The wonder and magic

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She says:

Well, here we are, closer to the big day. More Christmas tree lights are shining through the windows and more snow has fallen. There seems to be a definite movement afoot to get us all in the spirit, don’t you think? I hope this week’s article will put a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye, and make you remember the real spirit of the holiday season: the joy in believing in something bigger than yourself and the delight in sharing that with others. Whether you are religious or not, that spirit is what I believe this time of year represents. Kids seem to know that best, so if you don’t have any, try being one this month!

Have you ever noticed how children can get caught up in the spirit of things, especially at Christmas time when there is so much festivity and merry-making? When children believe something is real they are entirely ensconced in the moment at hand without any regard for distractions. This could be a Saturday morning cartoon of course (that’s why they have to announce the commercials, it is to remind the kids that “this is only a program”.) However it can also be Kris Kringle in a red suit or a star twinkling in the night… they just need to believe in the idea. When I was a kid my grandfather gave me a book of J.R.R. Tolkien’s letters from Father Christmas although it spoke of him writing the letters himself to his children, I always figured that he must really know the North Polar Bear and the elves. How else could he have known so many details of how they lived?

Those of you out there who may be doubters will be saying about now that I want to believe and that I am deluding myself. My answer to that is I am happy to be deluded, if that is what you call it. I love listening to the Norad radar report on Christmas Eve that tracks what they can only guess is Santa and his reindeer flitting about the world. I adore the fact that people smile more in December and catch up with friends and loved ones they may not see or hear from all year. My heart swells to know that every December if not before, people in the world will once again hope for a better place and often resolve to be some small part of that.

Your sharing can be something as simple as taking baked goods to the office. Or perhaps you can have the kids invite friends to help decorate cookies, or the tree (if your family is not like mine was and very picky about how the tree got decorated!) Maybe you might want to have a swap of goodies, so you can share in other people’s traditions (if you haven’t been to Illichmann’s German Deli or Valoroso Foods in a while, go have a good sniff and see if you can avoid buying a stollen or a pannetone!) If you have the resources, then dropping off mince tarts at the Mission or donating to the food bank is very much in the spirit of the season. But all you really need to do is stop and listen to a Christmas carol to enjoy the tune, or enjoy a kind gesture from someone… then smile yourself and pass along your own kind word or act. You are now part of the spirit. Let’s face it, even the Grinch managed it so I firmly believe we all have it in us!

He says:

Being from back East, my Christmas celebration was the 24th at midnight and everyone got woken up to unwrap their gifts… and the house smelled like an international buffet! My mom had prepared what looked like food for 200 people so there was lots for all 14 of us. It was the one time we could jump into anything we wanted, no rules, so it was dessert first and maybe some sandwiches after if we felt like it!

Memories of baking or cooking will last forever in your children’s minds. This is what is important in life and in the Christmas spirit, not the IPod or the Xbox. Food has the great quality to stay in your mind, where other things like toys tend to fade away. I know that this year I am making many holiday favorites like sugar pie, mashed potato donuts, creton, and of course tourtiere!

I do have gift certificates available if you want to offer a cooking type gift just send me an email and within one click you will have it in your in box. There is no need to pay me until the people you give the gift to book a day with me!

Happy Holidays

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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