcorn taped inside), Married Winkel's wife received a traffic pylon, Hubby received a deer droppings (kind of like a PEZ dispenser, only chocolate jelly beans come out of the deer's rear end), and True Numperor's fiancee received a giant pen! True's future mother-in-law received a giant collander that looked embarrassingly like a catheter! One of my aunts got a can opener that she mistook for a castration device! There were some other really funny gifts, but those were by far the funniest.Hubby's present from the Christmas exchange game. Deer droppings!My student from South Korea spent Christmas with us. She had an amazing time, but I have a feeling she thinks my family is nuts! :) She loved how close our family is and she also loved how much fun they are to hang out with.Here's part of Hubby's presents from me. I made him two cereal bowls since he likes eating cereal every morning.

It wouldn't be a proper Filipino party if we didn't take photos of the food! There were so many delicious dishes to choose from. Hubby certainly loves the way Filipinos party!

This creme brulee is divine! It's definitely not for those who are on a diet! The cool thing is that you get to keep the ceramic dishes that the creme brulee come in. Premiere Moisson does an amazing job with pastries and sweets of all kinds. My uncle also ordered a Black Forest cake from them for our dessert on Christmas Day. It was very moist and light, and quite possibly the best Black Forest cake I have ever tasted. If you are in the West Island, definitely check out Premiere Moisson.

On Boxing Day, we took Hubby for his first Dim Sum experience. My Dad thought it would be a good idea to let Hubby try some real Chinese food. Many people think that fried rice, egg rolls and chicken balls with cherry sauce is "Chinese" food. Dim Sum is a good way to show people what other Chinese dishes there are out there.

I love Dim Sum! It's been ages since I last went out for Dim Sum. I explained to Hubby that people go around the restaurant with carts that are loaded with different dishes. You check them out and order whatever you want and they mark it on your card. When you're done eating, they tally up your order and then you pay.

The above dishes are among my favourites. The first food photo is Middle Bro's and my favourite dish. They're taro dumplings. Someone once told me that they are called Hargao or Har Gau, but I'm not sure. The next photo is what my Dad calls "Chinese lasagna". The last food photo is of some shrimp dumplings and shaomai. Curosity Killer, I'm counting on you to let me know what the names of these dishes are. I never know what to call them when I order, so I merely point at the dishes as the ladies go by with their carts and they happily place the bamboo steam basket on our table.

Poor Hubby! My family wanted to initiate him since this was his first Dim Sum experience. They ordered some pretty strange dishes that even I never ever eat! I considered his "initiation" as a mild form of hazing! It was cruel...but Hubby surprised us all by going through with the dare.

In front of Hubby, a plate of chicken feet was placed. Hubby picked a chicken foot up with his chopsticks and ate it!!! I was kind of grossed out, but Hubby was a good sport and humoured my family. Chicken foot eating video to be posted soon!!!

I also had a chance to meet up with some old university friends of mine over the holidays. The four of us went to university together and we also worked together at a kids' summer camp.
We also hammed it up a bit and did some sightseeing at the same time. If my student didn't think we were crazy already, I'm sure she now thinks we're insane! In this photo, Hawaii Joe is "watering" the post, P is doing his James Bond impersonation and Hubby is hanging on for dear life.

From MTL, we headed to K-town to see Middle Bro, his lovely wife and the most adorable little nephew in the world. I miss my little cuddle bunny. Kenny's getting so big so fast! 9 months and 4 teeth later, he's still as adorable as ever!

Kenny's wearing his Habs jersey for good luck! Good job too, since Montreal beat Tampa Bay that night! Hockey is serious stuff in our family! Even Kenny's teddy bear, Habby knows that!


japanmanpete said...

Happy Christmas, mate! We're off for Thailand to celebrate the New Year. What are your plans?


caninecologne said...

welcome back from your family holiday in montreal! great pics of you and your family! you can see how happy everyone is in those photos! your husband was pretty brave eating the chicken feet! dim sum is usually a fun experience.

happy early new year!!!

C K said...


Love the photos, and the dim sum food -- and I'm so glad you got to see Pam too! I wish you and everyone a fabulous christmas a happy new year!!

Uncivil said...

Glad your back C
What a wonderful time you guys have.
I love the "Deer droppings" present hubby got.

Tell hubby when there ain't nothin' left but the chicken's time to cook another chicken!LOL!!!!!

Palm Springs Savant said...

Welcome home! the family christmas tree was so beautiful. Great family photos. looks like you had a great time!

Hope you have a Happy New Year.

C said...

