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5 Heartwarming Holiday Books to Enjoy with Your Family



The holidays are fastly approaching. And now is the best time to pull out those holiday books and enjoy the holiday spirit as a family.

Don’t know what books to read to your children?

Read on to find out some classic stories that are bound to put a smile on your child’s face!

1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This is a classic by Dr. Seuss. The story is about the Grinch who lives up on a hillside away from Whoville.

The Grinch despises Christmas and hates that the citizens of Whoville are having such a good time during the holidays. The Grinch comes up with the idea to take Christmas away from the “Whovillians.”

He goes through each one of the homes and steals Christmas trees, presents, stockings and the like. He thinks he’s done the job. But when the residents of Whoville wake up, they still end up singing in the town square.

Because Christmas isn’t about presents for the Whos, it’s about family and love. This opens up the Grinch’s heart, who then goes down to Whoville to apologize and celebrate Christmas with them.

Why is this book a great read?

Children can learn that Christmas (and holidays in general) aren’t really about the gifts and decorations, but instead about coming together as a family and community.

2. A Christmas Carol

Charles Dickon’s A Christmas Carol is similar to How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Like the Grinch, Scrooge is a devout Christmas hater. He believes in only work and can’t stand Christmas — “bah humbug” — in his own words.

However, during one night, he is visited by three ghosts: the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future.

After observing his past holiday memories, seeing his present actions, and watching what will become of him if he continues his this way, Scrooge has a change of heart.

He doesn’t want to be the curmudgeon everyone avoids. After that night, he goes to Tiny Tim’s house bringing Christmas gifts. He is determined to change his ways and bring some Christmas cheer.

Why is this book a great read?

Like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol carries the same message: Christmas isn’t about wealth or presents but about being around the ones you love and care about.

3. The Legend of Old Befana

This is one of the most heartfelt Christmas books. Written by Tomie DePaulo, The Legend of Old Befana is a time-old Italian story about an elderly woman in an Italian village who sweeps day in and day out.

One night, the three kings visit her place before journeying on to Bethlehem. They invite her but she declines; she has to sweep.

She then regrets her decision, making sweets to bring to the baby Jesus. She doesn’t get to Bethlehem in time and is said to be giving sweets to children every Christmas.

Why is this a great read?

It introduces children to another culture and their interpretation of Christmas.

4. Olive the Other Reindeer

Written by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold, Olive the Other Reindeer is a Russel terrier believing that she is the other reindeer. She ventures to the north pole to help Santa and save Christmas.

Why is this a great read?

This is one of the more modern holiday books. It’s endearing and provides a fun interpretation to the “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” song, and story.

It’s a great present and goes well with the best holiday cards.

5. Carl’s Christmas

Alexandra Day’s holiday book, Carl’s Christmas, tells the journey Carl, the dog has running errands with the young child of his owners.

Why is this a great read?

It has more picture than text which allows for children to create their own story about Carl the dog.

Warm Your Heart and Homes with Holiday Books

No matter what holiday books you choose, these five are bound to make your child smile!

What holiday books do you recommend? Leave a comment below.

Surrey604 is an online magazine and media outlet based in Surrey, BC. Through writing, video, photography, and social media, we secure an intimate reach to the public. We promote local events and causes.

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Arts and Entertainment

7 Dazzling Outdoor Holiday Lighting Ideas



Nothing says competition like the holidays. Remember when you were a kid and your family always tried to one-up what they had done the year before? It’s contagious, isn’t it?

Now you’re an adult and you’re looking for the best outdoor holiday lighting ideas for your own home. Look no further because we’ve got you covered with 7 awesome ideas to get you started.

1. Wrap It Up

Think about candy canes and how they swirl. You can create a similar effect with your outdoor holiday lighting. Wrap your lights up and over and around your fencing, house columns, whatever you have available.

Too much house for you to do this alone? There are professional services like Texas Firman Christmas Lighting who can help you out.

2. Plants

Using the base of plants on your porch or trees in your yard is a great way to spice things up for the holidays.

Nothing is better than sitting on your porch swing in the middle of winter, sipping on warm cider and enjoying the outdoor holiday lighting.

