The most wonderful time of the year is officially over, and if you’re like most of us, more than a few things need to be tidied up, de-cluttered, and put away. But getting your life back to normal doesn’t have to be anywhere near as stressful as last-minute gift shopping.
Our hints below will help you make the transition from holiday season to clean-up without losing the joyful glow cultivated over the last few weeks.
Some say Boxing Day originated in the UK, as the day when the collection boxes for the poor were opened, and distributed. Other origin stories have it that Boxing Day was the day working people collected gratuities or acknowledgements of service for the year past, in the form of ‘Christmas Boxes.’ Either way, you can use the spirit of Boxing Day to take a look around your home and see what can be boxed up and sent to charity. And while you’re in the dark corners of closets you haven’t seen in years, a little organization can’t hurt either. This will make room for all the shiny new goodies from Christmas and give you a fresh start to the New Year while helping out someone in need. A true win-win situation.
If you have a backyard, why not consider digging a spot for a temporary home for your much appreciated Christmas tree? After the lights are taken down, simply plant your tree in the snow outside. The tree will give small wildlife a nice warm place to nest up among the needles during the winter. Once spring or summer hits, the tree will likely have dried out enough to have a bonfire with it for a fun Christmas in July celebration (festive outfits and eggnog milkshakes encouraged).
Make sure to save all the egg cartons from your Christmas baking. If they have long been recycled, throw a post-holiday brunch to get some new cartons to save. The small pockets meant for the eggs make great protective storage for delicate ornaments and can be labeled to plan accordingly for decorating next year.
Get ready to meet your new best friend – binder clips. Yes, you heard that right. These humble little office supplies come in very handy for keeping your entire home tidy, but there are some great tips that you can use right away for post-holiday organization.
We hope these hacks save you some stress as you wind down the holiday season. We wish you joy in the New Year from our London Drugs family to yours.
We all can agree that a fireplace is the perfect way to stay warm and cozy in a cold Canadian winter. But with more and more people moving to the city and downsizing their homes, a real, wood burning fireplace is becoming a rare thing these days. If you find yourself without a hearth this season but you still crave that #FireplaceFeeling in your home, here are some tips to help you really warm things up.
Can’t do without a fireplace, but don’t have a chimney? Get yourself a lifelike replica! Electric fireplaces give the glow and the warmth of the real thing, without the mess and hassle of firewood, and come in many different styles and price points.
One of the best benefits of having fireplace is the heat they give off, but it’s not practical to just crank up the thermostat when you want to warm up your old bones. A smarter way to thaw out your frozen toes is a portable heater. You can move it to any room that you’re in, and it will save you a bundle on heating costs.
Better yet, snuggle in under a luxurious heated throw.
Warm, ambient light from a fireplace is a guaranteed cozy-fier, and you can capture the glow of an open flame with creative lighting options.
The scent of a crackling wood fire is one of the more difficult effects to replicate in your home without actually lighting something on fire, but you can can come close with some earthy, woodsy aromatherapy scents like balsam, sandalwood and patchouli.
Atmosphere is the #1 element of the hygge manifesto, and these tips will have you on your way to achieving Hygge Master status. Let’s get cozy!
Everyone has their own cherished holiday traditions, but if you and your family are looking for a new way to celebrate and connect, get inspired by these fun and cozy traditions from around the world.
The Irish tradition of lighting a candle in the window is hundreds of years old, and many Irish people will tell you that it signifies lighting the way for Mary and Joseph to help them find the stable in Bethlehem. Historians, on the other hand, will tell you that this tradition started sometime in the 17th century when the Penal Laws in Ireland suppressed the Catholic religion. Catholic churches were outlawed and priests hid in fear of their lives, and they often visited homes in secrecy to bless a family and to say Mass. A candle in the window signalled to any passing priest that this was a Catholic home, and a priest was welcome to enter silently and join the family in prayer for Christmas. The Irish are renowned the world over for their hospitality, and this tradition is still widely practiced in Ireland and North America as a sign of welcome for anyone, friend or stranger, who might be passing by on Christmas Eve.
How to adopt this tradition: London Drugs has a wide range of beautiful candles for your windowsill. If fire safety is an issue, you can put your hospitality on display with these flameless candles.
“Nollaig Shona Duit”
Being in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas happens right at the beginning of Australia’s summertime, so it just makes sense that many Australians spend their holidays in the great outdoors. Beach days, camping, barbecues and outdoor festivals are common Aussie holiday traditions.
How to adopt this tradition: Obviously, Canadian Christmas looks a lot different than in Australia, but why not take a cue from the adventurous Aussies and get outside? Bundle up the family and go for an after-dinner walk to look at Christmas lights, ring in the New Year with backyard snowball fight, or try a new winter sport like snowshoeing or ice skating. Stay warm with winter accessories from London Drugs.
“Merry Christmas, Mate!”
