To help shoppers out we’re sharing an original series 'Top Tips for Shopping Season Hits' with posts from a wide variety of shopping types, and many wonderful ways to buy, eat and experience local.
For our last guest blogger in the Shopping Season Hits series, we’re pleased to feature Marie-Claude Renaud of Corner Brook.
This Francophone Gen X Newfoundlander-by-choice is a Project Manager by trade. MC, her husband, and their two teenagers are heading to MC’s childhood home in Quebec City for the holidays. Here she shares how to take a Newfoundland Christmas on the road.
(December 20 note - she was not expecting to be self-isolating in PQ, but COVID-19 is a Grinch)
In Quebec we have a phrase, ‘Chez Nous’, that means ‘of our place’.
When it comes to giving gifts for Christmas to my family and friends from Quebec I like to give things from Newfoundland that they may not have “experienced” before. Newfoundland gifts, and local gifts of Newfoundland traditions are always well-received.
It could be a picture I took showing the beauty of our scenery or historic sites that brings a little Newfoundland to the recipient's home decor. We love exploring the province’s forests and beaches. There’s always something new to see when you live here, and it’s a pleasure to share with people from other places.
We love to travel around the province and there are treasures in every community made by our local artists, crafters and makers. This display is from Ramea on the southwest coast. Like many similar communities, they offer a wide selection of wonderful traditional favourites.
We also love to share our favourite consumables. It’s not a recipe you'll find in gift shops, but we make a favourite from the Newfoundland Distillery Company. Their Cloudberry Gin makes a delicious Wild Mule of the Newfoundland Barrens - our version of the traditional Moscow Mule (spicy ginger beer and lime and vodka over ice).
For friends here, we love to share this Quebec holiday favourite. We have an annual bake event where we prepare tourtiere - this traditional Quebecois Christmas Staple for friends and family to enjoy.
Since we are actually visiting Quebec this Christmas I made a “my old favourites Christmas box”. These goodies are our favourite go-tos which we love to use for everyday or special treats. The box includes:
Honey ~ we have a special secret honey source from a neighbour, but Tuck’s Bee Farm and Adelaide’s Newfoundland Honey are great buy-able choices.
Homemade jams ~ we often make our own, but also love jams and jellies by The Jam Lady.
Newfoundland Chocolate Factory ~ the sayings on the bar wrappers and the map in the chocolate boxes always create lively discussion in both official languages.
Local-locally made soaps ~ There are many lovely soap makers. One of the newest ones I've found is Salt Water Bath Bombs based in Gander who make gorgeously-scented cakes.
... And a bag of locally roasted coffee beans. Brewed Awakening Beans sell all over the province, but they’re roasted in Corner Brook.
I want to share with them some of the things I enjoy most about this lovely province that I now call home.
I love receiving things that people have made. My kids and I like to look for easy DIY gifts on Pinterest.
In the past, we have decorated salad spoons, made jam, cookies, and Christmas ornaments.
It doesn’t have to be big, the idea is to get together to make a little something to give to the ones we love while creating memories.
Another favourite is gift cards to enjoy a restaurant, a spa or some kind of activity. We have friends in St. John’s and travel there regularly, and a gift certificate for Soothe Downtown Spa would make me smile a lot on Christmas morning.
Chez Nous - the joy of sharing local ideas and home cultures is a special way to celebrate the holiday season with loved ones. Joyeux Noel b’y one and all.
To return to the first blog in our Top Tips for Shopping Season Hits series, click here.
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