I’m coming out of my unofficial hiatus to wish you all a Merry Christmas!
And also to overload you with Harry Potter Christmas gifs!
This is my last #SFATW post! I’ve been so happy to participate, and can’t thank Marie enough for hosting and organizing everything! I was paired with the lovely Beth from Reading Every Night and I’ve just found out we both received one another’s gifts in time for Christmas! I’ll be making a post about that later this week!
Toronto’s Christmas Market
Following in the tradition of the many European Christmas Markets, Toronto hosts its own in the historic Distillery District. There are booths, lights, and general merriment!
Old Scugog Road
There’s this road called (you guessed it) Old Scugog Road at the edge of my hometown, and it’s basically a neighbourhood of huge *cough* rich *cough* houses, and they all branch off in cul-de-sacs, and at Christmastime, the whole neighbourhood is lit up. It’s like something out of Deck the Halls. Lights, displays, music, they’ve got it all. This year, there was even a tv playing old Christmas films on repeat.
It’s a tradition for many families (my own included) to get a hot chocolate from Tim’s, then drive around Old Scugog with the windows down, looking at the lights, choosing our favourite ones, and just spending time together. The most popular one by far is a log cabin that the owners decorate to look like a gingerbread house.
Santa Claus Parade
The Santa Claus Parade happens in most towns across my province, either in the last weekends of November or the first ones of December, and they’re always a community get-together. There are floats that repeat every year – one of which was a Christmas-themed hot tub that featured a handful of people in their bathing suits waving at the crowd (this is in freezing temperatures, mind you). I was even Hermione once in my hometown’s Santa Claus Parade! We used to have a small family owned zoo in town, too, so they would walk the elephant and some of the smaller animals with their handlers. And of course there are the local high school marching bands, and people throwing candy canes to the crowd. When I was little, they even sold buttons to commemorate the event!
Team Canada Olympic Mittens
These are a must have to many Canadians. They started back during the 2010 Vancouver games, and are still sold at Hudson’s Bay Company. You’d be hard pressed to wander around Canada in the winter and not find at least a few people sporting these mitts!
These aren’t specific to my country or hometown, but they’re some traditions my family and I enjoy for the holidays!
My mum is a kindergarten teacher, so she’s always added a creative twist to Christmas, and it all started with reindeer food. When my brother and I were kids, we’d mix up oats and raisins and a few other things she would assure us reindeer adore, and then on Christmas Eve, we’d go out to the long driveway at my grandparents house and throw it around, add a few carrots, and then it would be off to bed. The next morning, all the reindeer food would be gone, and one year there were even sleigh marks in the snow on the driveway!
An Orange in the Toe of Your Stocking
This comes from my dad’s side of the family, and apparently there’s a lot of possible reasoning behind it, but all I know is that I look forward to it every year!
On Christmas morning it’s tradition to have homemade coffee cake and tea/coffee for brunch. For dinner, we usually have turkey and stuffing and all the fixings. On Boxing Day (the 26th) we have a roast and Yorkshire pudding and all my dad’s family recipes. For dessert we have trifle, homemade cookies, pie! Basically, any and all resolutions to diet are put off until the new year.
Rereading a Favourite Book
I often reread The Castle of Otranto during Christmastime, and I know a lot of people similarly reread other classics that have spoken to them in some way this time of the year. I’ve also resolved to reread the Shades of Magic series thus far while I’m still on break! There’s just something lovely about rereading a beloved book while you’re surrounded by love and the holiday spirit.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a healthy and happy New Year! I’m so grateful to be even just a small part of this lovely and loving community, so thank you all! Happy Christmas Eve!