The Declaration of Christmas Peace is publicly announced in many Finnish cities on Christmas Eve. The oldest and most popular event is in the old capital of Turku, which is broadcast on the Finnish Broadcasting Company and is viewed by millions of Finns and Swedes. The tradition goes as far back as the 1320s: the reading of the declaration, the wording of which hasn’t changed much since the 19th century, is accompanied by traditional music performed by local choirs and bands, along with a public rendition of the Finnish and Swedish national anthems. Originally used as a reminder for citizens that offenders who committed crimes on religious holidays were given harsher punishments, it is now a reminder for people to keep peace in their lives and treat each other with love and respect.
How to adopt this tradition: Have everyone write their declaration for peace in the coming year, and list all of they ways they will promote peace and respect in their lives, then share them at the family holiday gathering.
The Giant Lantern Festival signifies the beginning of the Christmas season in the Philippines. Each year on the Saturday before Christmas, revelers gather in the capital of San Fernando to witness the splendid display of colourful electric lanterns, or parol, which symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. The festival evolved from an older tradition called lubenas, where a lantern procession would travel through neighbourhoods to take residents to church on Christmas. But, when electricity was introduced to Philippine cities in the 1930s, all bets were off, and neighbourhoods began competing against one another for the coveted championship. These impressive lanterns can be made of up to 10,000 light bulbs! Here’s a little taste:
How to adopt this tradition: Warm up the dark winter nights with a homemade lantern making competition! Here is a link to some easy and beautiful DIY lanterns.
Ever wonder about the “figgy pudding” from “Deck the Halls?” Wonder no more! The old English tradition of “Stir-Up Sunday” had everyone in the house take a turn stirring the Christmas pudding while making a wish for the coming year.
How to adopt this tradition: Now, not everyone is a fan of old-fashioned Christmas pudding (or fruitcake as we call it here in Canada), so if you’d rather sink your teeth into some delicious cookies or pie, get the whole family involved! Make your favourite holiday treats at home, with everyone taking a step in the baking process, while making a wish for the new year. London Drugs has all the gear you need for your next baking project, from the very practical, to the silly fun.
Along with the usual gifts on Christmas Day, Icelanders also exchange books with family members early on Christmas Eve, then spend the rest of the night in at home, reading and relaxing. Sounds like winter bliss, doesn’t it?
How to adopt this tradition: Easy – give books as gifts to your family or friends! Just make sure to tell them they have to open them on Christmas Eve, and make them promise to settle in for a cozy night at home. Check out London Drugs’ book selection here.
We wish you a memorable holiday with family and friends, whether you’re celebrating time-honoured traditions, or discovering new ones.
These days, when nearly everyone seems to have a smart device in their pocket, it can be tough getting the whole family to spend quality time together. But some things never change, and nothing brings families together quite like Games Night!
Here are nine suggestions in three categories to get you started.
Monopoly Deal: A twist on arguably the best known board game of all. Some would say a needed twist. Monopoly, after all, takes a while to play and has lots of pieces to keep track of. Monopoly Deal offers a brand new, streamlined experience. It’s fast, about 20 minutes, but delivers all the financial ups-and-downs and excitement you’d expect.
Star Wars Operation: We all know Operation, the classic game of carefully removing bones from a patient. That zzzz-zap sound still brings back memories, and now you can introduce the fun to a new generation. Star Wars Operation lets you repair Rey’s adorable companion, BB-8.
HedBanz – Act Out!: Charades, arguably the world’s oldest still-popular party game, dates back to at least the 1700s in France. Your whole family will love this modern twist that sees players acting like the clue cards on each other’s provided headbands. Get ready for LOLs galore, IRL! It’s perfect for birthday parties, too.
Ages: 8+ / Players: 2-6
Ticket to Ride: Released to award-winning acclaim in 2004, this game sold 4 million copies by 2014. So it has laid more than enough track by now to be considered a true modern classic. Players race to establish train routes between major transit hubs, and to connect their own tracks onward in unbroken chains. Strategy. Secrecy. Subterfuge. This game has it all.
Ages: 8+ / Players: 2-5
Pandemic: The family that saves humanity together, games together (or something like that). Released in 2007, this game is spreading virally toward legendary tabletop status. Players assume the roles of globetrotting scientists, medics, and logistics experts, working together to stop not one global pandemic…but four. Finished it? Don’t worry, expansions are available to continue the story and the fun.
Ages: 10+ / Players: 4
Dixit: Want a game to set your imagination soaring and help develop your family’s storytelling skills, look no further than this fantastic game. Designed in France in 2008, it has since won multiple international games awards, and the hearts of players around the world. Basically, players take turns creatively describing a famous story and the others try to guess it using the cards in their hands.
Ages: 8+ / Players: 4-6
Just Dance 2018: The latest edition in a beloved series, it’s available on seven gaming systems. So if your family likes music, movement, or generally having fun: this one’s for you. It has variable difficulty settings, too. So even those with the freshest moves around can play with the rest of us. It’s also a great way to add some exercise to games night.