3. Lanterns

This is a timeless classic. You can purchase these at any holiday store and line your driveway or walking paths with them.

If you want to next level your outdoor holiday lighting, go with a bright color like blue or purple.

If you don’t want to spend the cash, you can use snowballs as the base for your own temporary homemade lanterns.

4. Outdoor Furniture

Chances are good your outdoor furniture isn’t getting much use during the winter months. Give yourself a reason to change that.

Have any extra styrofoam laying around? You can make your own particle lights!

You can hang wreaths and lights on your porch swings or poolside furniture to give it some cozy overtones. This makes for great holiday parties.

5. Decorate Your Snowman

If your kids (or you) spent half the day making a snowman, let the whole neighborhood see him in the evening.

Nothing will brighten up the faces of the kids on the block more than seeing a bright and shining Frosty in your yard.

6. Use Useless Items

We all have wicker baskets laying around the house. We probably don’t even remember why they’re around or why we haven’t thrown them away.

Melting snow, and water in general, has a habit of ruining things we don’t want to be ruined. Anyone who has been the victim of a leaky pipe can tell you that.

So use worn out items and cheap purchases from your local drugstore to give this year’s decoration ideas an edge without breaking the bank.

7. DIY Outdoor Holiday Lighting

Maybe throwing up some lights and calling it a day just isn’t good enough for you anymore.

If this is the case, it’s time to go full DIY mode. You make some pretty cool things with cheap supplies. Check out these festive light balls.

When you’re decorating for the holidays, it’s up to you, your personal taste, and how much energy you’re willing to put into it.

We’ve given you some ideas that can spice up your home and yard and we think you’re ready to get the party started.

If you enjoyed this post, check out our other posts on celeberating holidays.

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Arts and Entertainment

Celebrate Diwali Safely at the 5X Festival Mainstage



Normally the Diwali Season would be full of galas, parties and events; however unfortunately this year, as we battle a global pandemic we struggle with finding ways to celebrate Diwali in smaller, more intimate ways. This hasn’t held the local music festival, 5X Festival back, who will be celebrating Diwali with their 5X MainStage Event on November 14th.

The festival app, powered by global wellness and fan engagement platform Stepathlon, has provided a positive alternative outlet for so many South Asian students and young adults who otherwise have a lack of outlets during these unprecedented times.

The app provides a place for creativity to bloom, encourage physical activity and to connect with other like-minded youth from across the globe.

Over the past few months the festival has gone global and tripled their engagement with over 30k digital festival attendees versus their average 10k in person attendees. Tripling in size during a global pandemic has been a huge win for the local festival.

Their MainStage event will include headliners: The Sandy Lion, Kay Ray, Avan Jogia, Pallavi Sharda, Alok Menon, BFunk, Navpreet Banga of Brown Girl Lifts, and Sangtar.

The digital festival has already featured the likes of Lisa Ray, Jazzy B, Cartel Madras, Saint Soldier, Raaginder, Horsepowar – all providing exclusive content specifically for the 5X Festival audience.

For those still interested in participating and taking part in the 5X Mainstage on November 14 from 1-5pm, all they have to do is sign-up at

5X Festival gratefully acknowledges the support of the City of Surrey, City of Vancouver, Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of Canada, the BC Arts Council, and the Province of British Columbia.


5X is a global brand and online community that champions South Asian youth culture for ages 16-35. They bring the liberated spaces of social media into a real, physical experience.

Their flagship Surrey festival, taking inspiration from both SXSW and Afropunk, features the best of South Asian music, art, fashion, and film. For more information, visit

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Arts and Entertainment

10 Amazing Christmas Gift Ideas For the Coming Holidays



The holidays will be here before you know it, which means that it’s time to start thinking about different presents to give. Although over 60% of people buy their gifts the week before Christmas, this is a recipe for anxiety-fueled window shopping trips, going over your budget, and general feelings of stress.

Instead of joining the crowds of anxious people, try to make your shopping list now and start chipping away at it.

Keep reading to learn about ten Christmas gift ideas that anyone will love.

1. A Multi-Tool

A multi-tool is one of many great Christmas gift ideas for fathers. Instead of needing to lug toolboxes and different pieces of equipment around, multi-tools let you carry one single tool.

