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free ice skating Get your skate on at Robson Square Ice Rink starting Dec. 1.......................................................................... make buddy the elf's breakfast spaghetti ................................................ Pillsbury elf hat ready-to-bake cookies ........................................... six GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK Looking for gift ideas that won’t end up in the landfill? ............ holiday lashes Celebrity favourite House of Lashes now available at CurliQue Beauty Boutique . ....................

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celebrate the holidays with these vancouver events ...................... gifts for every budget (seriously) . ............................................................... 10 vancouver experiences to give as gifts ...................................................... is produced by and is exclusive property of Glacier Media Inc. Copyright 2018.

oh deer! Give your holiday dĂŠcor a touch of Canadiana with these festive finds .....................................................


Michelle Bhatti editor

Sandra Thomas sthomas@vancourier.com design

Marina Rockey

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traditional scottish shortbread The key to perfect Scottish shortbread........................... planning a party? Save time with this new booze delivery service ..............

Email sales@vancourier.com to advertise in our next issue. winter 2018

in the city 3

Photo Sandra Thomas

letter from the

Holiday pressure You can only do what you can do, so take a breath and enjoy the moment “There'll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting, and caroling out in the snow...” While the lyrics to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” might look good on paper, in those few lines alone you’ve already added three more things to your to-do list. Besides working, looking after kids or pets or both, and everything else you fit into your busy routine, now you have to get organized for the party you’re hosting for friends and family. And as for toasting marshmallows, the logistics alone are daunting — what if it rains, do we have enough marshmallows and what the heck are we going to toast them with? 4

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And don’t even get me started on caroling. I don’t mean to go all Grinch about the holidays, but to be honest they can add a lot of pressure to most of us, especially in this time of social media when we’re almost forced to compare our efforts to what we see on Instagram and Pinterest. Example? Just check out the photo above of the cookies I made with one of our granddaughters two years ago. #epicfail But, besides the fact we laughed so hard our stomachs hurt, Nola still thought they tasted great and we had a blast making them. It’s something we do every year, at varying degrees of success.

There was a time I would have thrown that sad batch of cookies in the garbage and started over, but with age I’ve come to realize you can only do what you can do so why not have fun and enjoy the moment, whether it’s posted on social media or not. The goal of Holidays in the City is to help simplify the days and weeks leading up to Christmas, Hanukkah, Chinese New Year or whatever holiday you’re celebrating and hopefully ease some of that pressure. (By the way, this photo of those cookies was one of my most “liked” on social media of 2016.) #nailedit sandra thomas editor, holidays in the city

Get your skate on at Robson Square Ice Rink starting Dec. 1 Elana Shepert

There are a number of places to enjoy ice skating in Vancouver, but there is something decidedly magical about the Robson Square Ice Rink. For one, it is the city’s only outdoor ice skating rink, which makes it a unique experience. Further, it’s located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver and looks positively enchanting amidst the soaring buildings and city streets. The festive oasis is the perfect place to enjoy the holidays with your friends, family and loved ones. What’s more, the attraction is completely free if you bring your own skates, and only $5 to rent a pair. The rink is slated to open Dec. 1, and it runs until Feb. 28, 2019.

Erick LichtE Artistic Director

The Robson Square Ice Rink & Plaza When: Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 Where: Robson Square — 800 Robson St. Cost: Free if you bring your own skates. $5 to rent a pair — cash only Hours of Operation Sunday to Thursday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Holiday Hours Christmas Eve, Dec. 24: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Christmas Day, Dec. 25: noon to 5 p.m. Boxing Day, Dec. 26: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31: 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. New Year’s Day, Jan. 1: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

CHRISTMAS WITH CHOR LEONI December 14 | 8pm December 16 | 8pm December 17 | 5pm & 8pm

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December 15 | 3pm west VAncoUVer UniteD chUrch

chorleoni.org | 1.877.840.0457

make buddy the elf's breakfast

spaghetti Buddy the Elf's Breakfast Spaghetti Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 8 to 10 minutes Serves one

Ingredients 1 serving of spaghetti Chocolate syrup Maple syrup ¼ cup red and green M&Ms ½ cup mini marshmallows 1 tbsp. rainbow sprinkles One chocolate Pop-Tart Method Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Sandra Thomas | sthomas@vancourier.com

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup." And that’s exactly what Buddy the Elf did while preparing breakfast in the 2003 movie Elf — with the addition of some spaghetti and a chocolate Pop-tart. In recent weeks several restaurants across North America have added that sweet spaghetti concoction to their menus in celebration of not only the holidays, but also 6

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the 15th anniversary of the movie, which follows the story of one of Santa’s elves who heads to New York City after discovering that’s where he was born. But you don’t have to “pass through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirlytwirly gum drops and then walk through the Lincoln Tunnel” to buy a plate when you can make it at home with this easy recipe.