Rating: E10+ / System: Ps4, XBox One, Nintendo Switch, WiiU, PS3, XBox 360, Wii
Splatoon 2: The follow up to the silly-but-serious WiiU stand-out, players race to splatter turf in ink of their team’s colour. Players also don sweet, swaggy street gear and use a variety of inky weapons and marvelous moves. Families can also play together over long distances with online play.
Really, this is just one of several great family games for the Nintendo Switch, probably the best bet overall current console for family game night.
Rating: E10+ / System: Nintendo Switch
NHL 2018: Take to the ice as your favourite team (or try out life as a member of the new expansion team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights). Play locally with family, or expand your competition to online play. You might be surprised at how much Mom enjoys throwing a check.
Rating: Pending / Systems: PS4, XBox One
Hitting the holiday party circuit? Get inspired by Beauty Advisor Maheema’s green jewel-tone makeup look. Her glam and oh-so-festive tutorial will have your eyes sparkling like emeralds! Watch the video to see how Maheema uses luxe Lise Watier products to create this stunning holiday look.
Love Maheema’s bold brows? Here’s her secret:
Subscribe to London Drugs on YouTube and stay tuned for more beauty videos!
With Christmas right around the corner… there’s no time to stress! The holiday season inspires joy, excitement, and family comfort. What’s not to love about spending quality time with the most important people in your life, sipping warm drinks by the fireplace and decorating your home?
Unfortunately, we can easily find ourselves feeling a little overwhelmed with office parties, gift exchanges, family reunions and our kids’ school events. No matter how many commitments are booked into your calendar, there never seems to be quite enough time to get anything done – let alone finish Christmas shopping!
Thankfully, we have the tech to help make everyone’s life just a little easier – including your own!
Get into the festive spirit this winter and check out the following 7 tech gadgets that are bound to eliminate some of your holiday stress, while also making great gifts for friends, coworkers and family!
A thermostat may seem like a strange gift to pick up for the holidays, but trust us, the Nest Learning Thermostat is well worth it. Particularly useful during the chilly Canadian winters, this remote-controlled tech gadget can be used right from your smartphone, tablet or laptop through WiFi connectivity. With energy-saving options, safety alerts, and automatic adjustments from your personal energy history, just think – no more coming home to a frigid home, and no more waking up in the middle of the night to adjust the heat!
A fantastic option for stocking stuffers, the IQ Keychain Power Bank is a necessity for busy, on-the-go people who use their portable technology on a day-to-day basis. The keychain feature makes this power bank easily accessible and always within reach when in need. For those days where you forget to charge your phone, or your laptop runs out of battery, simply plug into the IQ Keychain without the stress of finding an available power outlet in public.
Opening cans with faulty (and often painful!) can openers can be the bane of your existence, especially when in a hurry and with a hungry family to feed. Another great stocking stuffer option (perhaps for the cook in your life, or for anyone with joint pain) the TouCan Hands Free Can Opener makes opening cans of all shapes and sizes completely effortless. With just a push of the button, anyone can seamlessly prepare their meals, without the mess and frustration.
If you’ve been thinking about picking up a charging pad, now is the time! More than ever, we’re glued to our phones and tablets for personal as well as work use throughout the day, making it easy to run out of battery life. The hassle of finding (let alone de-tangling!) the large amount of mismatched chargers you need could give anyone a headache. Thankfully, the Belkin Wireless Charging Pad provides a quick solution to this everyday stress. After a long day at work, place your smartphone, tablet or powerbank (no need to remove any cases!) within the charging ring, and enjoy the luxury of cordless freedom.
Visiting family or friends over the holidays, and travelling outside of your designated carrier zone? Know anyone who travels frequently overseas, and could benefit from some extra coverage? Look no further! Pick up the AOW Global Data SIM Card for yourself or as a gift and enjoy 4G LTE access to over 90 countries across the globe. Choose from hourly plans, by day, or by storage, and pre-schedule before you leave. The Global Data SIM Card is compatible with any unlocked smartphone, and will not only save you the effort of finding secure WiFi, but allows you to stay connected with loved ones via apps without daunting roaming fees.
If you don’t need one of these in your kitchen cupboard, guaranteed you know someone who does! Just like opening a can, grappling with a tricky cork can result in nicked fingers, compromised wine and most likely a bad mood. Avoid the fuss and save your energy with the London Drugs Rechargeable Wine Opener. This sleek electric opener can be easily recharged when needed, and makes a great gift for any wine connoisseur.
Ordered your Christmas gifts online and anxious for them to be delivered to your door? More often than not, you won’t be home mid-day to receive your parcels. With the Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell, there’s no need to rush home to see if your packages have arrived! With wide angled HD video and instant alerts straight to your phone, this futuristic doorbell can also act as a security monitor, alerting you of what’s going on outside without having to be at home! Great for families with children, the doorbell also offers a safe way for kids to see who’s at the door without having to answer it.