Ottawa: The Savvy Guide to December

SavvyMom June 27, 2016
the_savvy_guide_to_december_in_ottawa

It’s official—the holiday season has arrived! Here are our tips for minimizing the crazy while maximizing the fun.

DO
Sync calendars with your significant other
Why? So you can see now which nights you both have commitments or if you’ve double booked yourselves. You’ll feel organized (read: calm), and can make child care arrangements now.

GO
To Christmas Lights Across Canada from December 2 until January 7, on Parliament Hill and around Confederation Boulevard
Why? Hundreds of thousands of lights deck out our city’s streets and monuments, making everything sparkle and shine. The celebration kicks off with an official illumination ceremony on Parliament Hill at 7 pm on December 2.

GET
A fun and funky mug for their stocking
Why? A special mug in your child’s stocking can be the start of an annual tradition of sipping hot chocolate by the tree together. We do this with our kids, and it’s one of our favourite traditions.

PLAY
The Game of Things
Why? This uproariously funny yet completely simple game will have the whole family in stitches. Whether you’re just playing the kids or entertaining a crowd of holiday company, you’ll have a blast hearing everyone’s funny phrases and guessing who wrote what.

READ
His Whole Life by Elizabeth Hay
Why? When the presents are unwrapped and the dinner is eaten, you’re going to need to put your feet up and escape into a great story. The Giller Prize-winning author of Late Nights on Air is back with this novel that starts when 10-year-old Jim and his family take a vacation to a lake in Eastern Ontario. The story chronicles the touching bond between mother and son as the story unfolds over the pivotal years of Jim’s upbringing.

SURF
Canadahelps.org
Why? Because this site makes donating to charity as easy and mindless—and about as costly—as a Netflix subscription. Just pick any registered Canadian charity you’d like to support and set your donation. We love that you can choose any amount you prefer, even one dollar a month, and that you can set an end date for your donations to cease. An instant tax receipt goes straight to your email inbox, and Canada Helps keeps all of those receipts together in one place—so handy for tax time.

GREEN IT
By using last year’s gift bags and buying simple kraft paper for your gifts this year
Why? It’s estimated that waste increases by 25 percent around the holidays, with each person going through two pounds of paper. Reduce your footprint by reusing as much as you can and, for the rest, using kraft paper made of recycled fibres that’s free of the toxic dyes in some of those glossy papers. You can also wrap gifts in old road maps, comic-book pages or cloth bags you reuse from year to year.

MAKE
Peppermint Bark
Why? Because you’ll be everyone’s favourite guest when you show up with this decadent and festive treat as a hostess gift. Peppermint bark is pretty pricy to buy in stores, but it’s actually really simple to make. Give the kids the important job of crushing the candy canes

HELP
The Ottawa Food Bank raise money by having your unwanted electronics taken away on December 8 and 9
Why? Because everyone wins. All you have to do is call Capital Junk and make a $20 donation to the Food Bank and they’ll haul off your old junk. You get to sastifyingly purge your home of clutter, and the Food Bank gets a much-needed donation—it’s a holiday miracle.

 

 

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