Christmas in Canada can be Cool
Posted on 08/12/2021
As we approach Christmas holidays once again, it’s time to tip our glasses to some Canadian holiday traditions that light up our dark winter nights every December. Oh, don’t mind those strange sounds coming from your attic; that’s just me going through some old papers trying to dig up some fun facts. You can go back to sleep. I’ll be done by morning. Let’s see … what do we have here! The Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Milk Calendar. From 1975! And guess what recipe it contains …
- Canadian Eggnog Recipe
Ok, let’s head downstairs to the kitchen. Shhhhhh! Don’t wake the kids or the parents. Ok, let’s make sure we have all the ingredients to make us some eggnog.
- 6 eggs – separated
- ¼ tsp, or 1 ml if you wish, of salt
- 2/3 cups of sugar (160 ml)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (5 ml)
- 2 cups 35% cream (500 ml)
- 2 ½ cups Milk (625 ml)
- Nutmeg – freshly grated
Great! We’ve got everything. Wait … we’re missing something. Of course! What gets made in Jamaica, exported to Canada, and blended and bottled by the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation?
- Newfoundland Screech ¾ cup (750 ml) – or you can substitute a lighter rum if you’re the cautious kind.
Good. Now we’ve got our eggnog. Our small contribution to the almost 6 million litres of eggnog bought by Canadians in December 2018. Our recipe gives us 12 servings. Well, maybe 11 … mmm this is good eggnog!
- Sending Letters to Santa
Canada Post employees reportedly log around 200,000 hours processing letters sent to Santa. Go here to send yours. Make sure you send it in time because there’s limited availability as you can imagine. That’s right, Santa’s elves work for Canada Post. Darn. I can’t figure out little Sonny’s password. Just trying to make sure he logged in and got his letter to Santa in time. Let’s head back downstairs. By the way, here’s the address:
- You can’t overdecorate a Christmas Tree
Ok, so putting shiny stuff on an evergreen tree around the winter solstice goes back thousands of years, but the modern Christmas tree is apparently courtesy of Queen Victoria’s consort, Prince Albert back around 1850. Nowadays, some people prefer modest, understated decorations on a smaller tree. Others fill their living rooms with fir trees laden with cheap baubles. Or you can just get a tiny artificial tree. Or no tree. Nowadays, anything goes. By the way, Canada exported a couple million Christmas trees to over 20 countries, before the COVID pandemic.
- Driving through the snow to see The Nutcracker
Back in the 1980s, if you wanted to catch the National Arts Centre’s production of the Nutcracker Suite and lived in the Ottawa Valley, you had to take what was then a 2-lane route (highway 17) and drive back home through a dark and often snowy winter night. However, it was always worth it. If you can, wherever you are, make sure you manage to see the touring production of the Nutcracker. It’s magical and one of Russia’s great gifts to world culture. And it goes well with the holiday season. And more than likely, you won’t have to navigate a 2-lane route in snowy weather at night to get to the show.
- Christmas Ham or Christmas Turkey?
Canadians who celebrate Christmas often (but obviously not always) choose between a glazed ham or a roasted and stuffed turkey as the main meal on the 25th of December. Aside from Thanksgiving (which as you know, is in early October in Canada, compared to late November in the US) we don’t buy a whole lot of Turkey the rest of the year. And nowadays we rarely cook up a large, glazed ham either. So perhaps the choice boils down to (excuse the pun) which meal is more of a pain to make. Glazing is pretty detailed work (sticking in all those little cloves) but putting together a tasty stuffing for your turkey is messy and time-consuming. If neither appeals to you, however, you can always choose a buttery, roast chicken. Let’s cook up some turkey. I’ll turn on the oven, and you start on the stuffing. Try to be quiet, we don’t want to wake anyone and have them call the cops.
- Canadian Christmas Comedy Skits
If you liked watching Kids in the Hall, you might remember their Children (Santa Claus) special. It’s a little risqué for prime time, but quite funny, in a typically quirky way. Or if you’re old enough to remember SCTV, you have to check out their Liberace Christmas Special with Liberace (played by Dave Thomas) and Elton John (played by Rick Moranis) dueling on pianos. And the late, great John Candy plays an impossibly fussy Orson Welles who ends up storming off the set. Ahh here we go. Some old DVDs that I can copy those skits onto and hook up to their Smart TV. Oh. You can just go straight to YouTube and watch them. Cool.
Ok. There’s Eggnog in the fridge. There’s a roast turkey cooling down in the oven. The Christmas tree (a fir tree is better than a spruce which can smell a little) is all lit up with boxes of cheap decorations plus we’ve hung more Christmas lights all over the living room. I’ve bought some tickets online for the Nutcracker, for the whole family. Had to use my own credit card unfortunately, but I’ve emailed the receipts to mom. And I’ve got YouTube on the Smart TV. Oh yes, and we sent a letter to Santa, pretending to be little Sonny.
Time to slip out through the side window. Hopefully the neighbours won’t notice us and call the RCMP. Have a Festive Season/Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!
Posted in Tips