Christmas in November: My Weekend at Yule School

Christmas Comes Early to Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Yeah, I know. The Halloween candy has yet to be polished off and we’re already assaulted with Christmas carols and annoying bloggers trying to cram Christmas into our busy schedules. But here’s the thing, the earlier you start the easier the holiday season is to manage, which is why I just came back from Christmas in November, a festive weekend Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

lodge table setting

(Credit: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge)

Christmas in November

Each winter this classic Canadian lodge hosts a yule school that brings in Canada’s top lifestyle gurus for interactive seasons on holiday decor, menus and mixology. It’s all ho ho ho and holiday cheer with chestnuts roasting over open fires and mugs of hot chocolate greeting guests upon arrival. With several Santas, non-stop holiday tunes and impressive holiday decor, you’d have to be a real Grinch not to catch the Christmas spirit

cinnamon cider

My definition of Christmas cheer.

Even if you are a bit of a Scrooge, loads of Christmasy cocktails whipped up by master mixologist Micah Dew are never far from reach.

wild mushroom risotto with parmesan

Pasta in a cheese wheel!

And just like during the holidays, you better be prepared to overindulge. Celebrity chefs such as gills Bob Blumer, Michael Smith and Anna Olson dish out their favourite holiday recipes guests can taste and take home.

outdoor pool at lodge

(Credit: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge)

Many come for a fun-filled girls weekend away, some are here for the interactive demonstration classes, while others just want to revel in the spirit of the season and chill at the lodge.

Jody Robbins and Anna Olson

Anna Olson meet Jody Robbins on the dance floor!

What I think makes the event particularly fabulous is the easy access to the talent. They sit with you at dinner, are happy to take any questions or pose for pictures (like Anna Olson, who was gracious enough to snap a selfie with me on the dance floor).

Jasper National Park

(Credit: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge)

Of course it’s worth the visit just to explore Jasper National Park, yet many don’t make it far from the lodge. Fortunately, trails around the lodge offer a bird’s eye view of Pyramid Mountain, just watch out for the resident elk and their droppings.

Here’s a Recipe for Cin Apple Cobbler created by Micah Dew for the event:

  • 1 oz Courvoisier VS Cognac
  • 0.5 oz Galliano Liquuer (l’Autentico or Vanilla)
  • 3 oz Sweetened Apple Cider (chilled)

Shake with ice and strain in a glass filled with fresh ice and rimmed with cinnamon sugar. Garnish with a cinnamon stick

Have you ever traveled to a particular destination to get in the holiday spirit?

About the Author:

I’m a freelance writer with bad hair, a loud mouth and a serious case of wanderlust. Whether it’s luggage, time or just life, I cram as much as possible into small compartments. Warning: Contents may shift during flight. My life is one bumpy ride! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

2 Comments

  1. Jody 07.11.2013 at 15:43 - Reply

    Thanks for the book rec, Tim! Will definitely check it out.

  2. Tim 07.11.2013 at 15:23 - Reply

    It’s that great time of year again, family, friends and loads of food, drink and parties. I love Christmas and like having the excuse to decorate the inside and out doors of my home.

    I came accross a great eBook (The Ultimate Stress Free Christmas Planning eBook Guide), check it out it’s ideal.

    Visit: http://authl.it/B00GF8FRU4

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