I find myself in this liminal space between Christmas and New Year’s wanting to bask in the memory of family holiday get-togethers, holiday concerts and parties and enjoy the languid pace of these post-Christmas days while at the same time eager to contemplate my new year’s resolutions and to consider how things can be improved in 2019.
Although I caught a cough/cold on December 23 and it, unfortunately, has still hung around, I did have a wonderful Christmas spent with my mother, sister, brother, brother-in-law, nieces, their partners and offspring.
Here’s what I’m crushing on during the 12 days of Christmas!
I’m reading If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin and loving it! The movie is currently screening in Toronto, but I really wanted to read the book first. It’s the first James Baldwin book I have read and focuses on Fonny and Tish, a young black couple living in New York City during the early 70s. Tish learns she is pregnant just as Fonny is wrongfully imprisoned for rape due to racism on the part of the NYPD. The genuine love between Tish and Fonny is tender, sensual and heartbreaking in the context of a prejudicial society that doesn’t give them any chance for success. I love Tish’s independence, intelligence and insight and Baldwin’s writing is exquisite.
I will be watching the first episodes of The Crown tonight. Yes, I know I’m very late to the party, but as I’ve mentioned previously, I don’t have a lot of time to watch TV. But I’ve heard such great things about the acting of Claire Foy in the lead role and can’t wait to start the binge.
I did not overdo it on the holidays as I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I did enjoy a delicious turkey dinner at my brother’s on Christmas Day. His turkey was particularly juicy and that’s due to a secret technique by my sister-in-law who is French Canadian. She takes a clean piece of cotton (you could use an old t-shirt) and dips it in melted butter and lays the whole piece of cotton on top of the turkey while it roasts. She then bastes the turkey several times while it roasts.
My contribution to the dinner was Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. They are so easy to make and really delicious. Place Brussels sprouts in a baking pan lined with aluminum foil and mix one part olive oil with two parts Balsamic vinegar and drizzle over Brussels sprouts. Bake at 425°F for 40 minutes. I never liked Brussels sprouts until recently, but that was because I had had them only boiled and found them too chewy. Roasting them creates a softer texture, while the olive oil and balsamic vinegar carmelizes the sprouts. I think I will make some more before New Year’s Eve. I also made White Chocolate Cranberry Bars and they appeared to be a hit with my family.
Just before Christmas, I attended the MNDFL Beauty Pop Up at The Jam Factory. I discovered many wonderful green beauty products that I’ll be sharing with you in the next few weeks. One of the beauty products I love from the event is Etymologie Active Clay Cleanser. Although this cleanser contains red clay, it is not thick nor is it hard to remove. That’s because it is made with a base of Moringa oil. While the active red clay removes toxins from your skin, the Moringa oil’s anti-inflammatory properties calms and heals skin. Ylang ylang balances the oil in your skin to prevent dryness. I have been using this cleanser almost every day and really like that it doesn’t dry my skin.
One of my favourite gifts this year is a gold chain bracelet, which I received from Ulla, a second cousin in Finland. Ulla and I became acquainted when I posted our family tree on Ancestry Canada’s website almost five years ago. Actually, it was another second cousin, Liisa, who initially made contact with me on the site. We have all kept in touch via social media and email and our family has even been invited to visit Helsinki and stay with our second cousins. But I was quite surprised when I received Ulla’s Christmas card this year because it contained the gold chain bracelet pictured above. I have a gold Swarovski bangle, but I didn’t have any gold bracelets to wear with it; this chain bracelet goes perfectly with the bangle! The bracelet is super special to me because of who sent it.
Did you have a good Christmas? Did you receive any special gifts or have any special memories to share? Please let me know in the comment section.
I hope 2019 is a wonderfully exciting year for you! Lori