Tag Archives: Ukrainian Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas 2016

Astrid's 1st Christmas Photo Shoot

Merry Christmas to everyone, from our family to yours. We’re looking forward to spending a quiet Christmas morning with our darling daughter, eating latkes, and opening a few presents. No big showing from Santa here.

Christmas Ornaments

Our family stopped giving presents a few years ago, and I’m grateful for that. Only the kids get something small. The adults in my mother’s extended family do a homemade gift exchange – this year the theme was painting or drawing. Emily and I painted ornaments, and liked them so much we made a few extra for our own tree.

Christmas with Vancouver Family Ukrainian Christmas Eve Dinner

We had our Vancouver family over for a Ukrainian Christmas Eve feast – complete with kutya, borscht, perogies, vegan sour cream, cabbage rolls, beans, mushroom gravy, creamed kale, bread, pickles, and a fruitcake for dessert. Almost all of the food was home-made and vegan (except the perogies which we bought at the farmer’s market and the kutya which has honey), and it all tasted delicious. Ariella even braided a fabulous challah that was glazed with maple syrup and coconut oil. Astrid got to try her first spoonful of borscht and eat some of the sweet potato perogy filling, and I think she liked it.

It wasn’t a purely traditional Ukrainian meal, more of a fusion of cultures to match our family. We started eating at 3:30 instead of waiting for the first star, so the little ones could get to bed. And we lit a menorah to celebrate the start of Hanukkah.

Astrid's 1st Christmas Photo Shoot

Christmas in Kamloops

Christmas Family Photo Take #11
We had a lovely Christmas in Kamloops this year. My younger sister, Kelsey, was kind enough to host 8 of us for a few days.

Making Perogies Head Perogy Chef Vegan Gluten-Free Perogies Christmas Chef
We had a somewhat traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner, with gluten-free and vegan dishes.

Warming By Virtual Fire Christmas Morning Christmas Elf Christmas Wrapping and the Cat
On Christmas morning we opened our presents, which we limited to simple stocking stuffers.

Kenna Cartwright Park Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park Family Snowshoe X-Country Ski Fun
The weather in Kamloops was perfect (other than the freezing rain on Boxing Day). We took advantage of the snow and mild temperatures, with lots of time spent snowshoeing at Lac Le Jeune and x-country skiing at Harper Mountain.

Ticket to Ride Matt the Musician Family Time Cat Throw Rug
We also spent time inside relaxing and playing a lot of board games (Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, King of Tokyo, Love Letter, and Upwords).

Christmas Family Photo
We also hosted some of Emily’s family for brunch a few days before Christmas.

More Christmas pictures on Flickr.

Christmas in Manitoba

Hoarfrost Skyline
Brrrr…. A few weeks ago I thought Vancouver was cold when the temperature hovered around 0 C. I’ve become soft and forgotten what real cold feels like. A week in Manitoba with -30 C temperatures quickly reminded me.
Frozen Lake Panoramic

I had a great Christmas visiting with family but I’m grateful to be back in relatively balmy Vancouver. Emily and I spent a week staying with my parents in their somewhat winterized, off-the-grid retirement cabin in rural Manitoba. The new additions this year were a wood boiler for heat and a composting toilet. The composting toilet made the washroom smell of hamster cage, but it was way better than trekking to the outhouse.
Frosted Ponderosa Composting Toilet Chilly Outhouse Boiler Room

Christmas was pretty quiet this year. My cousin and their newborn baby ran into car problems in Yorkton and had to turn around on Christmas Eve. So the only noise and excitement was provided by the puppies. My dad spent most of Christmas Eve dinner yelling at Hanna to sit and my mom kept telling my dad to be quiet. It was amusing.
Ponderosa Family Kensi and Sheryl Lazy Dog Hanna Frisbee Queen

We had a traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner with kutya, perogies, borscht, cabbage roles, and the other meatless dishes. With all the dietary constraints in the family (vegans, celiacs, and nut allergies) there were lots of variants this year. We made vegan, gluten-free perogies and red rice kutya.
Perogy Making Bee Gluten-Free Vegan Perogies Baba Perogy Boiler Ukrainian Christmas Eve Dinner

When it was cold out, we spent the time inside relaxing, playing board games, doing puzzles, and cooking.
Puzzle Time Frosty Morning Meditation Salad Role Making Skinny Jeans

When the temperature went above -20 we bundled up and strapped on the snowshoes or grabbed the toboggans and went outside for some fresh air. There wasn’t a lot of snow, but the trees were all covered with hoar frost and looked beautifully eerie.
Frosty Walk Porters Winter Jump Frosty
Manitoba Snowshoeing Hoarfrost in Manitoba Snow Angel More Hoarfrost

We built a giant bonfire, but the wood was too icy and the flames never got very high.
Bonfire Acrobat Bonfire Builders Big Bonfire Burning Bonfire

More Pictures of Christmas 2012.

Gluten-Free, Vegan Ukrainian Christmas Eve Dinner

Main Course
I didn’t go home to Manitoba for Christmas this year, which meant I missed the traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner and the time spent playing board games in Baba’s basement. In an attempt to reproduce that in Vancouver, Emily and I hosted her family for a Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner. Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner is traditionally a 12-course “vegetarian” meal (which includes fish), but we had the additional complication of making it vegan and gluten-free.

Our menu for the evening included:

  1. Borscht
  2. Perogies
  3. Holubtsi (cabbage rolls)
  4. Mushroom Gravy
  5. Sauerkraut
  6. Pickled Garlic Scapes
  7. Maple Glazed Salmon
  8. White Beans
  9. Salad
  10. Baked Apples

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