It may be hard to believe, but not everyone in Canada is Christian or celebrates Christmas. The country is as diverse as it is large, and we are proud and accepting of all religions here. Whether you’re Muslim or Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, agnostic or atheist, you’re welcome to participate in as many or as few Christmas celebrations as you wish. But what about on Christmas day itself? Well, my family never celebrated Christmas, so I’m an expert and knowing what to do in any Canadian city on Christmas and Christmas Eve when you’re not celebrating Christmas in Canada.
Go to Dinner
Christmas and Christmas Eve are two of the best days to eat out in most major cities in Canada. Chinese, Japanese, and Korean restaurants are almost always open, and sometimes you’ll be the only people in the whole restaurant. Arabic places are also usually open depending on if the owners are Christian or not, so you can happily enjoy a shawarma or two. Keep in mind that, at sit-down restaurants, you will have to pay more than usual because of the holiday pricing. Regardless of where you go, though, be kind and tip the staff well.
Go Grocery Shopping
Some grocery stores will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so take advantage of the fact that stores will be mostly empty and head out. Asian and Middle Eastern stores are almost always open, and Chinatowns are also a good place to visit on the holiday. Last year, I was able to get a few woks at an amazing price when I dropped by Chinatown here in Toronto, and I also had a couple of bubble teas because there was a special offer at one of my favourite haunts.
Chances are that you’ve been avoiding going out over the holiday season because the roads are crazy. Something magical happens on Christmas and Christmas Eve, though: the roads are ghostly quiet! My family used to like to stop at a convenience store to pick up some snacks, and we’d just drive around for a few hours looking out at the snowy landscapes. It’s a good way to spend time outside while enjoying each other’s company.