In the vast majority of Canada, Christmas holidays are embraced by the white of snow and the hard winter cold. Few regions by the seaside are lucky enough to enjoy milder temperatures, although rain will be present for most of the time. The beautiful, snowy landscape is coloured with Christmas lights outside the houses, and a wreath on many entrance doors. Inside you will find more illumination and often a Christmas tree. Furthermore many people like to setup a small Christmas village with artificial snow and an electric train.
In the last few years Canada’s population has changed quite a bit, with people from many different countries and cultures having landed here. Still, the majority of the population celebrates Christmas – some as a secular holiday and others as a religious holiday. That also led to the more respectful trend of saying “Happy Holidays” recently.
Since the commercial takeover on this holiday, the shopping season normally starts right after Halloween. Still, proper Christmas is not celebrated until the 24th or 25th, dates in which the big family gets reunited for a great dinner. Tourtière, a sort of meat pie, is a typical French Canadian dish for this date; English Canadians on the other hand like to enjoy drinking Eggnog. However, these are not strong traditions, and many other dishes are cooked for the occasion. After dinner, usually it’s time to exchange gifts and have a nice time with you loved ones – by the fireplace, if possible, in which Christmas Stockings would have been hung.
The 26th is equally important, as it is Boxing Day with massive discounts going on, and it sets the beginning of the end of Christmas.
Music is not a big deal here in Christmas. The repertoire is limited to the few songs that shopping centres use to create atmosphere, and that are constantly bombarded in different versions and covers. On the movie side of things, however, The Sound of Music is, despite its cheesiness, much loved around Christmas, along with several other typical Christmas films such as Home Alone, “Rudolf” or The Grinch. In addition, in French Canada ‘Asterix & Obelix’ series are usually aired, bringing along memories of nostalgia.