Holiday food in Canada

Hello,

End of year holidays around the world are such an exciting time of the year, with holiday food playing a big part of the traditions and celebrations.

What are some traditions surrounding holiday meals in Canada?

Tell us about a few of the traditional holiday dishes and meals in Canada.

What are some of your favourites?

Are the food that are consumed during the festive season easy to prepare at home, or do most people buy them at the store?

Are holiday meals a big family festivity in Canada?

Is there a general budget that people allocate to holiday meals?

Thank you for sharing your experience,

Priscilla

Canada is multi-cultural so you can find a little of everywhere in Canada. That being said family relationships in North America, are not as strong as you will find elsewhere. I often muse that the elaborate social safety net is, among other things, a necessity brought about by generally less strong family ties.

That being said..my favorite holiday in Canada is the festivities around Maple Sugar time in Quebec. This is the short "sugaring off" period in the Spring when temperatures fall below freezing during the night and rise above freezing in the day. That is when the sap flows.

There are parties held in Sugar Shacks with special foods, special music, special dancing and the parties include everyone from the baby born last week up to great-grandparents all in the rich atmosphere of maple syrup smells. It's a blast.

Multiculturalism isn't the only thing that affects holiday traditions, but there are large regional differences as well. On the East Coast large gatherings of friends and family are much more frequent than on the West Coast. Foods vary as well. There are several special French Canadian foods during the holiday season, Northern Canadians will eat foods readily accessible to them, including seal, moose, caribou, maybe even ptarmigan. Traditional Christmas foods don't vary that much from what you see in the movies from the US, but different ethnic traditions will make for differences all over the country.  For the most part, budget pretty well goes out the window during the winter festivities and it is a time to gather with family. Baking is a very popular activity for the holidays, but in a fast paced world many things are just easier to buy. It's a pretty special (and often stressful) time of year for all creeds.

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