The scoop: Favourite holiday traditions

It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year. To spread the holiday spirit before Santa Claus comes to town, we asked some personalities from our community to share their favourite traditions and memories.

fisher “Christmas Eve is by far the biggest holiday tradition we have in the Fisher household. My parents have always invited friends who don’t have family in Toronto to come and celebrate with us. No one should be alone on Christmas. I’ve grown up celebrating one of the best holidays with these people, singing Christmas carols; they are my extended family. Three of our guests are over 90! I know that my three siblings and I will continue this tradition of opening our hearts and homes to those who are less fortunate than us.” — Sarah Fisher, actress, Degrassi: The Next Generation.
nealb “For years my wife and I hired a farmer from north of Toronto to bring a team of Belgian horses and a hay wagon into the city. Along with our three daughters we would invite neighbours to hop on and sing carols as we drove around Leaside. Afterwards we would warm up in our house with drinks and food (and, of course, Neal Brothers snacks) for a casual party. We did it for over six years — special memories!” — Peter Neal, co-founder, Neal Brothers.
elle “A tradition in my household since my daughter, Sophia, was old enough to walk and talk has been to have all her close friends gather in our home, blast the Christmas carols and have a healthy gingerbread decorating competition. The kids love the challenge and so does competitive mommy! All the cousins gather and judge the houses and then the winners get to put the star on our tree.” — Elle Daftarian, owner, Petite & Sweet and host of The Food Network’s SugarStars.
tingas “I love the holidays. I actually love gift giving so much so I like to make my own bows. Every year I break out the hot-glue gun and bring out my inner Martha Stewart, to create pretty and unique packaging.” – Angie Tingas, co-founder, Niki and Lola.
tromba “I have a tradition to do a bar hop in early December. It seems like most of the cocktail bars in Toronto have winter and Christmas cocktail features. They warm you up inside. For example, La Carnita is featuring a mulled wine cocktail (with tequila of course). It’s all about winter and holiday flavours. The level of happiness and cheer amongst the bartender and server communities is up a notch.” — Eric Brass, founder and co-CEO, Tequila Tromba.
scrim “When I was nine years old my best friend was named Lisa. She lived in a big old house down the street and loved Christmas trees so much that she smuggled a tiny pine bough into her room. I helped her decorate. Her mom came in and asked what it was. Lisa stammered, ‘It’s a Hanukkah bush! Please can I keep it?’ Her mom left the room, but not before I saw her smile.” — Richard Scrimger, author, The Nose From Jupiter, Ink Me and Viminy Crowe’s Comic Book.

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