Hosting Christmas this year?

Good for you. Someone in every family has to step up, and whether it’s your choice or your turn, you’re doing right by the people you love. Doesn’t get more Christmas-y than that.

On the flipside, hosting is stressful. So we put together a 45-minute plan visit to Manulife Centre for the express purpose of receiving stress.

 

Stop #1: Parker’s Cleaners (5 min)

Picking an outfit in advance will make the day-of so much easier, and help you avoid the closet-vomit on your bed. Bring your choice in for a dry clean so it’s perfectly pressed for the occasion. We recommend leaving it in the plastic wrapping until the big day.

 

Stop #2: LCBO (10 min)

Your ideal wine pairing will be less than ideal if the LCBO’s sold out of what you want. Stock up early so you’re good to go with no “uh-oh’s.” And for those guests who prefer shots to chardonnays, you can take the opportunity to refill your liquor cabinet. And don’t leave without a bottle of Bailey’s.

 

Stop #3: Indigo (10 min)

Every family has two people who can’t sit together, whether they’re too immature when they’re in close proximity or they’re just too shmoopy with each other. Table cards are a great way to avoid this. Indigo has a style for every setting. And while you’re there, you can spend a minute or two in the cooking section to get inspired.

 

Stop #4: William Ashley (10 min)

Yes, your food will make the event, but your table will set the tone for the evening. And nobody puts dinner decor together better than Ashley’s. Walk through the showroom for a few ideas, and take a few pictures so you know exactly what you’re doing the morning of. Also, have a look at the centrepieces in the under-$100 section. You may find exactly what you’re missing.

 

Stop #5: The Varsity Theatre (5 min)

Movie passes make the best stocking stuffers. Anyone can use them and everyone has time over the holidays to catch a flick.

 

Stop #6: Guest services (5 min)

Don’t forget that you’ll get two hours of free parking if you spend $25 or more in the Centre in addition to the free holiday valet service. Just bring your parking ticket and your receipts to the guest services desk on the concourse level.

 

You’re best to execute this plan the week of December 12th, partly because it’ll give you time to relax before the event, but mostly because the Steve Koven Duo will be here setting the mood with some holiday jazz.

 

Enjoy the holiday season, and enjoy hosting!


Get your Rio on

If you’ve been following the Olympics over the last few days, you know Canada’s doing better than most of us thought we’d do. All the more reason to whip up a bit of extra national pride.

That’s why we’re showing the games in the Manulife Centre atrium. Instead of cheering at your desk, stop by Manulife Centre on your lunch and be part of a cheering section.

Even better are the conversations you’ll have with strangers about sports you don’t know but become an expert in every four years. Did she break her form during her third dive? Was the dressage as artistic as it could have been?

And our course, while you’re here in the Manulife Centre, you can pick up a few things to get you into the Olympic spirit.

 

Cachaça at the LCBO:

This is Brazilian rum, and the root ingredient of Brazil’s most famous cocktail, the Caipirinha. Here’s one of our favourite recipes, courtesy of Jamie Oliver:

  • 5 limes
  • 12 tablespoons golden caster sugar
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 kg ice cubes, crushed
  • 70 cl Cachaça
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked

Cut the limes into wedges, squeeze the juice into a large jug, then toss in the wedges. Add the sugar and ginger then bash it up to get the flavours going. Half fill the jug with crushed ice and bash again. Then add the Cachaça, stir, taste and add more sugar you want. Top the jug up with mint leaves and enjoy!

 

Maple syrup at the Bloorstreet Market:

Here’s a new Canadian tradition: do a shot of syrup every time we medal.

 

A gym membership at GoodLife:

It’s easy to get inspired by the physical specimens on the screen. Should that inspiration translate into action, our GoodLife location is one of the best in town. Great instructors and trainers, flexible classes, a spin studio and even a pool if you want something more than what’s up on 51.

But first, the games. There’s still time to enjoy them with friends and neighbours in the atrium. So come on over, meet some people and show your pride.

Go Canada Go!