Our First Cape Breton Christmas

We had what might be called a perfect Christmas. On Christmas Eve, the power went out, forcing us to fill the house with candle and fire light. We opened gifts and then remembered a friend living nearby in a tiny cabin with one electric heater for warmth. So we went to check on him, and indeed he was glad to come home with us for the duration. So we stoked the fire, served holiday drinks all around and popped popcorn in the wood stove with my new camp fire popcorn popper.

By Christmas morning, the power was back on, and we had a hearty breakfast that included frozen banana purée topped with home-made brandied pears we made some years ago and were saving for our first Christmas in whatever home we bought. By lunch, the power was out again, and we were midway through dinner preparations. Two hours later, the power came back on only to go out yet again shortly thereafter. By the time the rolling power outages were finally sorted late in the afternoon, we had effectively prepared dinner in stages so that we could polish it up and sit down to a meal and a film. Afterward, we took our friend home, opened our stockings and curled up by the fire to watch The Sound of Music.

Yesterday evening, we went with our friend to Christmas dinner at Big Hill and ate and opened gifts and sang carols while a heavy snow fell on the mountain outside. Today we have returned to work, but the dining room table is still scattered with opened presents, and there are tasty leftovers in the refrigerator.

And the haul? Well, Sean made out with three beginner fiddle books, a new set of strings, a tuner, a clip-on instrument hanger for his music stand and a few fiddle-related goodies. I raked in a pile of sci-fi toys including a Gipsy Danger robot from Pacific Rim and a model of the Normandy SR1 from Mass Effect (sometimes Christmas needs to be about the toys). I also received a set of Scrabble refrigerator magnets I'm already using for Gàidhlig study in the house.

My thanks to the hard-working Nova Scotia Power employees who worked through Christmas for us. But it was really all-right anyway. I doubt we would have made so many gorgeous memories if everything had gone according to plan.