The Mix-and-Matcher

The TV host Lainey Lui cherry-picks her favourite holiday traditions

Growing up, Lainey Lui spent most holidays with her mother in Hong Kong, where Christmas was a fairly simple affair. Now, she and her husband, Jacek Szenowicz, have their own holiday traditions. Every year, at exactly midnight on the first Saturday of December, Lui and Szenowicz crank the holiday tunes, sip Baileys and playfully argue over their choice of Christmas decorations: he’s in charge of the tree, and she gets to adorn the banister with ribbons and faux holly. “It’s a romantic night that lets us tap into our closeness,” says Lui. The festivities last well into January: during Chinese New Year, her CTV office is engulfed in a crimson storm of streamers, posters and paper lanterns.

Her Holiday Traditions

“Every year I make a lobster pie. I get the lobsters at Hooked and use a recipe from Gail Simmons’s cookbook.”

“I only burn Thymes Frasier Fir Pine Needle Candles in December and January. I love when my house smells like trees.”

“I’m not a crafty person, but around the holidays I lean into that side of myself with Chinese New Year decorations.”

“No one in my family is a big turkey fan, so every Christmas my parents bring half a suckling pig. We usually go to East Court and Mike’s BBQ on Sheppard.”

“We get a doggie advent calendar from the Ontario SPCA and put it on the mantel. The dogs always know when something good’s coming out.”

“My dogs, Barney and Elvis, have festive collars with bells that only come out on Christmas Day.”

More Holiday Rituals