Christmas in Toronto
Every year as the weather cools down, I always anticipate the festive season when stores start playing holiday music and the streets are adorned with Christmas decor. One of my favourite things about Toronto is the amount of events and activities surrounding the holiday season. To get myself in the holiday spirit, I participated in quite a few festive activities.
Cavalcade of Lights
Toronto’s annual Christmas tree lighting and fireworks display at Nathan Phillip’s Square was worth fighting the crowds and freezing my toes off for. The tree lighting itself was a bit anticlimactic, but the fireworks were quite the show. I absolutely loved how the fireworks synchronized with the upbeat music.
The Bay’s Window Reveal Featuring Mariah Carey
To kickstart the holiday season in Toronto and celebrate the reveal of Hudson Bay and Sak’s Fifth Avenue’s Christmas window displays, Mariah Carey gave a free performance on Queen Street. My friend and I waited for nearly three hours for her to finally come on stage and give a short two-song performance, which was followed by a display of fireworks. Was it worth it? Probably not. Would I do it again? Heh…probably.
Toronto Christmas Market
I went to Toronto’s Christmas Market three times this year. The Distillery District’s old industrial architecture makes for the perfect backdrop for fairy lights, roasted chestnuts, and Christmas carolling. If you ever plan on visiting Toronto during the holiday season, I recommend going earlier on in the month to avoid long lineups as it gets closer to Christmas.
As much as I dislike stuffy and over-crowded malls, I do enjoy the hustlin’ and bustlin’ atmosphere of happy holiday shoppers. I can spend an afternoon in the mall just admiring all Christmas decor as well as the holiday specials stores come out with.
The last time I spent Christmas in Canada was when I was five years old. This year, I spent it in my studio apartment in Toronto with my parents who came to visit from abroad. Christmas day consisted of eating, playing in the snow, eating, building a gingerbread house, and even more eating. Too bad I ate all the food before I had time to take pictures…
Boxing Day Haul
For those who are not familiar with Boxing Day, it is equivalent to Black Friday in America. It’s the day right after Christmas, where stores typically have heavy discounts. Don’t worry, not all the shopping bags in the following picture are mine…
I woke up at 6 in the morning and made my way to Best Buy with my dad to pick up a monitor to connect to my laptop. I got the HP 27ES LED Monitor for almost half price and am super happy with it. It’s good looking (always a plus) and high resolution, which is perfect for watching movies and TV shows on! 🙂
My other big purchase was a winter parka that I needed to survive the winter here in Toronto. I ended up getting the TNA Haven Parka, which was recommended to me by a friend. While it’s definitely not cheap, it’s pretty reasonably priced compared to other winter coats on the market. I wore it out today for a 4+ hours walk and it kept me toasty warm!
Indigo: Coffee & Tea Accessories
There were some some pretty sweet deals on the holiday coffee & tea accessories at Indigo which my parents snatched up (but let’s be real… I will probably use them myself as well). Most things were at least half off, if not more!
Lush / Body Shop / Bath & Body Works
Lush: Boxing Day is the ONLY time of the year Lush goes on sale. A good chunk of the items were either buy one get one free or 50% off! My mom and I wanted to try out the Fun Bars because they sounded (and looked) very intriguing. They are a dough-like bar that can be used as soap, shampoo, or a bubble bath bar!
The Body Shop: I picked up some hair products I wanted to stock up on and try out. If you have dry hair, I definitely recommend trying the Grapeseed Hair Serum (though I’m not sure if they still produce this item as I haven’t seen it in stores for a while except on sale during Boxing Day).
Bath & Body Works: I usually don’t like shopping at Bath & Body Works because the smells in the store are a bit overpowering and give me a headache, but I do like their foaming handsoaps. We ended with three of the Winter scent handsoaps (3 for $10!).
That is my 2016 Christmas/Boxing Day roundup! How did you celebrate the festive season this year?