Holiday reading: Get lost in Lands of Lost Borders

Kate Harris’s book is a must for the travellers on your gift list; discovering Norway and Iceland; indulging in a wellness weekend

Holiday reading: Get lost in Lands of Lost BordersModern explorer Kate Harris’s story may not compel you to follow in the skinny tire tracks she left on an often-gruelling bicycle trip on the ancient Silk Road trading route. But one thing is for sure: She’ll leave you breathless with her beautiful writing about her 10,000-kilometre cycling odyssey through 10 countries in her book…

Albertans most likely among Canadians to set firm holiday spending budgets

Two-thirds of Canadians plan to spend the same this year as they did during the 2017 holiday season: survey

Albertans most likely among Canadians to set firm holiday spending budgetsAlbertans are more likely than other Canadians to set very firm budgets this holiday shopping season, according to the Retail Council of Canada’s Holiday Shopping Survey 2018 which was released on Wednesday. Twenty-six per cent of Albertans surveyed said they would be firm on their holiday budget. The survey also found that 66 per cent…

Canadians expect to spend more this Christmas shopping season

Many shifting back to in-store shopping, says new report from PwC Canada

Canadians expect to spend more this Christmas shopping seasonChristmas will soon be here and in many ways the shopping season has already begun. A new report says Canadians will spend an average of $1,563 this Christmas shopping season, a 3.7 per cent hike over the previous year. According to PwC Canada's 2018 Holiday Outlook report, eight out of 10 Canadians plan to spend…

Out of the roiling heat of Montreal, into the heart of artistic genius

And a full dose of air-conditioned museum comfort certainly doesn't hurt the appreciation of Picasso

Out of the roiling heat of Montreal, into the heart of artistic geniusLast week, thousands of Montrealers began to experience what I expect will gradually become a new phenomenon in global art gallery visitation – viewing art to get out of the heat. The heat wave (CBC news referred to it as “a heat event”) really descended on the city on the previous weekend, with Saturday’s temperatures…

’Twas the night before Christmas …

The lights will be artfully strung, the family heirloom decorations will be carefully hung, and the boys will murmur appropriate and truthful praise

’Twas the night before Christmas …It’s the week before Christmas and all through the forest it’s cold, wet and dark at 5 a.m. when I awaken. We’re going to bed at 9 p.m. in this part of the world because the sun sets at 4:30 p.m. and it’s pitch dark at 5:30. The leaves have definitively fallen from all of…

Christmas gift ideas for TV and music lovers

The Gadget Guy offers you ideas from TV streaming boxes to wireless earphones to handheld mics to hi-fidelity earplugs

Christmas gift ideas for TV and music loversMusic- and TV-related gadgets are always safe bets for gifts, so here are a few of my top picks this Christmas season. Roku Express Is the family going to cut the cable cord this year? Or are you just looking for an easy way to stream HD video and high-quality digital audio? Consider putting a…

A Secret Santa challenge to one and all

Holiday gift-giving isn’t supposed to induce panic. Let's all scale back, reconnect, celebrate memories and build new traditions

A Secret Santa challenge to one and allThere was a moment, one Christmas morning not too long ago, when we realized we had overdone it. After opening our dozens of gifts, we couldn’t move from our seats around my sister’s living room. It had finally happened. We had too many gifts. It was an embarrassment of riches. As our children mature, they…

Kicking off a Thanksgiving origins debate, Canadian style

The first Thanksgiving was reportedly celebrated in Newfoundland on May 27, 1578, 41 years before the first American celebration

Kicking off a Thanksgiving origins debate, Canadian styleCanadians just finished celebrating Thanksgiving. Their turkeys, beef roasts, hams or other dishes were cooked with great care. An abundance of side dishes, including stuffing, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and cranberry sauce, were laid out. Some had a pumpkin pie for dessert and watched the Canadian Football League's Thanksgiving Day Classic between the Edmonton Eskimos…

Hippity hoppity: following the trail of the Easter bunny’s origins

What do bunnies and eggs have to do with the religious celebration of Easter, the most important feast day of the Christian calendar?

Hippity hoppity: following the trail of the Easter bunny’s originsTRAIL, B.C., April 11, 2017 /Troy Media/ – The community Easter egg hunt was fun until the Easter bunny showed up. My granddaughter took one look at the hairy hare and the bliss of savouring a chocolate egg turned to terror. My grandson carried on happily eating his treat until the Easter bunny approached him, at…

Just why were mommy and Santa under the mistletoe?

Oh, those beloved Christmas songs – with subtext so deep that they expose the very darkest of human secrets

NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2016/ Troy Media/ – Another Christmas is upon us. It’s that special time of year when loved ones gather to create lasting memories that will provide fodder for therapists to work with for years to come. But it’s also about the songs. If we just thought for a moment about the kind…