Drain spaghetti and pour onto an appropriate plate or shallow bowl. Sprinkle the M&Ms, mini marshmallows and sprinkles over the spaghetti. Drizzle on chocolate syrup and maple syrup. Toast a chocolate Pop-Tart for toast and break it into pieces across the plate. Enjoy!

So maybe you don’t want to put in the effort of making maple syrup spaghetti, but also don’t want to be considered a “cotton headed ninny muggings.” It’s doesn’t get any easier than these Buddy the Elf ready-to-bake sugar cookies from Pillsbury.

Pillsbury Elf hat ready-to-bake cookies

The cookies were also created to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the film. No word on when these cookies will make it onto Canadian shelves, but they are already available at Safeway, Walmart and Target in the U.S.


Holidays from everyone at

Visit shop.thefatpaintcompany.com for gift ideas and retailers | 604-527-2032

Six gifts that give back Sandra Thomas | sthomas@vancourier.com

Looking for gift ideas that won’t end up in the landfill? Consider any of the gifts from the list below. Directions Youth Services Donation drop-off:

Glacier Media, 303 West Fifth Ave. • fsgv.ca For the past 14 years, Glacier Media office manager June Stafford has been collecting items for Directions Youth Services, which supports at-risk, homeless or street-involved youth. The organization is in particular need of toiletries, including disposable razors, shampoo, tampons, soap and hair clippers. Other items on the centre’s wish list include gift cards, transit passes and new items such as underwear, sneakers and boots, warm jackets, gloves, hats, socks, rain pants and jackets and any teen-appropriate clothing. Good Earth Coffeehouse Coffee and gingerbread 2505 Alma St. • goodearthcoffeehouse.com Good Earth is offering a new holiday blend coffee from Guji, Ethiopia, which is traceable from tree to cup and is organically grown using sustainable farming methods. As well, Good Earth Coffeehouse is selling gingerbread families and for each package sold, $1 will be donated to a local food bank. Salvation Army Treats for Toys treatsfortoys.ca Rice Krispies is partnering with the Salvation Army for the annual Treats for Toys Program, dedicated to helping children and families in need. Canadians can create a toy-shaped Rice Krispies treat, snap a photo and submit it at TreatsForToys.ca or post on social media using the hashtag 8

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#TreatsForToys. For every photo posted, Rice Krispies will donate $20 to the Salvation Army to purchase toys for children in need. JusTea Helping in Kenya justea.com JusTea is a for-profit business founded to benefit Kenyans struggling to find employment or earn a sustainable wage. JusTea has also launched a new chocolate purple tea through a partnership with East Van Roasters, which trains and employs at-risk women in the Downtown Eastside. This means their purple chocolate tea is helping women in the Downtown Eastside and Kenya at the same time. B.C. SPCA Ask for donations instead of gifts spca.bc.ca In lieu of gifts this year, ask your friends and family for donations and customize a “Champions for Animals” online fundraising page. Once set up, you can customize personal options, invite your friends to join your team, manage goals and monitor gifts so you’ll be sure to know who to send your seasonal reindeer cards. Union Gospel Mission Gifts of Hope ugm.ca UGM’s Christmas Hamper Program alleviates some of the stresses of the holidays and gives neighbours in need the chance to provide their families some of the joys that have become a part of the Christmas season for so many others. Help stock UGM’s hamper store to support individuals and families this Christmas.

holidaylashes Celebrity favourite House of Lashes now available at CurliQue Beauty Boutique Sandra Thomas

Want full, lush eyelashes for that special occasion, but don’t want to commit to the upkeep that comes with permanent lash extensions?

They’re also easy to wash off with regular soap and water — I know that to be true because I tried them out at CurliQue and loved them.

Well look no further. CurliQue Beauty Boutique on Robson Street now carries House of Lashes temporary lashes. The boutique was the first and only Canadian retailer to carry these vegan, easy-to-apply, vegan lashes, which you can apply yourself — or book an appointment and have them applied by an expert.

