He says the Canadian people are the most beautiful thing in this country.
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Merry Christmas, everyone!
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"It's one of the largest military community relations events we have."
I can feel the shift happening in our family, the shift from it being all about us being together and caring about one another, to Christmas being about caring for others as well. I think this most accurately reflects the true spirit of Christmas, whether we are Christian or not.
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I'm thinking of the students who wish school was open today. The ones whose only meal each day is the one they get through a school meal program. Premier Christy Clark is probably hoping that we have forgotten about her broken promises. She won't want us to remember what she said about putting "families first" in her last election campaign.
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When was the exact moment that Christmas became synonymous with buying stuff I do not know, but it seems that we've reached a point of gifting no-return. The idea of simply spending Christmas with your family without the obligatory spending and consumption is not even a possibility. If you're an average person living in a Western nation you can be pretty confident that your intended gift-receiver already has everything he or she needs and most likely lives a year where their other superfluous wants are often met.
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It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past ten years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas -- oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it -- overspending...Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
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As we speak, there are thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender folks from across the world who are not able to spend Christmas with their families this year. They have been beaten, cursed at and made to feel like they do not belong, leading them to say goodbye to their family and friends.
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Before you aim your nosedive directly into the eggnog bowl, or begin firing Ferrero Rocher's into your mouth, keeping a few helpful tips in mind will allow you to remain festive and enjoy the holiday 'cheer' without completely sabotaging your health.
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It's the most wonderful time of the year... for everybody else. At least that's how it can seem if this season you are dealing with less-than-perfect circumstances. Sickness, grief, and loss do not ta...
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All year long I tell my son that lying is bad. Not just bad but the worst. And then every December my wife and I lie to him all month long. We do it for him, to preserve his fleeting belief in magic for as long as we can.
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I've heard it said that "it's better to give than receive," and I've always joked that that couldn't possibly be true. Yes, I give. I give generously, but I have never experienced such an incredible joy from making someone feel special for a few hours.
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There is so much hype about the holidays. Unfortunately, our romantic notions are too often dashed and replaced with resentment, exhaustion and financial stress. But it doesn't have to be that way. With a bit of compromise, perspective and goodwill, you can survive and even thrive as a dynamic duo.
Some are geographically distant from those they hold dear and raise a solitary glass to absent friends. Others have lost loved ones to the grave. But for many of us, "no contact" is a choice we consciously made. Loneliness is simply less painful than the agony of spending time with our toxic families.
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Crashing waves, warm sunshine, palm trees lit up with lights and the sound of children laughing as they play soccer in the street. For many Canadians, this may not sound like a typical Christmas scene. But for six years growing up, it was mine.
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There are people who are alone, cold, sad, unwell, or struggling -- and they are all around us. We can help in simple ways.
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If you're an avid baker like me and doing a LOT of swirling and mixing this time of year, I understand that it can be stressful. Supermarkets can run out of the necessities you need. But, I assure you that my gingerbread cake is easy to make and assemble. It's also stupendously forgiving.
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Prior to the 1970s, house parties were an essential element of the homosexual social scene. Photographs of these private affairs are rare. The few that are available in archival collections memorialize a history of forced seclusion. One of the most tantalizing photographs I've come across in my research of Canadian LGBT history is of a trio of men attending a Christmas party in 1956. Standing in front of a decorated tree, a young man with a then-stylish pompadour delights in opening his gift while another man, who has his arm around him and another gentleman, looks on.
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The entire fitness industry decides that the best thing we can do at this time of year is attempt to make your life miserable; by telling you how many stupid things you do, how you don't exercise enough, and how you don't have any willpower. We also tell you that any kind of life enjoyment will make you over fat and probably die.
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You don't have to eat to enjoy yourself this season!
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The calendar is jammed with events and parties. There are all those presents to buy. While this sounds like fun to the busy-bodies among us, it can be a bit of a nightmare for those who default to lazy-mode. By following my couch potato's guide to surviving the holidays, you can do what I did last year, and binge on Netflix.
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Disney World!?! WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORD?!?
Taking into consideration all of the diverse character traits that make up our boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, or even our stubborn best friend, I've put together a list of gift ideas fit for each unique personality -- for him and her.
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Why do we put ourselves through such agony? My guess: The hope that this year will be different and that we'll experience pure bliss with friends and family, feel loved unconditionally, and rediscover the warmth and magic of the holiday spirit.
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If we break apart the word kindness, at its root is the word kin -- meaning we are all connected. To think of ourselves as connected encourages the idea that we do in fact owe each other kindness, simply because every positive intention can have a similar output in an interconnected world.
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This Christmas, their laser-beam eyes are focused on you. You're the dish of the day. You're gonna be stuffed with advice and ladled with criticism. Because they can't stand themselves. Deep in their souls, they feel like failures. What better antidote than subtly belittling you via the mechanism of meddling.
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If you do want to spoil yourself with lavish eats, I recommend any of the specialty meals at Café Boulud, located inside the Four Seasons Hotel. Crafted by Chef Sylvain Assié and overseen by Chef Daniel Boulud himself, you may have a difficult time returning to your regularly scheduled meal times afterwards.
Chances are you're getting in the car to drive somewhere for Christmas. Whether that trip takes thirty minutes or three days, the last thing you need is to be fumbling around the car for a snack for hangry passengers or a toy to placate a whining child.
That star has become a family icon. I'm fairly sure that if my house was on fire, the first thing I would try to save would be that star. My wife still cries when she takes that tattered star out of the box.
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Last year, we exported almost $30 million in fresh-cut trees to the United States and another $32.6 million in trees to the rest of the world. When combining the $60+ million that Canadians spent on real trees last year, it all adds up to a $125 million contribution to our rural economy.
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For those employees who are fortunate enough to receive a year-end bonus, many may be tempted to spend it immediately. But I advise you to resist the urge to spend the money on frivolous items and instead think about putting your hard-earned bonus to work for you.
It can be an especially challenging time of year when you are not in contact with your family. I spent most of my youth estranged from my family, feeling isolated and living in poverty. Christmastime can serve as a painful reminder of what is missing from your life.