Winter Holiday / Christmas Traditions

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Canada is a multicultural society where many different holiday traditions are celebrated, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and others. In Canada, the most commonly recognized winter holiday is Christmas, a Christian tradition on December 25th commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. You also may have heard of the tradition of Santa Claus, who is a mythical character said to bring gifts to well-behaved children on Christmas Eve. Winter holidays are focused on togetherness, generosity, and joy.

Here are some popular winter holiday / Christmas traditions:

  • Decorating a tree. You can choose between a live or artificial tree. Some people enjoy the experience of having a live tree in the house and the evergreen smell. However, artificial trees are easier to set up, last longer, and come in many different shapes and sizes.

    Traditionally, trees are decorated with lights, garlands and ornaments. You can buy a tree and ornaments at Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Ikea, or Superstore.

    You can also make your own ornaments! Click here to watch a video with some homemade ornament ideas (all you need is paper, string, scissors and glue).
  • Stockings hung over the fireplace. Stockings are filled with small gifts that are opened on Christmas Eve (December 24) or Christmas Day (December 25). Stocking gifts are usually small, useful everyday items, such as socks, toiletries, or sweets.

  • Hanging lights indoors and outdoors. You may have seen houses in your neighbourhood decorated with lights. Colourful lights are a great way to spread holiday cheer. When you are at the store, look for lights that say “Indoor” or “Indoor/Outdoor” on them, so that you know where they are supposed to be used.
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