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How to Celebrate an Outdoor Christmas

Guest blog post by Tanya Graydon Koob


When I was first asked about how we celebrated the Holiday Season and whether we celebrated an outside Christmas or not, I thought “are you crazy?”It’s winter in Calgary and there’s no way I’m sitting in the snow opening my Christmas gifts.  I want to be toasty warm in my living room sitting by my fireplace, my family all gathered round, with the Christmas tree shining in the background.We don’t even have a real Christmas tree because we like to put it up by mid-November to extend the season.But then I thought some more and I realized that we DO celebrate Christmas outside in our own special way. No Christmas would be complete without skating, skiing, sledding, and outdoor fun in the snow. Maybe it’s time to bring Christmas outside and to think outside the box a bit when planning for the upcoming holiday season.

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No bad weather, only bad clothing: 10 tips to dress for the weather

Living after the motto, “no bad weather only bad clothing”, means we pay a lot of attention to how we dress for the weather. Not only does that apply for me and the kids but also my filmmaker husband whose job takes him from the arctic to steamy jungles. (Sometimes in the same week)

I often hear some parents say that kids don’t need the same quality as adults. I understand they don’t want to spend too much money on clothes kids outgrow, but I think our kids deserve to get well dressed for the seasons for both comfort and movement. Being dress for the weather is the first critical step to embracing the seasons.

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Make an Advent Calendar

I remember my childhood pre- Christmas time and my advent calendar. Now that I’m a mother myself, I love to create and carry-on traditions for my children. The holiday time is such a great time to create new family traditions. For this year’s Advent calendar, our family was inspired by nature. If you have followed me a little before, you know I have a special love for bringing nature inside whenever I get the chance.


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Road tripping and camping as a family in Europe

roadtrippingThis past summer, my husband and I took our two young daughters on a month-long road trip around western Europe. It’s become our annual tradition since we moved to Italy four years ago, and as usual, we slept in the large popup tent we’ve affectionately dubbed our summer home. One night, however, after an especially long day of travel, we splurged on a hotel room. We didn’t feel like setting up camp, and the convenience of ready-made beds seemed worth the extra cost. Within a few minutes after checking in though, we realized it had been a mistake.


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Hot chocolate season

I do not know about you, but here in Canada it is definitely started to be hot chocolate season. I’m glad I have put in the bulbs and raked leaves over my flower beds, because Mister Frost has been visited us in the nights this last week.



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Everyday life Cape Town style

We live in a ‘cottage’ style house with a small backyard. There is a wonderful tree which has grown big enough for us to make use of it to the fullest – with rope ladders, rings, a trapeze and two ropes for climbing and swinging. My husband has also built a jungle gym structure out of fallen-off branches that we find on our walks. The girls are very creative in finding new ways of using the garden, whether it is new tricks on the ropes, making a house under the jungle gym or digging and mixing with sand and mud.


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