Monday 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas from the Bees

We're just a few days out from Christmas, so we thought we'd share some holiday cheer with you! As we all prepare for the upcoming flurry of parties and general yuletide coziness, we found some time to get together and get festive! We've begun an annual tradition of making wreaths out of fresh greenery sourced by our favorite local flower shop, i fiori. It's always a really nice night, and it's such a treat that we all get to go home with something that will add some gorgeous festivity to our homes.

If you want to see more about how we make these wreaths, feel free to check out our post from last Christmas. This year we got bigger frames (20" instead of 18") which we found to be a bit more difficult, so our hot tip for you is to keep your wreaths on the smaller side! We think you'll find it more enjoyable and satisfying, and it will be a lot easier to make your wreath look nice and full.

Now that we've done this two years in a row maybe we'll try something different next year - perhaps we'll venture out into boughs and garlands! Or maybe we'll try incorporating some other elements into the wreaths - pine cones, dried flowers, twigs, or maybe some crafted materials like felted wool or crocheted bits and bobs. Let us know if you have any suggestions!

Here are a few of our wreaths in place:

Meg's wreath!
Jen's wreath!
Hollie's wreath!
Speaking of boughs and garland, we saw a LOT of those last night! We took the Christmas Tour at Dundurn Castle, and spent the evening learning about how the holidays were celebrated around the year of 1855 by Sir Allan MacNab and his family.

It was amazing for our collective to see how self-sufficient this family needed to be, as we explored the in-house brewery, candle-making room, pickling stations, and learned about how much intentionality was required to create the Christmas meals for the family and the servants in the home. Items like chocolate and oranges would need to be ordered 3-6 months in advance, but most food items were grown on site, to be harvested and preserved in time to be ready for the holidays. To keep things cold, ice blocks were cut out from the Hamilton bay each January, and stacked between layers of sawdust and straw, and the ice would stay frozen all year in the home's ice pit.

Holiday decor was taken to an amazing level, with natural garlands and arrangements everywhere you looked. Oranges, a sign of wealth, were incorporated into the holiday decor, and were given as gifts adorned with cloves. The tour was amazing, and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for something unique to do over the holidays with friends or family.

So from our hive to yours, as it was so aptly written on the wrapping paper by Stay Home Club at our Beehive Secret Santa:

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