As part of FBC’s 5th anniversary we’ve been sharing a special 24-day Holiday Countdown from December 1st to the 24th. We’ve going back in time to reconnect with some very special FBC Members. These Canadian food bloggers were among the very first FBCers to be showcased in our Friday Featured Blogger series that still runs today (we’ve featured almost 250 bloggers in five years!).
Today, we wrap the series up by doing something a little different. However you choose to celebrate the holiday season, our entire team here at FBC wanted to wish all of you a very Happy Holidays and share some of our favourite traditions of the season.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and the happiest and healthiest of new years from all of us!
Michelle Peters-Jones - The Spice Box, One Curious Ingredient
While we normally don’t have any gift giving traditions in India, when my daughter was born, my in-laws came to visit her in Liverpool - where we were living - in time for her first Christmas. When she was there she introduced us to the back-of-the-box Canada Cornstarch Grandma’s Shortbread Cookies. Needless to say, we were quickly addicted to these delicate melt-in-the-mouth little morsels and before you knew it, a new baking tradition was born in the house.
Now, every Christmas I make these cornstarch cookies… sometimes I even add my own twists (annoying everyone in the process, haha). In the past couple of years my daughter has started helping me make them in time for Christmas, and this year will be extra special, as we have a new little boy to celebrate with.
Lisa Bolton - On Board in 20
My favourite holiday tradition of the season is our Christmas Eve stroll through the neighbourhood to look at all the beautiful lights. Since becoming a mom, the look and feel of our Christmas has changed but this is one tradition that has remained intact. We fill our cups with something warm and 'special', bundle up and take in all the beauty in the neighbourhood. It warms my heart to see families gathered in their living rooms, laughing and sharing great food and drink. There is a stillness in the air as everyone has finished their shopping and arrived at their destinations for the night.
My husband and I started this tradition shortly after we got married with just the two of us and now, towing a little red wagon behind us, it includes families, friends neighbours alike. Once home, we share a family style snack (This pull apart pierogi bread is always a favourite) and prep cookies and milk for the big guy. I love that no matter where we are or who were are celebrating with, it will be a tradition we carry on for years to come.
Meaghan Carey - Canadian Wine
Each holiday season I look forward to my family’s Christmas Eve celebration. We attend Midnight Mass together and then return home to celebrate the holidays. With extended family we open presents with nibbles and cocktails, which is followed by a late night meal. But this is not any regular late night meal. Around 4am we have a family style feast of tourtiere, aspic, meatballs, and the ultimate family holiday tradition of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It is a serious feast! We usually crawl into bed around 5 or 6am. Growing up we were the only children who actually slept in on Christmas morning, and needless to say we don’t eat until dinner on the 25th. It is a bit unique, but wonderful memories and I cherish this traditional each year (even the KFC!).
Tiffany Mayer - General Contributor
Save for my immediate family, all of my relatives are in Germany, so Christmases have always been low-key affairs. We also celebrate on Christmas Eve, thanks to those German roots, which means Christmas day is the quietest, most relaxed day of the year in our home. I look forward to sleeping in, spending the day lounging in my track pants of complacency (the only day of the year I wear them unless I’m sick), and watching The Sound of Music. That and Love, Actually are the two Christmastime movies I can’t miss. Otherwise, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas.
David Ort - Canada's Craft Beer, Ontario & Quebec
There are so many Christmas traditions to choose from, but I think my favourite has to be making Nuts and Bolts. It's not that there is anything essentially festive about the combination of peanuts, pretzels, spices and only-in-Canada Shreddies cereal. I guess, it's more that each member of my family has a slightly different interpretation of the recipe and what makes it Christmas critical is getting together and comparing the versions.
Way back in 2011, when we were all deeply infatuated with bacon, I wrote a blog post with my adaptation of the recipe that included porchetta drippings.
Sondi Bruner - Allergy Friendly Remix
I love the holiday season because we don't make a big deal out of it. No gifts, no parties, no lavish dinners, no drama. I like how the world seems to slow down around the holidays, so we take advantage by hanging out and doing as little as possible! Reading, dog walks, movies, Netflix - along with some tasty snacks. It's a really nourishing time of the year for me.
Bryan Clegg - Canada's Craft Beer, BC
My mom makes a spinach dip with sourdough bread that I'm pretty much obsessed with. If she didn't make it, there would be a revolt in the house. She has to hide it from my brother and I until it's time to eat because otherwise we'd demolish it before anyone else could get a bite. In fact, for Christmas Eve, instead of eating a normal big meal like we do on Christmas Day, we just eat a selection of appetizer-style food. Aside from the spinach dip, my mom also makes a wicked good seafood dip with shrimp.
I always love to watch a movie that represents some variation of A Christmas Carol, with my favourite being Scrooged - starring Bill Murray. A Muppet Christmas Carol and Mickey's Christmas Carol are close behind. I have fond memories of watching Mickey's Christmas Carol over and over again through the holidays when I was a kid.
Heather Travis - The PR Desk
My favourite Christmas tradition is our annual "Christmas tree weekend". A fabulous weekend spent with great friends and our God-Children finding the perfect trees for our homes. It's a weekend I look forward to all year long.
Todd Beal - Canada's Craft Beer, Atlantic
A tradition for me that has evolved over the years is around food, beer and one movie. I have been married to a nurse for 26 years and her shifts required her to work many Christmas eves. As such it required me to help Santa deliver his gifts after I got two excited kids to sleep. At this point it was my time before the craziness of the next days gift opening and feasting.
The ritual started by preparing a large board of meats and cheeses, opening a special beer and putting on It's a Wonderful Life. I know it is a bit cliche but it was was my own little special time watching George Bailey get saved and enjoying some special treats during what was a hectic time of the year.
Liliana Tommasinni - Cookbook Corner
My favourite holiday tradition is baking cookies to give as gifts and for Christmas cookie platters. My mother was not a baker so I didn't have the experience of baking Christmas cookies with her, but I did start the tradition of baking them with my daughters which hopefully they will continue with their children one day.
Marlene Cornelis - Copy Editor
My favourite holiday tradition is making a gingerbread house with my family. It’s something I started when my first child was three years old and now I do this with my grandchildren. We don’t get to it every year, but it’s always a fun and magical thing to do. I used to bake my own gingerbread, but now I usually buy the house pre-fab and focus on the fun of decorating! The gingerbread is the centrepiece for holiday gatherings and parties, like the open house I sometimes throw, and then after it’s all over we have the fun of smashing it up!
Melissa Hartfiel - Managing Director
One of my favourite traditions has been my annual baking day with one of my oldest friends (we've been friends since we were 7). Every December we'd pick a day and gather up her favourite recipes and mine and have a marathon baking session in her kitchen. It was a time to catch up and listen to Christmas music - her older daughter would help us as soon as she was able to stand on a stool and stir a pot. She's since moved away and we don't get to do this anymore and it's the one thing I miss most about the holidays now. We always hope one year we'll be able to resurrect it. In the meantime, some of our her favourite recipes (like these Jingle Bars) have become mine and I hope some of mine have become hers!
Ethan Adeland - Managing Director
I look forward to lighting the menorah each year. There’s something very soothing and fun getting to arrange the colours of the candles every night with the 8th night being the main event. And the potato latkes and applesauce, can’t forget about that!
Be sure to check out all the bloggers in our Holiday Countdown Series and find out how their blogging journey has progressed over the last five years!