WOW! Thailand for New Year? We just returned from Montreal and Kingston and are still pretty wiped out from the drive, late nights and visiting with family. We may either just celebrate New Year's at a friend's house party or perhaps even just something even quieter. We'll see!

Thank you! How was your Christmas? From the photos, it looks like you guys had a great time. Happy New Year to you too! Have you got any big plans for New Year's?

BTW, your bags have been made. I'll get them out to you sometime next week :)

C said...

Yes, this is probably one of the only things I miss about living in the city...My family!!! I LOVE Christmas with my family. I miss them so much during the holidays. I enjoy Christmas on the Island too, but it's just not the same.

So...I figured you're the right person to ask what the names of those Dim Sum dishes are. Do you know what they're called? Mmmmmm...Now I'm craving Dim Sum again! LOL!

Hi! :) Did you have a good time celebrating the holidays?

Yes, the deer droppings were pretty impressive. We found out it was one of my cousins who brought that gift. He also wrote on one of the gifts "Merry Fishmas!!!". Needless to say, I steered clear of that one! LOL! I was afraid it would be a can of sardines or something!

One of my cousins brought some friends to our Christmas party and one poor sod got one of the presents I brought! LOL! I put a bunch of my preserves in a gift bag and when the person saw what was in there, the facial expression was classic! LOL! Dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, beet pickles...LOL! Pickled everything! The person kind of had that "WTF?" look. Gotta love my family. So much fun!

C said...

Palm Springs Savant:
Thank you! We had a great time :) It's always great to be with the family. It's nice to get away for a bit too. The only thing is that now I need a vacation for after my vacation!

I was just over at your spot and I must say that those photos are fantastic! Love the swanky soiree and martini bar!

J at said...

What a wonderful holiday!

I LOVE dim sum as well. Totally yummy.

mrinz said...

Wow, what an amazing post!

Thank you for sharing your Christmas celebrations with us!

And a Happy New Year to you all,

meri XoXoX

Jeanna said...

Chicken feet? Deer droppings? Dim Sum? And to top it off years of presents finally paying off! How do I get into your family? Please adopt me.

Calfkeeper said...

What a wonderful fun family you have! I like your new tradition of gift giving; it's great.

Thanks for the photos of your family and your Christmas celebration...I'm like jeanna, if I weren't already married I'd be heading your way to get adopted!!


Anonymous said...

you have such a wonderful life. many would be jealous! happy new year to you. here's to 2008 being a marvelous one!

t said...

ooopps! it's me, t! i accidentally commented as anonymous! ha! that's me.............anonymous t!

p.s. jeanna and calfkeeper, i've been adopted by chrissy's family..and they are hilarious! entertaining, fun and loving.

Uncivil said... need to update this post with some pics of Chance!
I would have slipped him a few "chicken feet" under the table when no one was looking!!!!LOL!!!!

d said...

great post Chrissy. You truely are blessed with a very special family!! I have met many of them in person and they are all awesome!
Little K is SOOO cute. i want to pinch his pudgy cheeks!

great photos BTW :)

louann said...

you are so right C! It is the warmth =)

Cherry said...

Hi C!
It sounds like you and Hubby had a great visit and celebration with your family!

I adore dim sum and it's been months since I had good Hong Kong style dim sum (my co-workers like to go to Shanghai place and I miss my old favorites). My Hubs just said last weekend that it's been too long, so maybe we'll go this weekend.

Oh, and the Taro dumplings are called, Wu Gok, the Shrimp Dumplings are Har Gao, and my FAVORITE are the noodles which are called Cheung fun, but you can just called them noodle rolls and they'll know. Mmmm Shrimp and BBQ pork noodles! That sweet sauce makes it though!:-)

Hope you are having a great start to the new year!

Love all the pictures!

C said...

Yes! Just thinking about dim sum makes me hungry again! *sigh* I'm craving the taro dumplings right now!

Thank you! Happy New Year to you and your family! xo

C said...

Jeanna and Calf Keeper:
LOL! When I was in elementary school and high school, all my friend wanted to be adopted by my family! My mom and dad now have a zillion "adopted" children! :)

LOL! You're too funny! Thank you for your kind words. All the best and see you in 2008! xo

Cherry said...

Hi C!
We really should figure out how to exchange email addresses :-)

The "Chinese Lasagna" is Cheung fun. That is one of my favorites. You can also call them Noodle Rolls and they usually understand what you mean.

C said...

Thank you! LOL! Now I don't have to point at the dishes! I can ask for them by name! You're the best!

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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