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I must admit, I’m not feeling that Christmas-y right now. Yes, we are in beautiful Florida and I’m not at home in the snow, so don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a poor me post. I am just so Canadian that I really need a) some snow and b) my own house to really get into the Christmas season.

Christmas in November 2015 - woman and man in red knitted sweaters

That said, it’s a good day to revisit all the fun that I had at Christmas in November at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. As some of you may know, this was my second year attending and it looks like it just gets better and better every year! If you read my first post, you’ll also know that I brought Mike this year for a nice couple’s get away weekend.

And what a weekend it was!

Mike has never attended Christmas in November until this year, he had mournfully sat at home watching our kids last year while I posted picture upon picture of all the fun that I was having without him.

This man was not staying at home this year!

man sitting in the Christmas reindeer cart

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has long been a family favorite of ours and is one of my most loved places to stay in the entire world. It’s no wonder, the rustic lodge is nestled in some of the most glorious scenery that this planet has to offer. No matter how many times I see it, it takes my breath away.

glorious scenery of a lake with reflection of mountain with snow

This year at Christmas in November was exceptional not only because I brought Mike, but one of my bestest partners in bourbon crime attended as well, Twyla Campbell AKA CBC Edmonton’s Food reviewer and writer, and also fellow blogger.

We collectively fangirled over Anna and Micheal Olson, my favorite presenters at Christmas in November. They are funny, brilliant, talented and all around nice people.

group picture of three ladies and a man in white background

I might have teared up and sniffled when she signed her cookbook.

signed white cookbook
Twyla wasn’t the only good friend there, our mutal bud, food writing, eating and travelling man Dan Clapson was also there to get into heaps of trouble  as well.

Pretty sure that we should have won a prize for the best photo booth selfies.
photo booth selfies

Also : Most. Awkward. Adult. Santa. Photo. EVER.

I love us so much.

group photo with Santa and a giant Christmas tree at the Back

New friends were made, I finally met Elyse Chatterton from Life Without Lemons. Female butcher, blogger, mum and fellow cocktail lover.

We didn’t get into a spot of trouble.Cross my heart. Look at how innocent we all look!

three ladies sitting and smiling with the plant background
The food was once again, spectacular.

Take a gander at just some of the amazing food and drinks that we feasted upon for three days.
collage of foods photo

The sessions were amazing, just like they were last year. Roger Mooking was hilarious, engaging and definitely a favourite with the male crowd at Christmas in November.
A man at the center front of the crowd giving talk
I was thrilled to get into the class with Sue and Marna, a backstage look at the Fairmont’s Gardening Team. This class is the first to book up solid every single year and for good reason. You get shuttled to the Fairmont’s gorgeous garden centre (somewhere that you don’t get to go unless you sign up for this class!)  and get to peek into the workings of what it takes to manage the gardening needs of a world class hotel such as the Fairmont. Wedding flowers, all the centerpieces at Christmas in November itself, the gardening team is in charge of it all!
backstage photo with of two women wearing cooking aprons

I must say, it was my favorite class of all. I was lucky to get to sit with Sue and Marna last year for all my meals and they are the funniest, sweetest gals that you are ever going to meet. They play off each other so beautifully and this truly was the best presentation at Christmas in November for me.
collage of photos with grey cat, red and blue Christmas ornaments

This Christmas in November was so very different for me from last year. Last year I flew solo and had a fantastic time making new friends, while this year was spent with good friends (and the husband, which was a bonus of course!). Both are equally amazing in their different ways. I love the freedom of going alone last year and the adventures of meeting new people, and cherished the time spent with my good friends this year.

What will year three hold? I’m not sure. I do know that Mike will aways be attending with me, as he’s now a confirmed Christmas in November convert. He won’t let me out of the house without him!

I’d like to thank the Fairmont for having me attend again this year, it was a fantastic time. Thank you for the opportunity to spend a weekend with some of my favorite friends in the food biz!

So. Who is coming with me next year? My cookbook will be out…I think we should all attend Christmas in November together! What do you think? Who’s in!

Love you more than Christmas,




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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. elysechatt says

    Such an amazing few days and I love, love, love that photo of the three of us- sums up the weekend perfectly!  

  2. newfiechick says

    This is wonderful…looks like a ton of fun was had by all…Merry Christmas!

  3. ACanadianFoodie says

    You should be presenting and your cookbook should be a free gift for all attendees – perfect timing, too!

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