Families First Christmas in Canada

Christmas is a time of family celebration for most Canadians, with gatherings bringing people to the great outdoors or staying in beautiful hotels.

Christmas is a great time for kids. They get to enjoy Christmas crafts, movies, Christmas songs, delicious family meals, Christmas games, and who can forget those awkward Christmas jokes.

From Christmas outfits, shopping trips (this year we picked up some really nice earrings for kids), and Christmas decorations Canadians know how to pull off a great Christmas event.

Canadian Christmas Traditions

In November, Santa Claus parades are held across Canada, and some extend into December. 

The smaller local parades held during the holiday season can be a good alternative if you’re not up to taking on the thousands of spectators who turn out for larger parades, such as those in Vancouver and Toronto. 

Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade has been marching jolly St. Nick around town for over a century and is the world’s longest-running children’s parade.

Holiday Events

Lights festivals are very popular in Canada at Christmas time. Canadian cities come alive with festivals of lights. 

Some of the most popular are: 

Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights

Canada’s Christmas Lights, Ottawa

Light display in Toronto, Toronto Cavalcade of Lights

Vancouver Festival of Lights, VanDusen Botanical Garden

Calgary’s annual “Airdrie Festival of Lights” is located in Airdrie, 35 km from Calgary.


Christmas is one of the best times to pick up a bargain. People hold out all year for the infamous Boxing Day sales, sometimes saving up to 50%. 

Canada is no different, in fact, I remember my spin bike broke leading up to last year’s Christmas so I waited for the Boxing Day sales to pick up the best spin bike I could at the time. 

Travel Around Christmas

Holiday travel, especially in the week leading up to New Year’s, is very popular in Canada. 

Try flying on Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day if you’re looking for a travel bargain. 

There is a good chance that Canadian public transportation will operate on a modified schedule over the Christmas holidays, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

Make sure you plan your getaway way ahead to avoid disappointment. 

Christmas in Canadian Cities

In spite of the cold, Toronto’s Christmas celebrations are lively and festive. Some of Toronto’s holiday activities include lights shows, the Santa Claus Parade, and elaborately decorated windows in department stores.

You can catch the Rogers Santa Claus Parade in Vancouver, and deep snow is rarely more than an hour away.

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It’s no surprise that Ottawa celebrates Christmas in a big way every year as Canada’s capital. Throughout the season, light displays, parades, and other festive activities take place.

Throughout the holiday season, Montreal remains one of the coldest cities in Canada, but its historic buildings and cobblestone streets make it charming nevertheless.

Christmas lights and snow-capped 17th-century buildings in Old Quebec City create a scene that’s picture-perfect. Seasonal celebrations include concerts and special events highlighting the history of the city.