My Favourite Things of December

By Murissa Shalapata
The Wanderfull Traveler

I look forward to December for so many reasons. I am a holiday fanatic and love to bake Christmas cookies, go shopping for gifts, carefully select wrapping paper to represent the recipients personality and of course, take advantage of the vacation from school and travel somewhere warm to escape the Canadian cold. There are so many things to love but I narrowed them down to my top five. You can even replace the title of each one to the lyrics of "My Favourite Things" from the film The Sound of Music...well I tried anyways.

5. Wrapped roasted Spam in seaweed and sunshine...

Hawaii is my all time favourite destination to spend Christmas and even New Year's Eve. It is somewhat grand to be the last people on Earth to celebrate the arrival of a new year. A Christmas spent on the beach is equally as decadent. It is now hard for me to spend a year away from my ocean friends on the corner of Waikiki Beach and Turtle Cove, just a few yards past surfer lane. Of course, who can forget to try some Spam Sushi to be paired with a bottle of Longboard Lager or in my case Champagne!

4. Ham dressed with stuffing and egg nog with rum balls...
Oven Roasted Stuffing :D
In other words...the food! I love to bake, as I mentioned earlier, so there are always Christmas cookies, Brandini toffee and a savoury feast on Christmas night. This year I am preparing the meal so I have decided to do a Fig and Pears Ham served with stuffing/dressing (my family's favourite, we practically eat it as a main!), Truffle Mashed Potatoes and an Endive Salad.

3. Bountiful pine trees laced with bright string...

Decorating the tree is one of my favourite Christmas activities. My family gets together, puts Christmas Vacation into the BluRay, we all drink red wine or sometimes Champagne and try out best to get the tree straight. This year, throughout my travels, I collected an ornament from each location. Surprisingly, I've acquired 9 since last year! It has been a great year in travel for The Wanderfull Traveler!

2. Soft snowy nights with hot fires and icicles...
Barossa Valley Estate Ebenezer Cabernet 2006

Being Canadian you eventually become accustomed to the snow, although the trip to Mexico or Hawaii helps too! I used to hate the snow when I was younger (but that was because of the 40 (Celcius) below weather in Norther Canada. But now that I live in the only desert area in Canada it just isn't Christmastime without it. I love to curl up in front of a fire with a book and some wine. This year, my wine of choice is Ebenezer (Australia), a delicious wine that thematically matches the season.

1. Markets, mulled wine and German delicacies

This year I was fortunate enough to attend the Vancouver German Christmas Market where I sampled delicious meats, cheeses and desserts. I also purchased some gorgeous ornaments and sold by vendors visiting from Eastern Europe. Everything was so authentic and offered the charm of the Christmas markets of my travel dreams. 

Hope you enjoyed my countdown! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have a great New Year!


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