Deck The Halls & Skip The Malls!

Yes, technically speaking…Christmas is upon us.  Our heating bills are going up.  We have pulled out our winter clothes.  Planning for the biggest shopping season of the year has arrived.

I don’t know about you, but I personally like to avoid the malls.  There may be some people that enjoy searching endlessly for parking spots, or waiting in long lines…that’s certainly not me.  I have pondered a way to complete Christmas shopping while having fun.

The answer ‘Came Upon a Midnight Clear’!  Family Jingle & Mingle has an AWESOME area with discounted shopping at The International Centre.  There will be lots of gift ideas to choose from including electronics, novelty items, jewellery, skin care, household goods, accessories, clothing and more!  And get this….anything purchased at Family Jingle & Mingle will be wrapped for free.  That’s right…FREE!  (thanks to First Class Homecare) 

While you shop, you can enjoy top notch entertainment and exciting activities.  There will be some fabulous walk around characters including two famous mice, fairy princesses and Batman!  One day only…December 8, 2013 from 10-5.  Parking is free!  Free gift bags for the first 500 adults.

So why not come out and save money, experience fun shopping, and get it all wrapped?  A Christmas experience like no other.  And yes, I will for sure be decking the halls and skipping the malls this year.  Visit The International Centre on Dec. 8 from 10-5.  6900 Airport Road, Entrance 6.  www.jingleandmingle.ca.

Written by:  Gaby Mammone

Christmas around the Globe

All over the world, Christmas celebrations reflect local culture and traditions. The festivities can be startlingly different from country to country, focusing on different aspects of the nativity story.

Here’s a sample of what I have discovered:

Christmas in Australia: December 25 falls during summer vacation, so many of the country’s Christmas festivities take place outdoors. The most popular event of the Christmas season is called Carols by Candlelight. People come together at night to light candles and sing Christmas carols outside.

Christmas in China: Christians in China call Christmas Sheng Dan Jieh, which means Holy Birth Festival. They decorate their homes with evergreens, posters, and bright paper chains. Families put up a tree, called a “tree of light,” and decorate it with lanterns, flowers, and red paper chains that symbolize happiness. They also light their houses with paper lanterns.

Christmas in England: It is cold, wet, and foggy in England at Christmastime. The day before Christmas is they wrap presents, bake cookies, and hang stockings over the fireplace. Then everyone gathers around the tree as someone tells a classic holiday story. Children write a letter to Father Christmas with their wishes and toss their letter into the fire so their wishes can go up the chimney.

Christmas in Italy: The Christmas season in Italy begins on the first Sunday of Advent, which is four Sundays before Christmas. Christmas features fireworks and bonfires along with holiday music. Families go to the Christmas markets to shop for gifts. Some families set up a Christmas tree and decorate it. Families set up their presepio, or manger scene, on the first day of the novena. They gather before the presepio each morning or evening of novena to light candles and pray.

Christmas in Mexico: The weather is warm and mild in Mexico during the Christmas season. Families shop for gifts, ornaments, and good things to eat in the market stalls, called puestos. They decorate their homes with lilies and evergreens. Family members cut designs in brown paper bags to make lanterns, or farolitos. They place a candle inside and then set the farolitos along sidewalks, windowsills, on rooftops and outdoor walls to illuminate the community with the spirit of Christmas.

By: Cindy

5 Themed Christmas Party Ideas

Trying to think of a fun Christmas party idea? Have a themed Christmas party!

Here are 5 ideas that will bring in the holiday cheer.

 1. The Ugly Sweater Party

If you’ve managed to go this long without receiving some horrific Christmas sweater from one of your relatives, you may have to run to the nearest Wal-Mart and buy one to be a part of this holiday fashion faux pas. The pictures will be priceless!Uglysweaterparty 

2. Trim My Tree Party

First time setting up a Christmas tree at your home? Have guests bring one ornament to hang while listening to your favourite songs. Sip hot chocolate, dance, and add your favourite decorations to the tree as you ring in the holiday season.

41406-Christmas-Tree-Trimming-Party

3. The Wrap Party

Wrapping gifts can be frustrating. Throw a support group style gathering for your friends where everyone brings some supplies and their bundle of gifts. Turn up the music and have some fun! 

4. The Holiday Movie Marathon

This is for sure a favourite. Get some of your friends to come over in their Christmas pajamas and movies they loved as a child. Keep it to a maximum of 4 movies in one night to avoid holiday overload.  

5. 12 Days of Appetizers

If you’re not sick of food by now, have your friends all make their best appetizers for a taste testing. Maybe you will find another addition for your Christmas Day dinner with the family.
pull-apart-tree3

By: Danielle Bastien

Top Christmas Songs

Whether you’re trimming the tree or heading out to a Christmas party, you’ll need the perfect soundtrack to get you in the festive spirit.

Here are the top Christmas songs of all time:

  1. Do You Hear What I Hear - Carrie Underwood
  2. It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year - Andy Williams
  3. Holly Night - Celine Dion
  4. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
  5. Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
  6. The First Noel - Karla Bonoff
  7. The Little Drummer Boy - Harry Simone Chorale
  8. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas - Johnny Mathis
  9. Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson
  10. Happy Xmas – War Is Over - John Lennon
  11. Winter Wonderland  - Johnny Mathis
  12. Merry Christmas Darling - Carpenters
  13. Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
  14. Hark The Herald Angels Sing - Nat King Cole
  15. O’ Tannenbaum  -  Vince Guaraldi Trio
  16. I’ll Be Home For Christmas -  Bing Crosby
  17. Rudolph The Red Noise Reindeer - Gene Autry
  18. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentleman  -  Mannheim Steamroller
  19. Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season - Andy Williams
  20. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Frank Sinatra
  21. Same Old Lang Style - Dan Fogelberg
  22. Rocking Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
  23. Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano
  24. Home For The Holidays - Carpenters
  25. Do They know it’s Christmas? - Band Aid

By: Cindy

Fall Into Winter

Photo Credit: Jennifer Davick via Southern Living

Photo Credit: Jennifer Davick via Southern Living

Every year as the temperature starts to drop and the air begins to get crisp I start thinking of the winter season and Christmas.  Although the weather outside can be bad at times, there are so many things I look forward to in winter.  I get to enjoy comfort foods like a hot cup of soup and hot drinks like hot chocolate to keep me warm.  Sometimes you feel like staying in; so why not have soup for dinner and then curl up on your sofa under a cozy blanket with the fire going, a hot chocolate and a movie.  Winter is also a great time to let the creative juices flow.  Sites like Pinterest have science experiments, arts and crafts and new skills for all ages to learn.

For the action seekers, how about taking the hot chocolate to go and enjoy skiing, tobogganing or skating with your family.  It provides your recommended 30-60 minute daily exercise and helps you spend quality time with family.

My most favorite thing when winter comes along is Christmas; the carols, the food and having family around.  Why not celebrate with your family at this years Family Jingle & Mingle event.  It includes the warmth of the indoors but lots of activities for you and your family to participate it.  Come and meet Santa and his elves and stay for food, fun and activities.

By: Leanne Singh