Every year during the holiday season, Toronto’s Distillery District transforms into the Toronto Christmas Market – a cozy outdoor market where you can shop for cool, antique finds, enjoy good food, warm up with a cup of hot chocolate, take scenic pictures of the beautiful, giant Christmas tree, and loads of other fun activities for everyone to enjoy.

I took the following photos with my phone so the quality isn’t the greatest:

I’ve heard lots of great things about the Christmas Market but never really got the chance to experience it for myself. Luckily for me, my first time going was extra special because it doubled as a mini-reunion with some friends that I made during the Explore programme.

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From Trois-Rivières to Toronto

Parting with friends that you made during a trip is hard, especially because being away from home usually means seeking comfort and solace somewhere else, a.k.a. the people that you meet along the way. This bond with new friends is quite strong because you’ve all shared many memorable experiences at a time where you were stretching your comfort zone. Let’s face it, the best things in life almost always occur outside of that zone of familiarity. It’s reassuring how many cool people there are out there that I’ve yet to meet!

We spent the afternoon catching up, laughing at the memories that we shared when we were in Trois-Rivières, eating poutine, taking lots of pictures, gawking at the prices of everything, trying not to lose each other as it got more and more crowded, lining up in the cold for free samples of Ferrero Rocher and getting out of there as fast as we could once we got our freebies when we realized getting hypothermia wasn’t worth it, finally, parting once more as we wished each other all the best and that we would make plans to hang out again.

Christmas has always been my favourite holiday. It’s a little different every year but it’s always really special nonetheless. Christmas takes me back to my childhood, back when I still lived in the Philippines and every Christmas Eve (or Noche Buena, as we call it), we would go to my dad’s side of the family first, eat delicious food and exchange presents, then start making our way to my mom’s side of the family where I played with my cousins, sang karaoke and of course, opening up our presents once midnight struck. I’d be lying if I said Christmases in Canada could compare to how fun these were because I really enjoyed spending time with relatives. Since we’re immigrants, we don’t really have a lot of family here so we just celebrate amongst ourselves – my mom, dad, brother, brother’s wife, and my niece – don’t get me wrong, I enjoy and cherish these just as much but as they say, the more the merrier.

Anyway, I wish everyone the happiest holidays and I hope everyone gets the rest that they need over the break before we gotta hit the books once school starts again. Joyeuses Fêtes!🎄🎁🎉

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