Christmas in Queensborough: there is nowhere we’d rather be.

Oh yes, we are geared up for Christmas at the Manse! (And, as you'll note from the snow shovel, snow – if it ever comes._

Oh yes, we are geared up for Christmas at the Manse! (And, as you’ll note from the snow shovel, for snow – if it ever comes.) We hope our modest exterior Christmas decorations (lights will come next year) will, along with the others on Queensborough homes – and there are some beautiful ones – let people know that our little hamlet knows how to celebrate the season in style.

As I write this, Central and Eastern Ontario and Quebec are bracing for the first storm of the winter. Freezing rain is, unfortunately, promised, but perhaps there will be some snow as well. Freezing rain I could live without, but snow would be nice as we approach Christmas. Christmas! Always a happy time, and particularly so for Raymond and me (and, I hope, my mum and siblings) this year. We (that is, Raymond and me and my mum and my siblings and at least some of my sibings’ children) will be spending Christmas at the Manse. And it will be the first time the Sedgwicks have been there on Christmas Day since Dec. 25, 1974. That, people, is a long time ago.

The house is (as those who have been in it can attest, and as everyone else can tell from the photos I post) rather bare-bones inside at the moment, but it has everything we truly need to have company and host Christmas: heat, and basic cooking facilities, a highly functional bathroom, and almost enough furniture. (Though we will probably have to borrow a couple of chairs for Christmas dinner.)

And in our lightning-quick and very busy visit to the Manse this weekend just ended, Raymond and I got a lot done to prepare for Christmas. First and foremost, a tree!

Raymond loads our absolutely perfect Christmas tree – I do believe it is the most perfect Christmas tree I have ever had – into the roof of our car at the Burnside Tree Farm lot at the Madoc Dairy.

Raymond straps our absolutely perfect Christmas tree – I do believe it is the most perfect Christmas tree I have ever had – onto the roof of our car at the Burnside Tree Farm lot at the Madoc Dairy. It is a balsam fir, nice and tall and freshly cut and beautifully shaped.

We found a beautiful balsam fir at the Madoc Dairy, a business owned and run by the Tom Burnside family, who also have Christmas-tree farms. Their selection of trees – in addition to balsam fir, there is Scotch pine and white and blue spruce – was amazing, and we were thrilled with the one we bought. It’s just the right height, and perfectly shaped. We haven’t put it up yet – that’s next weekend’s project – but I will post photos when we do. No one will be surprised to hear that I have, wearing my bossy boots, decided that it must be in the same corner of the living room where the Christmas tree almost always was (except for one year when we must have been suffering from temporary insanity, and put it in the dining room) when I was growing up at the Manse.

But the preparations don’t end there! We have ordered a turkey from the Wood family farm on Countryman Road south of Tweed, where we got our outstanding turkey for Thanksgiving this year. We have put up the beautiful wreath made of fresh evergreens that was made to order for us on our recent vacation in Maine. We have transported one load of Christmas-tree decorations and sundry Christmas stuff from Montreal to the Manse, and will take a second load (including all the Christmas CDs – from Bing Crosby to Boney M and pretty much everyone else in between, including The Chieftains and the Rat Pack and the Blind Boys of Alabama and of course the Charlie Brown soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi – because my siblings and I watched A Charlie Brown Christmas [in black and white] every year on our old TV at the Manse back when that show was new, if you can believe it) next weekend.

We are so excited about Christmas at the Manse!

5 thoughts on “Christmas in Queensborough: there is nowhere we’d rather be.

  1. Did you say ‘Christmas CD from Boney M’?
    Did you seriously just say ‘Christmas CD from Boney M’??

    Who’s gonna stage that intervention? John? You there?

  2. Merry Christmas and enjoy your first time together in the Manse for a very long time. Maybe you should fine a good vintage 1974 to celebrate that year? Or you might find it on your doorstep. We might see you out and about 🙂 And yes we need lots of snow which might if lucky cancel the buses 😉

    • Thank you! I’m sure you’ll see us out and about – we will actually be in Queensborough for five whole days over Christmas. We are so looking forward to settling in for a spell at that wonderful time of the year. By the way, you might have noticed that we’ve installed candles – battery-operated, of course – in each window of the Manse in honour of the season, something I first saw down in New England several years ago and thought looked really elegant. I figured we’d be the first to do it in Queensborough, but was tickled to see the beautiful lights in the windows of the building at the heart of “downtown” Queensborough when we drove in late Friday night. Lovely!

  3. A candle in a window was I believe an Irish custom to invite a pastor/priest into the home to bless the family over the holiday season. My mother always carried the custom since she was Irish. In my case having to decorate a large area it was an easy solution without the many strands of christmas lights hung about. This way I only use the equivilant of one strand and giving the house the warmth and elegance the building deserves. It also gives me comfort to think my mom is close by. Thank you for admiring and I welcome other homes to share the same. I will look forward to seeing the Manse twinkling back at me and giving it’s windows the glow of the christmas season.

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