Joy Drop: How to toast Canada's junior championship with some delicious mocktails

Members of Team Canada celebrate their championship after defeating the Czech Republic in the final of the world junior hockey tournament in Halifax. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press - image credit)
Members of Team Canada celebrate their championship after defeating the Czech Republic in the final of the world junior hockey tournament in Halifax. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press - image credit)

Happy New Year, friends! Many folks have gone back to work already and I'm one of them. But it is a wonderful thing to bookmark the week with a fresh dose of happiness with our fun notebook entry.

I begin this week's offering of jubilation with the big win for the Canadian men's junior hockey team to make them back-to-back champions. I didn't follow the tournament closely this year, but heard all about Connor Bedard's OT goal in the quarter-finals. Canada went on to beat the Czech Republic 3-2, also in OT. What a way for the host cities Halifax and Moncton to bring in a fresh new year!

Speaking of New Year, I am thrilled that 2023 will bring us another World Cup! Yes, the Women's World Cup will be held from July 20- Aug. 20 and is co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. CanWNT's Janine Beckie brilliantly reminded us of this with her countdown

Many people observe Dry January, and as someone who doesn't drink at all, it's fun to have a lot of ideas about different non-alcoholic beverages. Mocktails are a creative way to explore the world of drinks without feeling pressured to consume alcohol or missing out on social experiences. I am always happy to have alternatives to my usual club soda with lemon. There are so many versions with things like edible glitter, flowers and foam all beautifully presented. There are sweeter drinks, tart ones and even milk-based drinks like the ultra-popular espresso mocktini.

I saw a TikTok post of a World Cup mocktail display dedicated to Team Morocco, so I am definitely going to manifest that for the Women's World Cup.

I am a winter baby (yes, January is my birthday month) and I am a huge fan of anything winter-esque. My 20-year-old niece, Yasmeen, is a full-time University student but is also an avid knitter and enjoys it so much. Over the break, we were gathered at my mom's house and Yasmeen, who is self-taught, knitted a hat in two days.  My favourite piece is a hat with cat ears that she asked my son to model. I have requested this hat as a birthday present this year!

Submitted by Yasmeen Ahmed
Submitted by Yasmeen Ahmed

Often we mistakenly associated knitting with elderly women when knitting is something that is for everyone.

In my search for youth in these creative handmaking spaces, I came across a crochet celebrity named Jonah Larson. Jonah is a 15-year-old from LaCrosse, Wisc. January is also his birthday month!

He has authored several books and has a substantial social media following. His videos on different crochet patterns are delightful and creative and his YouTube channel boasts 142,000 subscribers while his Instagram account has 379,000 followers. I don't crochet at all, but was so fascinated by his speedy skill and swift hands. In fact, this particular video on a crochet wrap is riveting. He is a fantastic teacher and clearly loves his work. He creates patterns, shares them and sells some items he makes. and most importantly he gives back to the community.

He is a natural on-camera and is the resident children's book reviewer for Drew Barrymore's talk show. He is incredibly poised and natural in front of a camera. And his encouragement for crocheting is so genuine. I am so impressed with this kid.

Wishing you all a wonderful start to 2023!!