The holidays aren’t complete without a walk through Candy Cane Land

Canadian neighborhoods are pretty close as it is, but come the Holidays, suddenly everyone thinks they’re professional outdoor decorators. You can hardly leave the house without tripping over everything from moving figurines and larger than life Santas, to bright twinkling lights timed to music. But the best part is finding out which of the neighborhoods in your Edmonton suburb will be turned into Candy Cane Lane – a full-scale production where one of the more prominent neighbourhoods in your city transforms their community into a lit up spectacle for the public to walk through. You’ve seriously considered dressing up like Elsa from Frozen just to feel like a Disney Princess for the day. Any other day and you’d be worried about being judged, but it’s Christmas. You’d be far from the only Elsa there.

You’ve fought for life and limb on Boxing Day

Your American friends are sending you endless snapchats on Christmas evening, glasses of spiked eggnog sloshing across their faces as they wish you merry Chrishmish. But not you. You’re keeping it calm Christmas night just to make sure you have enough energy to go Boxing Day shopping the next day. After all, your neighbors will be doing it, and you can’t let them scoop up all the best deals, can you? And sure, you know most Boxing Day sales won’t end until the end of the week, but you still feel the need to wake up extra early. You’ll at Best Buy before it even opens in morning. How else did you think you were successfully going to get that projector screen and surround sound system? Get it for Christmas? Come on.

The idea of spending Christmas inside by the fire disgusts you

You’re only able to get off one day of work this holiday season, so you wake up at 4:00 AM that day to make it to the mountains by 9, at which point you spend the entire day skiing your absolute guts out. And no, you’re not going to spend the night there when you clearly have enough time to drive home later. Spending ten hours in the car for eight hours of skiing is basically just standard operating procedure for you, and while your American friends think you’re crazy, you can’t imagine missing out on the mountains over the holidays. You’ll take any chance you can get, even if it’s an absolute blizzard outside and you’re running on three hours of sleep. How Canadian of you, eh.

And when you’re not at the mountains, you’re putting on layers and layers of sweaters, scarves, mitts and toques, just to stay warm on your upcoming full day spent outside. Maybe you’ll go ice skating, or maybe you’ll take a nice winter stroll, or maybe you’ll have that annual Christmas street hockey tournament that you’ve been planning with your next door neighbour since last year. You love the outdoors and you love snow, so what’s better than spending one of the most celebrated days of the year outside playing around in it?

Turning your vehicle into a reindeer

For a country where you actually have to worry about hitting the occasional reindeer on the road, you’d think Canadians would be more sensitive about turning their cars into them every Christmas. Nope. You always thought this was a little ridiculous, until you found yourself doing the same thing.

Half your presents are alcoholic

You’re trying to buy Christmas presents for your family and friends, but you’re struggling on what to get. So you walk into a liquor store. Pick a little something up for yourself to get inspired by a little liquid courage, then buy them a bottle of whisky, or perhaps a case of craft beer. Let’s be real here, when have you ever been unimpressed to see a bottle of wine waiting for you underneath the tree? At the very least, it’ll keep you warm.

You go to more festivals in the snow than you do in the summer

Sure, you wait for Osheaga and Shambhala on bated breath. But when the temperatures go sub-zero, you’re checking your bank account to make sure you can afford everything from Igloofest to Winterlude, Whistler’s Ski Festival and Ice On Whyte. The outdoor winter festivals in all their frosty glory are one of your favorite highlights of the season, and you come prepared with a pair of your skates in your bag for a magical night or afternoon at the rink. You try to find a boyfriend just so you have a partner for a romantic afternoon sleigh ride, and if you can’t find one, you’ll dive into exploring the castles carved out of pure ice. The one thing you love about being where you are, is that they’re not afraid to celebrate the outdoors.

The holidays begin on November 1st

You don’t have a November Thanksgiving to distract you,and you know that the shop down the street will be showing all its Christmas cards as soon as Halloween is over. It’s also the best time to get candy—you know that all the kids will be passed out in sugar comas while all the shops try to get rid of their excess stock as cheaply as possible, so you can hit a one-two punch of ornaments and oreos, tinsel and toffee all at once.

The holidays are literally the only time you eat Mandarin oranges

You walk into your local grocery store and the first thing you see beautifully stacked and displayed in front of you are boxes of mandarin oranges. This only means one thing to you: the holidays have finally arrived. You also have an almost uncontrollable urge to pull the bottom orange out and see what happens.

You’ve never had a Christmas tree you didn’t chop down yourself

Some people go to a local store to buy their tree for the holidays, but not you. You’re going to the farm. There’s such a wide variety of trees to choose from; tall, short, thick, spruce, fir, pine. Choosing your tree for the holidays may just be the hardest decision you’ll make all year, but nothing beats handpicking it yourself. It needs the perfect amount of branches, and that one bald spot on the back can go in the corner, you suppose, as long as the cat doesn’t climb up there and knock it down. Meanwhile, your little brother is complaining about the cold and wondering why you can’t just buy one from out front of the grocery store. Are you sure your parents didn’t accidentally adopt an American? He’ll learn soon enough.

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