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Christmas Season


Filipino Christmas celebrates family, faith and great food

Patricia Lim
Dec 23rd, 2012

Photo sourced from Pinoy World

Family. Faith. Shopping. Eating. It's not surprising that Filipinos view Christmas as one of the biggest events of the year, probably even more so than your average North American. Traditionally, the Christmas season in the Philippines begins on December 16 with a series of dawn and night masses (known as Misa de Gallo).

10 holiday party tips from the gays!

Morris Chapdelaine
Dec 22nd, 2012

The gay men's chorus of Washington, DC

Brace yourselves. The Christmas and Hanukkah party season is upon us. Like it or not, you're going to have at least one invitation and party go-to, and if you're a 'gay', well, chances are you'll be juggling multiple events on several nights. It's just the way we do things. So suck it up, get your holiday sweaters to the dry cleaners and get ready to dive into the party season with vigour.

I'm here to give you some of the best tips for surviving and enjoying this year's holiday bashes.

Let the party organizer know if you're coming or not. It's rude not to send a reply within a few days. It makes the party host think that you're holding out for another offer. It is not your business to ask who else is coming or what food or drink will be served. If you have issues with certain people, drinks or food, then come prepared.

How to stay fit, happy, and healthy this holiday

Sheila Blacklock
Dec 12th, 2012

You can be a cookie monster, moderation

Make your holiday a healthy one with a little planning, creativity and the following tips.


  • Invite visitors for a walk rather than sitting while catching up.
  • Go for a night-time walk around the neighbourhood to see the Christmas lights.
  • Start a new family tradition around activities rather than food. Make a craft, attend a dance, go caroling or volunteer together.


Snack Ideas

  • Serve fruit or vegetable trays with a Christmas-colour theme. Fruits: strawberries, red and green apples and pears (dipped in lemon juice to preserve colour), red and green grapes and kiwi fruit. Vegetables: red peppers, green peppers, broccoli and cauliflower florets, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, jicama and radishes.
  • Use cookie cutters to cut festive shapes out of slices of low-fat cheddar cheese (e.g. stars, snowmen, mittens); serve with whole grain crackers as a snack or appetizer.


Before events

How to cut down on food waste this Christmas

Alexis Stoymenoff
Dec 25th, 2011

Here are some helpful tips to reduce food waste this Christmas - so you can eat, drink and be merry (and green). Photo by Chris Fleming.

The holiday season is a time for joyful gatherings, gift exchanges and mouth-watering feasts. But unfortunately, that usually means creating lots of garbage.


Here are a few helpful suggestions for reducing waste:

Have Santa send a personalized greeting to your child

Linda Solomon Wood
Dec 22nd, 2011

This year, you can get Santa to send your kids a personalized message, straight from the North Pole. 

That's right, email from Santa.  From Portable North Pole dot com, Santa videos.

It takes about four minutes to put in your request and then Santa gets in touch.

Trust me, Santa DOES have a file for your child. He knows who's been naughty and he know's who's been nice. He even knows what your kids want for Christmas.

So, ho, ho, ho, Santa doubters.

Take our survey and win a ski weekend at The Westin Whistler and lift tickets for Whistler Blackcomb.

How Scientologists celebrate the holidays

Anja Konjicanin
Dec 22nd, 2011

Photo courtesy of

Scientologists celebrate the holiday season "in the spirit of wisdom, good health and immortality," the goals they believe are set for "man" by Christ, according to the media advisory sent to VO by the Church.

Tom Cruise is a Scientologist.  So is John TravoltaKristie Alley and Priscilla Presley are, too. Besides these facts, few really know very much about the controversial religious group. But despite scandals of yesteryear, the Church of Scientology's press release indicated the church is very much alive and kicking.

Currently, there are over 8,600 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups worldwide with millions of members in 165 countries, including one church in Vancouver.

Christmas weather conditions from the Weather Network

Anja Konjicanin
Dec 21st, 2011

Photo courtesy of Charles Lamour

The Weather Network meteorologists foresee a green Christmas for many Canadians this year due to the overall milder than normal temperatures.

Coastal B.C. residents can expect a "typically green" Christmas, as well as some areas near the U.S. border. The northern interior and higher elevations in the south could see a white one.

Kittens and cats: a Christmas giving guide

Jenny Uechi
Dec 21st, 2011

Photo of orphaned kittens from VOKRA website

Cat lovers are a devoted bunch. Most would like nothing better to improve the lives of these adorable creatures that provide YouTube users  people with endless hours of joy and entertainment.

Is Santa real? Kids turn to Google to find out.

Alexis Stoymenoff
Dec 21st, 2011

As Christmas approaches, curious kids are likely turning to the internet to find out if Santa Claus really exists.

According to search giant Google, queries like "is Santa Claus real" and "Santa real" have become increasingly popular each year -- particularly in the last few days before Christmas.

One parent told the Canadian Press that his son learned the truth about Santa when he became suspicious watching holiday commercials on television. After grabbing his father's iPad, the boy Googled the phrase "Is Santa real", read a few pages and then told his parents he was convinced Santa was a fake.

Google trends show that users in Ireland conduct the highest number of "is Santa real" searches, but Canadians aren't too far behind. Toronto was number four on a list of global cities asking the question, just after Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago.

Queens launches online store

Anja Konjicanin
Dec 18th, 2011

Photo courtesy of Classics Agency

Street is Queens' cup of tea. The Vancouver-based women's boutique street wear brand has recently launched its online store. And with it, its first official Fall/Winter collection.

The 2011 line offers a sweep of products for "the avid female fashion enthusiast looking for a fresh take on women's street-wear," according to a media release.

And now, each piece in the collection is offered in "limited runs." From fly T-shirts and varsity jackets to dope accessories, there's something street for every girl.

So, get crew necks for the whole crew, and build up your street cred.

Or get them "Roll$" earrings, and melt a G's heart.

Screen cap from

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