Welcome to the I Heart XMAS Q&A, where Retro Festive asks notable Canadians about their own Christmas traditions and what they would like to find under the tree!
Crystal Garrett, Morning News Host, Global Halifax
- What is your favourite Christmas movie or TV special?
I LOVE Christmas movies. I sometimes watch my favourite Christmas movies out of season just because of that warm fuzzy feeling I get. Elf is probably my top pick. Six inch curls people, six inches!!!
My family tradition movie is the 1942 classic Holiday Inn. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s the original source of the song White Christmas. This holiday romp starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire is basically one big flashy song-and-dance number with a little romance thrown in. Delightful!
- Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?
We go a little overboard with the Advent calendars. Last year, we had four on the go. However, I have three children, so who gets to open which calendar on what day involves making a complicated chart.
The luckiest child gets to open the giant Lindt calendar, the least lucky child opens the small chocolate calendar from the dollar store. The other kid gets to open the Playmobil calendar we’ve had for years, where each day reveals a little woodland animal that gradually fills up an adorable holiday winterscape. Sure, the boxes are mangled, but everybody loves opening them and watching the scene take shape until Playmobil Santa comes out of his little box on Christmas Eve.
The big daddy of the Advent calendars is a wooden truck that holds 24 wooden drawers. It was a gift to our children from a dear great auntie who passed away a few years ago. Each of the red and green daily drawers is big enough to hold candy for all three children. I’ll load it up with treats on November 30th, strategically filling each drawer so that the most exciting treats get opened in the week leading up to Christmas.
- Which do you prefer: to give or receive?
I actually prefer to give. I love the process of finding the ultimate gift for each person on my list. Then, I get really excited about seeing the person open it. The joy, especially the crazy, unedited joy kids can show, and knowing I had something to do with it, is a way better feeling than opening a present.
- Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
Oh, ugly all the way! My brother-in-law hosts an ugly Christmas sweater party every year. Hilariously, my mother-in-law has a dresser filled with hideous sweaters from years gone by. She actually enjoys lending them out to us, and getting a good reaction.
- What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
Last year, I wanted snow. And it did snow. Giant, How the Grinch Stole Christmas-style flakes fell outside the window as we opened our gifts on Christmas morning. That happy moment kept me warm through one of the longest-feeling winters in history! This year, the ultimate holiday miracle would be if someone could convert my non-working fireplace into a real wood-burning one. The smell and crackle of a real holiday fire would be the best present ever!