Christmas carols on repeat in shopping malls, boxes of chocolates shared in offices and a general holiday cheer are just a few things you’ll notice happening around Saskatchewan in December.
In honour of the festive season and the New Year, here are 6 facts and traditions you might be familiar with if you grew up in or live in Saskatchewan.
1. Excitedly flipping through the Eaton’s or Sears Christmas Catalogues It’s a fond memory from days past. If you were a child in the 1990’s or earlier, there’s a likely chance you remember getting the Eaton’s catalogue or Sears Christmas Wishbook in the mail. It was always a panic of excitement to flip to the back pages to see all the shiny new toys. I’d make lists of everything I wanted my parents to buy me for Christmas. It was extra thrilling when Santa Claus magically knew what I wanted.
2. Chopping down a Christmas tree at the Prince Albert National Park Christmas Tree Harvest In Saskatchewan, you can hike into a national park and chop down your very own Christmas tree. Bonus points if you wear plaid. It’s a tradition that began in 2016 to help keep the fuel break near Waskesiu clear of trees. Best of all, it’s completely free with a valid permit and park’s pass. Does it get any more Canadian than this?
3. Snapping selfies with a 25 foot tall Santa Claus and an 18.5 foot tall Snowman In the small towns of Watson and Kenaston, Christmas and winter is celebrated every day on a not-so-small scale. In 1996, Watson commemorated their annual Santa Claus Day event by erecting a 1,500-pound fibreglass and steel Santa Claus. Although not the largest Santa in the world, the town proudly claims they are home to the original celebration since 1932. The town of Kenaston is designated the Blizzard Capital of Saskatchewan. In 1983 they honoured their cool title and erected a giant snowman that also happens to have a passion for hockey.
4. Feasting with Family To celebrate the holiday season most families get together and spend time with each other. But a holiday gathering isn’t complete without a feast.
As the breadbasket of Canada, Saskatchewan’s producers and growers have it covered with food items for any recipe or dish. Storefronts like the SaskMade Marketplace or initiatives like The Wandering Market are great one-stop solutions.
Here are a few local food and drink suggestions to get your holiday meal plan started:
- Baba’s Homestyle Perogies for traditional handmade perogies and cabbage rolls.
- Tu-Bees Gourmet Honey in maple, ginger or cinnamon flavours for the perfect glazed ham.
- Daybreak Mill Organic Stoneground Flour for shortbread cookies, scuffles and homemade bread and buns.
- Northern Lights Foods Organic Wild Rice for a Christmas rice casserole.
- Over the Hill Orchards or Prairie Sun Orchard jams for thumbprint cookies and jam jams.
- Prairie Popcorn’s Toffee Butter Pecan popcorn mix for a “lazy” poppycock.
- Crossmount Cider Company for a tasty selection of ciders to cheers to the holidays.
- Paddock Wood Brewing offers both a Belgian Dubbel Winter Ale as well as a Heartstopper Hot Chocolate Stout.
5. Dreaming of a (Perfect) White Christmas Saskatchewan’s two major cities have nearly a 25 percent chance of experiencing a postcard “Perfect Christmas” each year (24 percent in Regina and 22 percent in Saskatoon). This is defined by Environment Canada as having at least 2 centimeters of snow on the ground with snow falling at some point throughout the day. What’s the chance of having a standard white Christmas? Not surprising, it’s much higher at 91 percent for Regina and 98 percent for Saskatoon.
6. Sharing Holiday Greetings and Wishes Whether you’re from Sled Lake, Star City or Winter, Saskatchewan (or any other city, town or village) the holiday season brings out a festive spirit in everyone. Our already friendly nature magnifies as strangers wish each other health and happiness for the New Year.
From everyone at DirectWest, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!