Each makeup artist at CurliQue Beauty is a Blanche Macdonald graduate, so they’re well trained in what’s new — and what’s going to be new — when it comes to hair and makeup. And with a goal of making the beauty boutique a community hub, CurliQue hosts evening support sessions and workshops specializing in everything from avant-garde eye looks to drag demonstrations to bridal makeup.

House of Lashes' goal was to create high quality cruelty free lashes for all eye shapes. Instead of using animal fur, the lashes are made up from human hair and synthetic fibers and the look is all natural — depending on the version you choose. Eyelash aficionados can choose between “Bambi,” “Boudoir,” “Au Naturel” and more. House of Lashes was founded in California in 2012 and since then, according to my online research, has grown to an almost cult following, which includes celebrities and A-listers. And I’m sure their 2.2-million followers on Instagram would agree. These single-use lashes include a pliable band making them easy to apply and shape to your eye. 10

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With the holidays just around the corner, CurliQue is offering special event makeup applications services — the cost is $75, which is redeemable in beauty products. These sessions are available year-round, but the team at CurliQue curate special packages depending on the season, which could be anything from weddings to Halloween to Christmas to New Years. For more information on the boutique, visit curliquebeauty.com or check out House of Lashes on Instagram @houseoflashes for some inspiring holiday looks.

Celebrate with Custom gift boxes for friends and Clients. we offer an extensive selection of local and international wine, beer and spirits.

open daily 10am–11pm • delivery available 1218 west pender. vancouver • 604.685.1212 coalharbourliquorstore.com


Celebrate the

From Christmas markets to festivals to festive pop-up spaces, December in the city is magical Sandra Thomas | sthomas@vancourier.com

Aurora Winter Festival Now to Dec. 30 Concord Pacific Place aurorawinterfestival.com Escape into a hidden village by the North Pole filled with Christmas light displays and magical characters. From visiting Santa’s Workshop to lacing up your skates on the Frozen River, there is something for every age. Vancouver Christmas Market Now to Dec. 24 Jack Poole Plaza: 1055 Canada Place vancouverchristmasmarket.com Stroll the twinkling pathways of a European-inspired Christmas village and discover unique treasures at one of the more than 80 artisan huts offering handcrafted gifts for everyone on your list. Meanwhile, festive foodies can sample Glßhwein (mulled wine), a selection of German and Austrian beers, and a variety of sweet and savoury epicurean delights. 12

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aurora winter festival

Pop-up at Reflections: The Garden Terrace Now to Dec. 31 Rosewood Hotel Georgia rosewoodhotels.com Located at Reflections within the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the Garden Terrace has been transformed into

a winter wonderland making it an ideal spot to drop by for a warm winter cocktail and quick bite after a day at the office or holiday shopping. This is the third annual pop-up at Reflections and in keeping with the holiday spirit, all guests will be treated to a complimentary hot apple cider and caramel corn snack upon arrival. Canyon Lights Now to Jan. 27, 2019 Capilano Suspension Bridge capbridge.com The annual Canyon Lights event transforms the Capilano Suspension Bridge into a winter wonderland with thousands

vancouver christmas market

the garden transformed into a living light show with the use of millions of lights. Organizers recommend buying tickets in advance to save money, skip the line and secure a spot.

canyon lights

of twinkling lights decorating the park, which includes the suspension bridge, Treetops Adventure, Cliffwalk, the rainforest and canyon. Bright Nights in Stanley Park Nov. 29 to Dec. 24 Stanley Park vancouver.ca The Stanley Park Train Plaza will sparkle with more than three million twinkling lights this holiday season. Enjoy breathtaking displays, live performers and, of course, train rides this holiday season in Stanley Park.

flyover Canada christmas

Flyover Canada Christmas Canada Place flyovercanada.com Fly like Santa from the East to West Coast before your exhilarating trip to the North Pole. The fun doesn’t stop there, enjoy festive treats and classic Christmas movies

on the flight deck outside Canada Place or listen to our live entertainment, visit with Santa or check out the iconic Woodward’s window holiday displays. Glow Christmas Festival Now to Jan. 19, 2019 6690 216 St., Langley glowgardens.com The playgrounds and interactive features of Glow will entertain the kids for hours, while the adults kick back at the licensed bar and enjoy some seasonal beverages and live music. Glow’s illuminated sculptures are the perfect backdrop for selfies and holiday family photos. The Christmas Market showcases local artisans and boutique businesses, alongside delicious options from local food trucks.

