4 Canadian creatives on what they’re looking forward to most this holiday season
Raise a toast to holiday cheer with the LCBO
The holiday season is inching closer and closer, which means we’ll soon be dusting off our festive decor and our favourite traditions. No matter what you’re celebrating, there’s something about the twinkly lights, icy air and cheerful music that makes us crave community and spending time with loved ones. And within these precious moments of togetherness, traditions are born.
From keeping with traditions we were raised with to creating our own, we all have our go-to customs—and for many, making a quick stop at a local LCBO before the festivities begin has grown to be a part of them.
In the spirit of tradition, we connected with four Canadian creatives and asked them to share their favourite seasonal moments of “cheers” and their holiday beverage of choice.
Lauren McPhillips reminisces over cookie recipes and ornaments that never change
Lauren McPhillips is a Prince Edward County-based brand manager by day and digital storyteller by night. Always sprinkled with a touch of humour, her work is heartwarming, motivational and community-centred. Every holiday season, she looks forward to her tradition of decorating the tree with her mother. “We chat and connect over a glass of Baileys while eating shortbread cookies and sorting through the ornaments that bring back so many memories,” she says. “My parents are Scottish, so shortbread is a favourite in our family. My mum has used the same recipe since I was a kid, with one secret ingredient that makes it the most delicious, classic shortbread you’ll ever taste!”
Lauren’s LCBO pick of choice: Baileys Original Irish Cream
Wallace Wong fuses the modern with the traditional
An award-winning chef and widely-loved food content creator, Wallace Wong has become well-known for his aesthetically pleasing and food FOMO-causing recipe videos. Wallace shares that chilled dessert soups were a big part of his holiday traditions as someone who grew up in an Asian household—Papaya & Snow Mushroom Soup in particular. “Not only is it sweet, but it’s got tons of beautiful and ‘good for you’ ingredients like ginger and goji berries,” he says. Traditionally served hot, his family does a cold version of it for family gatherings, especially over the winter holidays. “Over the years, as our family grew older, we started adding champagne to the cold soup (because why not?!) to give it an amazing sweetness and that special pop of effervescence. It’s a great way to bring together the modern with the traditional.”
Wallace’s LCBO pick of choice: Scavi & Ray Prosecco Spumante DOC
Philip Lago and Mystique Mattai keep up with the classics
Toronto-based husband and wife duo behind Chef Sous Chef Philip and Mystique believe there’s no better experience than a home-cooked meal. “One of our favourite holiday traditions? Baking our famous Amaretti cookies made with a splash of Disaronno from our local LCBO. It’s a special moment we share over Christmas tunes and hot chocolate before we create gift baskets for loved ones, including a batch of cookies, a bottle of amaretto, tea towels and this year, a copy of our cookbook Eat With Us,” they share.
Philip and Mystique’s LCBO pick of choice: Disaronno Originale Amaretto
Rivki Rabinowitz looks forward to her mom’s fantastic holiday spread
Rivki Rabinowitz is a digital creator, magazine editor and podcast host from Toronto. Every winter, she looks forward to getting together with her friends and family for an “outrageous” Chanuka party. “Whatever I know about entertaining, I learned via osmosis from my mom. Her Chanuka parties are legendary,” she says. “She quietly prepares weeks in advance and ‘casually’ whips out meats and chickens and vegan options. There are salad bars, side dishes fragrant with warming spices, and kid-friendly finger foods. There are interactive desserts and wine and hot toddies and fruit cobblers and ciders and flowers and entertainment,” she shares further. “I don’t know if this is the narrative I’ve told myself to get out of lending a hand, but I think she does her best creative culinary work when she surprises us all.” What better way to round out an event this extravagant than with a few bottles of wine that her husband, an avid wine collector, selects for the occasion? “I’m so glad we can be together again and share our favourite bottles of wine over dinner.”
Rivki’s LCBO pick of choice: Dalton Safsufa Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon KPM
Click here to explore more of the LCBO’s gift inspiration, helping make new traditions or celebrate old ones that are near and dear to your heart. Please *cheers* responsibly.