New Christmas Ad by Apple

I posted this earlier on my Facebook profile, but I thought I would talk about it here as well.

Yesterday, while watching television, I was captivated by this small ad. At first I didn’t know who it was for, but the story grabbed me. A teenage boy, looking semi lost and deep into his phone, while life around him was playing out during Christmas. There were some similarity with that boy and I was captivated by the rest of the commercial.

While the rest of the family thinks he isn’t paying attention to them, little do they know as he surprises them all on Christmas day.

I’ll be perfectly honest, I’m a sucker for these types of commercials – remember the Tim Horton Christmas ads? But this year with the death of my mother, a part of me wanted to be home for the holidays and relive those fond memories of our family gathering on Christmas Eve and being together. Alas this year our family is spread out across the world.

Though I’ve always realized this, but somehow forgotten, we all grow and move in different directions and this time of year is a celebration of family. Even though I can’t be there with my family to celebrate, they forever will be deep in my heart.

Merry Christmas and thank you Apple for making me feel so loved!

2011 West Coast Christmas Show & Marketplace

Starting December 2, 2011 (today) and going on until December 4, 2011 the 4th Annual West Coast Christmas Show and Marketplace takes place in Abbotsford at the TRADEX Trade & Exhibition Centre.

With only a few short days left until Christmas, the West Coast Christmas Show will be a great place to pick up some unique gifts, get some decorating ideas and learn a few delicious recipies for the holidays.

This year will feature a Dale McKay, Top Chef Canada winner on stage (December 3rd 12 noon) sharing some holiday food ideas as well as Brian Misko sharing some holiday grill ideas. You can read more on the stage scheduled.

Tonight they will also be having their charity Christmas Tree decorating challenge where charities will compete for a $500 prize. The following charities will be competing this year:

I will be heading out there on Saturday and hope to report back some awesome photos and hopefully pick up a few gifts along the way.

Vancouver Christmas Market

For a full month, which began on November 24th, the Queen Elizabeth Plaza is being transformed to an authentic European Christmas Market. Dubbed the Vancouver Christmas Market, Vancouverites will feel that they are transported to a wonderful Christmas village filled with great food, music and Christmas gift ideas.

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I got a chance to finally visit the wonderful market and was thrilled to see everyone filled with great cheer and the holiday spirit as they explored the unique vendors from the city as well as vendors from Europe showing off their fantastic products. The weather held up today for us and I even got to try out a great German Smokie and pretzel. We explored the great Christmas Ornaments tent where Russ purchased his very own German Candle Pyramid. I recall having one made out of brass when I was younger, but never made out of wood like the one Russ purchased.

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All in all it was a very fun filled early afternoon for us and you can check out the Market until December 24th. The cost is $5 for adults to enter during the weekend and after 12pm on weekdays. The nice thing is that once you pay, you can come back to it at anytime throughout the day

Hopefully this will be a great tradition in the city and hopefully it will expand to a bigger venue next year where more vendors and Christmas shoppers can enjoy it more.

You can follow them on Twitter – @VanChristmas and on Facebook to get updates on bands that are playing and post your photos.

You can see more of my photos on my Flickr Set – Vancouver Christmas Market.

Outrageous Christmas Hat Party

Russ and myself have always wanted to have a theme party of some sort, ok maybe more Russ than myself. He’s always pictured a party where everyone has to come to the party in their most outrageous hat, and this year for our annual Christmas party we decided it was time.

Yes we are ready for our Christmas cocktail party

We invited a few close friends to help start off this festive season right. We asked everyone who was invited to make a hat with a Christmas theme and we were blown away by the people who came and the hats they came with. Marc Smith of Amuse Consulting also was kind enough to give Junior his very own hat, which he wore for a brief moment before he tried to eat it.

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We even gave away a prize for the best themed hat, which Martha Marcin won hands down for her creativity and keeping with the theme of the evening. For her a wonderful chocolate hat was given.

It's @Martha_van enjoying our Outrageous Christmas Hat Party

We pride ourselves in being great hosts and we were glad everyone had a great time. Everyone left with the bellies full, their thirst quenched, and a parting gift from us to help them remember.

We want to thank everyone for making this a great evening and for all those who couldn’t make it, you can view some more photos of the evening on Flickr Set.

It seems that theme parties are becoming all the rage. What theme party have you been to and what theme party would you love to host?

Relaxing Christmas 2009

IMG_1799 A few days before Christmas, there was something that just didn’t seem right. I just couldn’t put my finger on it and it was starting to bother me. I’m not sure if it was the fact that my plans to spend Christmas with my family, after 8 years, fell through, or the fact that this year we didn’t get the snow fall of the last 2 years. There was a dullness happening and I needed to quickly get a hold of this.

On Christmas Eve, Russ and I didn’t go anywhere, we just hung around the condo and listened to Christmas music. I think this helped my spirits as I actually began to feel happy. I got a chance to speak to all the members of my family in Toronto as they were all gathered at my parent’s place. I think just talking to them helped change my mood. I even surprised my aunt in Argentina by giving her a call on Christmas Eve. That really lifted their spirits hearing from me and it lifted mine.

On Christmas Day, we visited a friend in West Vancouver and had nice relaxing afternoon with him and quickly ran home to get ready for our next outing with other friends. This “hipster” Christmas (or what I like to call “orphan” Christmas) dinner was wonderful. Miranda and Ryley opened their home to friends and people they knew that had no plans for Christmas dinner. They provided the turkey and ham, and everyone else brought some other fixings. Overall 18 people over for dinner and not an empty stomach was left.

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Boxing Day was another relaxing day of not doing much. I’m proud to say that I didn’t even venture out to the stores. I don’t feel I have anything that I truly need – yes there are TONS of wants. I’ve been trying to live on a budget and not venture out on Boxing Day helped. We did end up going to Vandusen Botanical Gardens for their Festival of Lights, but I’ll write about that in a different post.