glow christmas festival

vandusen festival of lights

VanDusen Festival of Lights Dec. 1 to Jan. 6, 2019 VanDusen Botanical Garden vandusengarden.org The popular holiday event sees winter 2018

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Gifts for every budget Sandra Thomas | sthomas@vancourier.com

You don’t have to break the bank to give a thoughtful gift, but if you do decide to, boy have we got some speakers for you. 2019 City Crow Calendar junehunter.com This is the fourth year awardwinning photographer June Hunter has produced this charming calendar, featuring several photos of Marvin and Mavis, a crow couple that have welcomed Hunter to the flock. The calendar is a daily reminder to get out and see what the natural world is up to — even in the heart of the city — because with crows, it’s always something. ($23) Koko Monk Chocolates 2883 West Broadway kokomonk.com These gourmet chocolate producers have opened a second location in Kitsilano, with an 1,100-square-foot space featuring a dedicated hot chocolate lounge and onsite production facility. Koko Monk currently offers 14 unique flavours of hot chocolate, including “Brunette Bangle” — curry hot chocolate with coconut liquor. (Various prices.) Crosley Cruiser Turntable Indigo, 2505 Granville St. chapters.indigo.ca 14

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This original Crosley Cruiser in its vintage-inspired, suitcasestyle shell, is easy to use, sounds great and is light enough to take with you. The portable three-speed record player will appeal to pretty much everyone. ($120) Also at Indigo are these baby winter sloths, which are too cute for words. Move over unicorns, the sloths are taking over — albeit slowly. ($20) Tumblers Starbucks, various locations starbucks.com The new holiday collection from Starbucks has more glitter and sequins than your New Year’s Eve outfit. And when it comes to flash, get your sunglasses out because Starbucks is

dazzling customers this holiday season with its new Bling Bling cold cup. The glitter tumblers also caught my eye this year, but I can’t decide between the black or red versions. (Various prices.) Sonja XV Speakers Hifi Centre, 433 Carrall St hificentre.com This extreme, four-tower version of Sonja — created to celebrate YG Acoustics 15th anniversary — will run you a cool $175,000, but it promises “an entirely new sonic benchmark, truly extreme in every way.”

Join Harbour Cruises on the local waters, as Vancouver comes alive this holiday season! We present the most festive cruises in December. Choose from our Carol Ship Dinner or Dinner Dance Cruises. They include a traditional Christmas Dinner of Turkey and Ham, not forgetting the melodious voices of the UBC Opera Ensemble Quartet, to lead you in your favourite Christmas carols. No matter which boat you are on, you’ll find it decorated from bow to stern with Christmas cheer.

604.688.7246 | www.boatcruises.com Space is limited. Reservations are required. Harbour Cruises Marina - between the Westin Bayshore & Stanley Park.

10 Vancouver experiences to Lindsay William-Ross

Gift giving doesn’t have to be about stuff. Skip the material goods this year and give an experience that will do anything from build skills to create memories, and offers a lot of fun in between. Not only does an experience mean ditching some tangible object that may end up re-gifted or in the landfill, but it also makes the joy of the holidays last a little longer, and often well into the new year — like when the weather is warmer. Amtrak tickets from Vancouver to Seattle or Portland amtrak.com/cascades

Gourmet Ice Cream and Pizza Tour Off the Eaten Track offtheeatentracktours.ca Glass Blowing and Bead Making Classes Terminal City Glass Co-op 1191 Parker St. terminalcityglass.com

Tea Tasting Silk Road Tea 2066 West Fourth Ave. silkroadteastore.com 16

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DJ Classes Wired Music 784 East Hastings St. wiredmusic.ca Parkour Classes Origins Parkour, 2655 Main St. originsparkour.com

Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours stanleypark.com

First Nations Kayak Tours Tukaya Tours, various locations takayatours.com

Beginners’ Taxidermy Classes This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven 2244 East Hastings St. @thismonkey.ca

Brewery Tour Vancouver Brewery Tours 2008 Pine St. vancouverbrewerytours.com



Give your holiday décor a touch of Canadiana with these festive finds Sandra Thomas

Birch bark mug: $5

While Vancouver is not exactly the Great White North, the holidays are a great time to embrace that inner lumberjack in all of us — which is a great excuse to add some winter-themed Canadiana to the holidays. And if you’re looking for fun pieces that won’t break the bank, check out the budget-friendly Home Collection at Real Canadian Superstore.

