Happy holidays!

by Leah Mol, Editorial Assistant, Heartwarming

Here in Toronto, there’s snow on the ground, and holiday lunches and charity drives and Secret Santa exchanges are in full swing. For a lot of people, that means they’ll be seeing their families soon, but since my siblings and I live all across the country, we often have to spend the holidays apart. My parents live closest to me and Katelin (I guess they love us the most), so we’ll probably get together at some point over the holidays, but it’s just not the same without Lucas and Jacoba.

So we thought it’d be fun to share in some of our favourite Christmas traditions from afar. Here’s how my siblings and I will be staying close in spirit over the holidays!
The Family Who Watches Together…

Holiday entertainment traditions aren’t always about Christmas-specific movies (although I’m sure everyone in my family will at some point have viewings of A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life). For me and my siblings, it’s all about Star Wars. Since childhood, Lucas and I have regularly been teased about Luke and Leia, and it only got worse when Darth Maul (pronounced just like “Mol”—my last name) joined the Star Wars crew. Although Jacoba might have had it worst with the nickname Chewbacca!
This year, we’ll be seeing the newest film in the franchise at different theatres, but I doubt we’ll be lonely.
My personal suggestion for holiday viewing this year was His Dark Materials. The whole season should be out by Christmas, and it’ll give us lots to talk about. I can’t overemphasize how important this series of books was to me as a kid. My dad got me each new book for Christmas as they were released, and I was young enough that I carried a stuffed animal around with me for weeks after finishing the first book, pretending it was my dæmon. So regardless of how my siblings feel about it, His Dark Materials will be top priority.
All the Food!

I asked Katelin for suggestions about what we should drink at Christmas, and she reminded me about apple cider. We all went to the elementary school my mom was a teacher at, and Katelin remembers staying in at recess on cold winter days with a cup of hot cider my mom made to keep her cozy. I have memories of the smell of apple cider heating on the stove while we got ready to decorate the tree every year. It’s the best drink. Period.

Some other things we’ll be consuming over the holidays to give us memories of home are stuffing (yes, my mom’s recipe is the best), mulligatawny soup, mulled wine, and Nanaimo bars.

Crafty Christmas

We’re a crafty family. We’ve been cross-stitching and knitting and sewing since we could first hold needles. This year, we’ll be updating each other on cross-stitch and quilt projects through text message instead of in person.

Pets, Pets, and More Pets

While we won’t be together to open presents on Christmas Day, we’ll all be surrounded by four-legged family members, which is as good as any present I’ve ever gotten!

I might not be seeing all my siblings this year, but we’re using tradition to make even more memories. How are you staying close to your family this holiday season?


  1. I loved your post Leah and the snapshots of,your family and traditions at Christmas. In spite of distance, it looks like you are all very close in heart. We have a big family gathering over the holidays with my husband’s side of family and although my side is smaller and we don’t get together every year, we do connect sometime during the season. Fave food traditions are: stuffing, and my ginger shortbread and Christmas cake. Happy Holidays!

  2. This was fun, and it looks as if your family finds ways to enjoy every minute. Merry Christmas to you!

  3. Lovely photos, Leah. Sounds like you do a lot to mark the holidays. I have such a small family and we celebrate various holidays, but I sure enjoy all the seasonal food. We have snow in Wisconsin, too, and I'll bet it lasts until around April Fool's Day--maybe even beyond. Thanks for sharing your family with us.

  4. What great traditions and photos. I love the matching pajamas, and the beautiful pets. Is that chicken quilt your work? So cute. Merry Christmas!

  5. I love your traditions! And that quilt was beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  6. Have a wonderful Christmas and cherish all the memories from the past and the new ones you will make even though you might not be together. I loved this post.

  7. I love family traditions. Don't forget you can get together on your phone and have a face to face. We did that for Thanksgiving.

  8. I love the Star Wars tradition. My family and I will together at the new release for sure. Merry Christmas.

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