Christmas family traditions at Victoria Homestay

Christmas family traditions at Victoria Homestay start early! Traditionally we bring out an Advent Wreath four Sundays before Christmas. The four Sundays represent Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. Each week we light an additional candle! I love this tradition – as a child I can remember going out with my father to cut pine branches and make our own wreath.

Our Advent wreath with the first candle lit for Hope.

Another very important family tradition starts on the 1st of December. We buy Chocolate Advent Calendars – every day there is a piece of chocolate – again this is a tradition that I remember as a child however when I was younger there was no chocolate. The calendars were usually sent to us from my aunt and uncle in England. Even though our girls are older they still look forward to an Advent Calendar.

Our daughters especially love the Lindt chocolate brand !

Tourtieres is a tradition that Neal brought into our family traditions. There are many kinds of tourtieres – some have rabbit, moose, chicken, beef, or a combination of any of these. They are mixed with potatoes and herbs. When Neal was younger – his mother would make as many as 40 pies each season. Neal and his brothers and sister have kept their mother’s recipe and they have a friendly rivalry every year trying to decide who makes the best tourtiere!

Neal making our supply of tourtiere.

Decorating is another tradition we enjoy. Very early in December we see Christmas decorations pop-up all-over Prince Edward Island – some people love to decorate the exterior of their homes; other people spend a lot of time decorating inside. It is wonderful to see Christmas lights on houses in the evening on a starry night – especially if we have fresh fallen snow. We also have many ornaments to decorate the Christmas tree and the inside of our house.

9 Cutting the Christmas tree
13 Family sleigh ride
10a Cousins building a Gingerbread house

This year with COVID 19 Christmas will be a little different – we will not be able to visit as many neighbours and friends. Normally we spend Christmas Eve at my sisters house with lots of family and friends. All the cousins build a Gingerbread House, lots of food and singing Christmas carols and telling jokes.

Our family hope you have a Merry Christmas wherever you may be in the world – please remember to be kind to one another and stay healthy.


There are many spring activities in PEI we can do now that the snow is all melted. The nights are still below zero but it is warmer in the days. We are still “self isolating” at home. The only time we go to Charlottetown is to buy groceries. Our teenage daughters live on their own schedule – they stay up late watching movies and wake up late. Often we eat two big meals together – brunch and supper. The word “brunch” comes from the two words breakfast and lunch. It usually includes bacon, eggs, pancakes, maple syrup. We are eating brunch about 11:30 am.


Last week a friend challenged us to create our own Burger Love. Burger Love is an annual event in Prince Edward Island that has become very popular. It is a competition between restaurants to create the most delicious and attractive burger. PEI Burger Love This year it has been postponed. My burger was made with fresh local hamburger cooked on the barbecue by Neal, and topped with fresh spinach from the greenhouse, caramelized onions cooked in maple syrup and tomato relish. Cooking tomato relish in our kitchen. I think I could open my own restaurant.

先週、友達が「自作のバーガーラブを作ってみない?」と声をかけてきました。“バーガーラブ”というのはプリンスエドワード島では毎年人気のイベントで、島中のレストランがそれぞれのオリジナルのハンバーガーを作り、見た目と美味しさの人気を競い合うというコンテストです。ちなみに今月スタートする予定だった今年の“PEI Burger Love”のイベントは延期となっています。私が考えたハンバーガーは、地元産の新鮮な牛ひき肉で作ったパテをニールがバーベキューで焼き、お肉の上に我が家のグリーンハウスで採れたほうれん草をのせ、その上にメープルシロップと自家製のトマトのレリッシュ(Cooking tomato relish in our kitchen)でよく炒めた玉ねぎをのせてみました。これは、ひょっとしたら自分のレストランが開けるかも!

Spring activities in PEI
Helen’s Burger Love Creation!

There are many other Spring activities in PEI – one that I enjoy is gardening. Now I have a lot more time to spend gardening. I have planted spinach, beets and peas in the garden outside. These vegetables can grow even if the earth is cold.


In the greenhouse I have beautiful daffodils. I am eating fresh spinach and carrots. Everything is starting to grow – it gives me hope and inspiration as we face a very challenging time on our planet. We hope we will be able to welcome Victoria Homestay PEI students soon. Our prayer is that you are all safe and healthy.


Spring activities in PEI
Daffodils in my greenhouse at Victoria Homestay, PEI
Spring activities in PEI
Our cat enjoys the sunshine on the straw in our strawberry garden.

#春 #バーガーラブ #ハンバーガー #アクティビティ #プリンスエドワード島 #ビクトリアホームステイ #PEI

Healthy Winter Greens

I like to grow sprouts now that I can no longer grow vegetables in the garden. Have you ever grown any sprouts? What kind do you like to grow? How do you eat them?


#Victoriahomestay #ホームステイ #プリンスエドワード島 #プリンスエドワードアイランド #クッキング #ビクトリアホームステイ #園芸 #冬野菜 #ガーデニング