A Chevigny Christmas
There is nothing like Christmas in a log home: our fireplace is crackling, beautiful smells of homemade food waft from the kitchen, the wonderful joy and laughter of the holiday season can be heard in all corners of the house.
My wife, Wendy, and I are blessed to be a blended family. Our lives –especially at Christmas – have always been focused on our family and each other. We love Christmas, and are among the luckiest people in the world who get to spend the holidays in a log home we built with our own hands. The colours, textures, and warmth of the heavy wooden beams make the season even more wonderful.
We’re big on tradition around here! We always cut down our own Christmas tree and you might be surprised to hear that the little Charlie Brown trees are my favourite. My wife sees things differently: she wants the tree to be perfect. We’ve had trees that were up to 14-feet tall in our great room. One year, we hunted for three hours before Wendy agreed we had found just the right one. (That’s a favourite Christmas memory for our whole family!)
We always reuse our tree for firewood when the holiday season has passed.
Other family traditions include opening just one gift on Christmas Eve – and we know ahead of time what it is. (Always pyjamas). On Christmas morning, after we exchange gifts, we roll right into a big breakfast. Usually this is my task as Wendy is busy preparing the turkey to go in the oven. I traditionally make sausages (moose or deer), eggs, homemade hash browns, garlic, onions, & spices. In the afternoon we put on our homemade mulled wine.
There’s nothing like the smell of hot wine simmering on the stove all day. Later we enjoy a turkey dinner with all the fixings and share it with as many family members as we can gather up – sometimes that means 25 people. Sometimes, when it's just Wendy and I for Christmas, we ’ll head out for a cross-country ski. There’s nothing like crisp fresh air on Christmas morning to exhilarate the senses. It’s a reminder that we are alive and well and need to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a beautiful home in the best place on earth.
Mulled Wine Recipe Served at the Chevigny House Each Christmas
- 2 organic lemons
- ½ cup natural organic honey
- 4-6 organic Mandarin oranges
- 2 cups of filtered water
- 10 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 bottles of organic dry red wine
- ½ cup of brandy
- Cheesecloth & butchers twine (optional)
1. Remove all the peelings from the lemons and the oranges. Soften them in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add cloves directly to the pan, or (my preference) place in a cheesecloth tied tightly with butchers twine.
3. Add water and honey. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add red wine and brandy. Stir to combine, increasing heat (but do not bring to a boil.)
5. Serve any time! (If you did not use a cheesecloth, filter out the cloves when serving.)
We generally leave the pot simmering on a very low heat all day, adding more ingredients as the wine is used up. This also keeps the log home smelling wonderful all day!