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Editor's note: Make the most of Christmas on the East Coast


It’s easy to get wrapped up (pun intended) in the hustle and bustle of visiting family and friends, coming up with the perfect gift ideas for those on your list and fitting some festive fun into your busy holiday schedule. What’s most important, however, is finding time to appreciate the little things that make this time of year special.

No matter how chaotic the holiday season can be, I always look forward to digging out decorations that hold a special place in my heart and home. In particular, my family has ornaments for each of our beloved dogs we’ve been privileged to have over the years. These ornaments are carefully displayed front and centre on our Christmas tree every year.

And then there’s the stretchy Santa ornament that clings to the Christmas tree branches. It looks odd and old, but the tree wouldn’t be the same without him. I’m not sure where he came from, but the stretchy Santa has earned his place.

Recipes, traditions and more in our Holidays section
Recipes, traditions and more in our Holidays section

My family also has an almost-life-sized Mrs. Claus that holds a basketful of candies. She was a handmade gift from my aunt years ago. Holiday visitors often comment on how cute Mrs. Claus looks standing in the corner of the room. Tilly, my parents’ black Labrador retriever, doesn’t agree and manages to get a few barks in every year when Mrs. Claus comes out of storage.

There are many items I associate with Christmas, but it’s the memories that are tied to them that hold special meaning. One decoration I’ll treasure for as long as I’m living is a tabletop Victorian ballroom display with miniature dancers that move around on a dance floor. The little fireplace glows and classic Christmas tunes play. It was one of the last gifts my grandfather gave me before he passed away. I adore it, but what I love most is how it reminds me of him. It’s a holiday centrepiece that can never be replaced.

However you choose to celebrate the holidays, whether you embrace your crafty side, look for new ways to have some festive fun or give back to your community, this year’s Tidings magazine has a variety of content to help you think outside the box — and beyond the pages.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

Paula Bugden

Editor, Tidings 2019

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