Birch melamine 15-inch platter: $15

Life at Home red and black buffalo check with fur pompom tree skirt: $49

Life at Home mini antler ornaments: $5 a pack 18

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Life at Home handcrafted ornaments: $6 each

Life at Home furry owl with pom-pom hat: $19 Embellished melamine 15-inch platter: $19

Life at Home wood log deer — 18–22 inches: $14 – $19 each

Life at Home glitter moose: $14 each

Deer cup “Golden hour” deer mug: $6

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traditional scottish

shortbread The key to perfect Scottish shortbread? Mixing it by hand. Megan Devlin

Richmond grandmother Rena Harrop is known by friends and fellow church members for making the most exquisite shortbread. “It’s sweet... It’s very rich. I haven’t met anyone who did not like it,” she says. “I learned to make the old way and it seems to be the right way.”

Shortbread, she says, is a treat that’s usually only eaten at Christmas time in Scotland.


Harrop isn’t sure how much longer she’ll be making the shortbread.

Start incorporating the dry mixture into the butter. Harrop says using her hands to do this achieves the desirable consistency.

“I’m 90, and my hands are getting not so good,” she said. But not to worry, she shared the recipe and all you have to do is decide whether to use your hands or an electric mixer.

Traditional Shortbread Ingredients Rena Harrop has been making her signature shortbread for 70 years. Photo Megan Devlin

The 90-year-old, who grew up in Ayr, Scotland, says she’s been practising the recipe she learned from her mother for at least 70 years. “I’ve given the recipe to many, many people and they always say it’s not the same. But they use their mixers,” she said. “So it’s more like a cookie.” 20

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1 lb butter (Harrop says to use farm-fresh butter, not salted) 2 cups berry sugar (also known as superfine or castor sugar) 4 cups flour 2 tablespoons rice flour

Mix the sugar and two flours together in a bowl.

Once it’s mixed, put the dough on the counter and knead until it’s pliable and shiny, with no cracks on it. Use a rolling pin to roll it flat and cut it into whatever shapes you want. Bake the cookies in the oven at 300F for 30 to 40 minutes. Don’t wait until the cookies turn brown — remove them once the edges start to turn a cream colour. Place cookies on a rack to cool and sprinkle more sugar on top.

Traditional Massage for Your Health

Big Feet has 20 convenient locations for you

party? planning a

Save time with this new booze delivery service Lindsay William-Ross

Listen up, party people, Liquor Barn and Liquor Depot are now part of an online liquor delivery service across the Lower Mainland, which means for one flat fee you can order as much booze as you need and have it at your door within an hour. The online service will be run through the on-demand retail liquor delivery platform Drizly, which already offers their service in more than 100 markets across North America. There are seven stores in the Liquor Depot/ Liquor Barn family in Metro Vancouver that started offering the service available as of Nov. 8: Abbotsford, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Point Grey and Cambie in Vancouver.


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A few key details — prices are the same online as in-store. The minimum purchase is $20, but there’s no limit on how much customers can purchase, besides the usual constraint of “how much can fit in the delivery vehicle,” according to a media release. The flat-rate delivery fee is $4.99. A plus for anyone

throwing a party is the fact you can also schedule your delivery ahead of time. Liquor Depot and Liquor Barn launched delivery in 2016 in Alberta and have been looking to expand the offering to B.C. for some time now. Drizly launched in 2012 in the U.S.

Prime Rib Sundays at the iconic Kingston Taphouse & Grille Start a new weekend tradition by joining us for our slow roasted, cut-to-order prime rib dinner, served every Sunday night in one of Vancouver’s longest standing, family-owned & operated landmark restaurants. Serving home-cooked comfort for more than a century, Sundays at the Kingston will feel like coming home.

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priMe rib dinner 755 Richards Street, Vancouver | 604-681-7011 thekingstontap | Kingston Taphouse | w kingstontaphouse.com

Need to Escape the City? Visit Burlington, WA

Shop for unique gifts from the U.S. that your family and friends will love.

PLAY in the heart of Skagit Valley. Check out winter hikes, live theatre, and winter festivals.


at a variety of Skagit Valley restaurants, wineries, and breweries (without the hustle and bustle of the city).


at one of Burlington’s hotels to ensure your trip to Skagit Valley is a restful one.

Pictured: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton


Visitor Info Center: 1.360.757.0994 520 E Fairhaven Ave Burlington, WA 98233 U.S.A.

Plan your trip at http://burl.city/holidays

Profile for Vancouver Courier

Holidays in the City - Winter 2018  

Holidays in the City - Winter 2018