Country Living (USA)

A No-Ad­di­tive, All-Nat­u­ral Ap­proach to Christ­mas

Art­fully out­fit­ted with for­aged green­ery and fra­grant fin­ery, this cen­turies-old On­tario farm­house is a re­minder that sim­plic­ity is the ul­ti­mate so­phis­ti­ca­tion.

- writ­ten by CARO­LINE COLLINS MCKEN­ZIE photograph­s by VIR­GINIA MAC­DON­ALD

An­draya Frith makes a big deal out of Christ­mas, and she comes by it hon­estly. “I’m the old­est of eight kids,” she says. “We spent the hol­i­days sur­rounded by cousins, so I al­ways wanted to play host to ex­tended fam­ily when I grew up.” Un­for­tu­nately, her down­town Toronto home, which she shares with her hus­band, Gra­ham Kech­nie, and daugh­ters Ju­lia and Paige, can barely seat eight for din­ner, let alone sleep a crowd.

But in 2012, she and

Gra­ham stum­bled upon their own Christ­mas mir­a­cle: Drum­lin, a farm­house with 20 rolling acres in nearby Northum­ber­land Hills. The prop­erty boasts not one, but two farm­houses, the old one built in 1833 and a new one con­structed in 2006.

Con­nected by a breeze­way, the two struc­tures now func­tion as a sin­gle house and, much to An­draya’s de­light, can com­fort­ably ac­com­mo­date

20-plus overnight guests, with many of the cousins bunk­ing down in the at­tic-turned-bed­room. “As soon as we came down the drive, I en­vi­sioned old-fash­ioned hol­i­day gath­er­ings,” she re­calls. “There’s even a big red shed—our own ‘Santa’s work­shop!’ ”

In­deed, An­draya’s hap­pily hands-on ap­proach to the hol­i­days helps the home shine bright­est this time of year. The stone-walled rooms take on a cozy, mag­i­cal qual­ity with home­made gar­lands and cit­rus decor. “There’s some­thing about mak­ing things that slows the sea­son down,” she says. “And it’s a way to spend more time with those you love.”

 ??  ?? An­draya Frith (@an­draya 1123farm­house) bun­dles up in a plaid capelet (the­bay.com) with hus­band Gra­ham Kech­nie.
An­draya Frith (@an­draya 1123farm­house) bun­dles up in a plaid capelet (the­bay.com) with hus­band Gra­ham Kech­nie.
 ??  ??
 ??  ?? In ad­di­tion to gar­land, the an­te­room (also known as a breeze­way) is home to cords of fire­wood, which keep five fire­places roar­ing through­out.
Daugh­ters Ju­lia and
Paige put their (ob­vi­ously in­her­ited) gar­land-mak­ing skills to good use with farm-for­aged green­ery. Home­made cider keeps them was­sail­ing while they work.
In ad­di­tion to gar­land, the an­te­room (also known as a breeze­way) is home to cords of fire­wood, which keep five fire­places roar­ing through­out. Daugh­ters Ju­lia and Paige put their (ob­vi­ously in­her­ited) gar­land-mak­ing skills to good use with farm-for­aged green­ery. Home­made cider keeps them was­sail­ing while they work.

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