Like most other places in the Western world, Christmas is a big deal in the city of Toronto. Canadians as a whole love the Christian holiday, so much so that the average Canadian adult spent an estimated $766 on Christmas gifts in 2015. But, more than 27% of those surveyed in the random phone questionnaire revealed that they planned to spend more than $800 on gifts that year. This does not include the spend on activities and events during the Christmas period, nor does it include money spent on holiday decorations or food for meals when hosting family and friends during the holiday period.
People spend this much money in an effort to make Christmas as enjoyable as possible. The question is though, how do you make the most of your holiday spending and make the Christmas as special as possible? Read our guide to treating yourself in Toronto to make Christmas in the city as wonderful as it is wintery.
What are the Best Christmas Activities in Toronto?
As it happens, Toronto is known for the way that it celebrates Christmas, with people in the rest of Canada and beyond flocking to the city for the holidays just to see what’s on offer. In particular, Toronto is seen as a good place to buy Christmas gifts, with the Toronto Christmas market being a particular highlight. This year, it runs from November 15 right through to December 23 and it is free to enter. It features local and handcrafted products, entertainment and Santa will even be there with his elves. In 2016, Fodor named it one of the best holiday markets in the world, which is a ringing endorsement indeed.
In addition to handcrafted products, Toronto has quite a few stores that sell ugly Christmas sweaters. They may be totally hideous as a form of apparel, but they are a fun seasonal gift that will give your friends a chuckle when they open it on the big day.
For something a little more thrilling than just browsing market stalls, you could also go on an adventure holiday, taking full advantage of Toronto’s brisk weather. There are several ski resorts in an around Toronto, including the Hockley Valley ski resort which offers a chance to ride skis and snowboards. There are also day passes for a day out rather than a longer holiday with your friends.
You could also give yourself a break by going out for Christmas dinner rather than cooking it in your home. There are several restaurants in the city that are open on the day itself, including Michelin star-rated eatery Cafe Boulud, The Drake Hotel, and Colette Grand Cafe.
Is Christmas really about Spending?
For many people, Christmas is an opportunity to flash the cash. Reuters states that 107.3 million Americans travelled during the Christmas holidays in 2017, travelling more than 50 miles from home between December 23 and January 1. Betway’s survey about spending $1 million echoed something similar, with 4% of people surveyed in the United States saying that they would spend the money on a luxury house. 13% of people in the UK said that they would go on a luxury holiday, as would 12% in mainland Europe. These stats confirm that many people would love to use money as an opportunity to celebrate with their families, whisking their loved ones away at the holiday time for an unforgettable Christmas.
But, although many of us would like to splash the cash during the holidays, Christmas isn’t really about spending. As much as we like to buy people gifts, the thought that went into choosing the gift is just as important as the price tag. Consider what your friends and family are into. Do they have a really niche interest? A favourite sports team? Or maybe they love exploring the city and really want to discover secret Toronto spots that they’ve never seen before? Give them these sorts of kind and thoughtful gifts that will make their day, showing them that you really put thought into what you wanted to give them and that you really care about how they feel.
In fact, sometimes it isn’t even about the gift at all. We are often so busy, running around completing errands and the like that we don’t spend quite as much time with our friends and families as we would like. So just taking the time to have a conversation with our loved ones, or to invite them over for the day would mean a lot more to them than any gift.