The Month of Holiday Cheer

December is here! The month full of holiday cheer! As the snow starts to fall outside here in Hamilton, I decided it would be great to share the best way to kick off the month and really get into the spirit of Christmas –

Christmas in Gore Park!

CHML/Y108 Children’s Fund and the City of Hamilton to bring you Christmas in Gore.

Excitement starts December 4th at 6pm, Y108’s radio personalities will be broadcasting live from Santa’s Workshop in Gore Park for their 24 in the Gore collecting new unwrapped toys, food and cash donations for the CHML/Y108 Children’s Fund Operation Santa Claus.

On Friday December 5th at 5 pm The City of Hamilton provides free miniature train and carousel rides which will start operating daily until December 24th.

At 5:30 pm we will officially light up Downtown Hamilton’s Christmas decorations including the 40’ tall Christmas Tree of Hope followed by a FREE concert by CRANK presented by CHML/Y108.

Also, walk down to: A Victorian Night in the Village!

Friday December 5 from 6-9pm in the International Village located at Ferguson Station in downtown Hamilton. 3 hours of carolers, Christmas music, horse & carriage rides (1st come, 1st served of course), and sales at shops & restaurants.
The festivities continue on Saturday, December 6th in Gore Park when the Downtown BIA hosts Santa in Gore Park for free pictures from 11:00am to 3:00pm. Start your Christmas shopping in Santa’s Village. Free refreshments will be provided by Philpott Memorial Church. The whole family will have a great time with carolling, Christmas entertainment and free crafts!

Christmas Evening Tours at Dundurn Castle

See the castle lit up for the holidays. Start in the front hall with carol-singing, then tour Sir Allan MacNab’s lavish home, and enjoy traditional Christmas treats in the historic kitchen. $27.00 admission for all ages running Dec 5-7 and Dec 19-21 from 7pm-9pm.

And that is just the start of the month folks! Check the tourismhamilton.com site for a list of other family events (The Big Sing, Model Train Weekend, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and MORE).

So embrace the joy of the holiday season, be good to you and yours, and Happy Holidays

**image is one of my favourites from Susan Houghton Debus**

Winter has COME! Time to SHOP!!

Winter has come! It seems that everyone in the Hamilton area was a bit surprised at the winter wonderful we woke up to this Monday morning. Southern Ontario is ready for winter, whether we like it or not. So, it seems the best time to start truly thinking of the holiday season that is fast approaching.

I find the best way to get in that MERRY holiday spirit is to start Christmas shopping. I like shopping in November because the shops, boutiques, and especially malls are not unbearable, yet. If you are looking for a hand-made, unique gift, shopping at the Church/Parish/Community centre Christmas Bazaars & Fairs are the best 1st stop. It is only mid-November, but these craft events have been running since the start of the month. (Sorry I am a bit behind!) My favourite Parish craft and holiday event is at my own church, which is why I am posting now. Canadian Martyr’s is my home church and their Christmas Bazaar is THIS WEEKEND – Friday Nov 21 from 4pm-8pm & Saturday Nov 22 from 10am-2pm. Here is a sneak peak!

These hand-made children sweater, mittens, hats, scarves, slippers, AND SO MUCH MORE are exquisite, quality gems that are perfect gifts. The event also hosts some scrumptious food and activities for the little ones. Shop or just buy raffle tickets and win a gift card to a local shop or another great prize or gift. It’s a full weekend of fun.

If you can’t attend west Hamilton’s Canadian Martyr’s event, check out the Hamilton Spectator’s list via the link for other similar sales at the dozens of locations throughout the greater Hamilton area.

Happy Shopping!

Winter Home Maintenance

It is -30+ degrees in Hamilton and I am working from home, wrapped in a blanket considering how this weather not only affects me but my old home as well. Rough weather can challenge the investment you have in your home. When the cold weather subsides this coming weekend, it may be a good idea to get around the house and do some maintenance. This winter may continue to be a brutal one here in Southern Ontario. Let’s all try to get through it will little or no issues at all.

Clean the Gutters

The reason that you must clean your gutters by January is because the water from the melting snow and ice needs to be moved away from your home. If the fall leaves and debris is still in the gutters, then the runoff water will melt and refreeze repeatedly until your roof starts leaking.

(This task is clearly tough to do now being that everything is frozen. Again, milder temperatures will be around this coming weekend. Best to have a look at the gutters then.)

Insulate the Pipes

If you have any exposed water pipes in your home, then it is a good idea to wrap them in insulation to prepare for the winter. Pipes that freeze during January can crack and develop leaks.

(No one wants to deal with a leak any time of year,)

Check the Windows

Take a lighted candle and hold it in front of your windows. If the candle flickers, then that window needs to be insulated again. By running a new bead of caulk around the seal where your window meets the house, you can save yourself a lot of money in lower energy bills.

(I live in a 1921 build home. I will definitely take the time to complete this task.}

Find the Water Valve

Pipes can freeze in January, even after you have taken every precaution. In the event that your pipes do burst, you need to shut them off immediately to prevent any further damage. Before winter begins, locate the main water shut-off valve in your basement and make sure that each family member knows where the shut-off is as well.

(No brainier here 🙂

Hope these couple tips help you in the winter months. Stay warm out there!