The Origins of Groundhog Day

As a stay at home mom, nothing puts a damper in my day as much as bad weather and to say that this winter empty nesthas been “harsh” would be a huge understatement – it has been absolutely brutal. Following one of the rainiest summers I can remember, Ontario residents are now enjoying one of the coldest and iciest winters in recent history. In fact, according to CityNews, Toronto is well on its way to experiencing its 2ndcoldest winter in 25 years. After moving back to Canada nearly three years ago, I can’t tell you how thrilled my husband and I are to be part of history in the making (shudder).

This horrible wintery weather has Canadians everywhere bundling up, staying indoors, and crossing their fingers and toes in the hopes that Wiarton Willie, Canada’s legendary groundhog will, after weeks of hibernation, emerge from his den without casting a shadow. Every year, it’s the same scene: When February 2nd rolls around, thousands of Canucks wait to hear whether or not we can look forward to signs of an early spring. If Willie sees his shadow, legend has it that you better pull up your socks (make them woolen socks), because it’s going to be a long time before we see some balmy weather! Poor Willie, that’s a lot of hope riding on the shadow of one little groundhog, don’t you think?

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2014’s Hottest Winter Destinations

Written by: Russel Lang

Sometimes all you need to cure your winter blues is a white-sand beach and sunshine. There’s no better way to get started on your New Year’s resolution to travel more and break out of your comfort zone than to hit the road (or air) for an escape from the dark wintry months from January to March.

Your getaway doesn’t have to break the bank. You can often actually save by planning your vacation during the winter months.

Costa Rica

Whether you’re an outdoors aficionado or just want to get away to some sunshine, Costa Rica has something to offer. A relatively brief flight will land you in a tropical oasis. The winter months offer the best weather. You’re less likely to get rained out, and visibility is especially good for those who plan to spend time snorkeling or diving. Costa Rica’s laid-back local culture and myriad all-inclusive resorts makes this Central American country a no-brainer when you’re looking for a relaxing, easy-to-plan trip that everyone in the family will love.

Photo by jmenard48 via Flickr Continue reading “2014’s Hottest Winter Destinations”

Christmas traditions: Finding a balance between giving and receiving this holiday season

Christmas traditions: Finding a balance between giving and receiving this holiday season

x-mas with LunaWhen I think of the word tradition, all I can think of the actors from this year’s production of Fiddler on the Roof screaming “TRADITION! Tradition.” The honest truth is that I’ve never been a stickler for tradition but I do make one very big exception during the holiday season. After all, what more is a tradition than something to look forward to, year after year, Christmas after Christmas!

Of course Christmas traditions vary the world round. While in some countries, knowing that each family is celebrating the same way is a tradition in itself, the beauty of Christmas in Canada lies in the understanding that each person has a unique way to ring in the holiday season. Moving away from its religious roots (to what is, I’m sure, the chagrin of church goers everywhere), these traditions are based primarily on memorable moments passed on from generation to generation and celebrated with friends, or family… or both!

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