2. A Fun Face Mask

As face masks are now a 2020 fashion norm (and not wearing one is a fashion faux pas), why not make them fun? Consider gifting someone a stylish, funny, or creative face mask to stay safe and look their best.

3. Stylish Wine Glasses

Drinking wine is fun, but funky wine glasses can make the experience more exciting. Gift a wine connoisseur some special glasses, and they may invite you to their next wine night.

4. A Projector

If you have a friend who’s a movie fanatic, a projector can be the perfect gift to take movie watching to the next level. Get ready for unforgettable movie nights, and don’t forget the popcorn!

5. Wireless Headphones

If someone you know uses corded headphones, it’s time to get with the times. Wireless headphones are all the rage and make listening to music more convenient than ever.

From Apple AirPods to similar products, there are many variations to choose from.

6. A Scratch-off Map

Do you have a friend or family member who is a world traveler? If so, they’ll love a scratch-off map. Scratching off different places reveals a unique color. The more you travel, the more colorful the world becomes!

7. Laptop Stickers

Boring laptops are so last year. Adding stickers can make using them more fun. Consider giving someone you care about a sticker set. Whether its Game of Thrones, Star Wars, or something else, choose a meaningful sticker set.

8. A Relevant Book

As the world becomes more turbulent and chaotic, it’s important to stay informed. There are many great books that can help you and the people you care about do so.

9. “Adopt” an Animal

From the Blue-Footed Booby to whale sharks, you can adopt many different animals. You’ll get a certificate, a stuffed animal, and the sense of satisfaction that comes with helping the planet.

10. A Party Game

If you have a friend who likes to party, consider giving them a party game. Games like “What Do You Meme” and “Cards Against Humanity” will let them throw the party of the year.

Show How Much You Care With These Christmas Gift Ideas

When the holidays roll around, it can be hard to know what to give the people closest to you. Yet by following this guide and gifting one of the ten Christmas gift ideas mentioned, you can be certain that the holidays will be as magical as possible.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out some of our other blog posts for more guides and tips!

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Arts and Entertainment

The Christmas Store At Potters Returns For The 2020 Holiday Season



Western Canada’s largest Christmas store is open once again, through to December 24

The holiday season may be different for many of us this year, but some fun traditions endure – including The Christmas Store at Potters in South Surrey. The largest store of its kind in Western Canada is here once again, offering the widest and most unique selection of festive gift and decorating ideas anywhere.


As in years past, the 28,000-square-foot Potters Nursery garden centre has been transformed into The Christmas Store at Potters. Open now through December 24, this is the only store in the region where you can find tens of thousands of holiday-related items.

The Potters buying team spends the entire year searching the world for the Christmas Store, which is why it offers a vast selection of merchandise you won’t find anywhere else in Canada – from ornaments, designer trees and collectibles, to stocking stuffers, food items and much more.

An annual holiday shopping tradition for many, The Christmas Store at Potters is guaranteed to put visitors into a holiday frame of mind. But this is about more than just shopping. Come and marvel at intricate displays, such as the Enchanted Fairy Garden that greets all who enter.

Venture into the 3,000-square-foot Dark Room, illuminated by more than 75 different Christmas-themed canvas paintings and more than 60 different Christmas-themed water lanterns. And check out the brand new Bee Tree (an upside-down tree featuring a giant honeycomb and bee-themed ornaments) and the returning Ice Cream Tree (a white tree with a three-foot scoop of “ice cream” at the top, complemented by ornaments in the shape of ice cream cones, donuts, cupcakes and more).

Also returning this year is WhoVille, an entire section devoted to Grinch-themed items, including teddy bears, ornaments, mugs and snow globes.

Check off your gift-giving list as you peruse Potters’ incredible inventory of toys, jigsaw puzzles, games, Coca-Cola collectibles (including ornaments and figures), Christmas stockings (more than 50 styles), and unique items for those hard-to-buy for adults.

For the foodies in your life (or for yourself!), the Gourmet Food area offers thousands of rare and special products, including hot chocolate from Montreal’s Gourmet Village (available in seven different colours and flavours); dessert toppings (including ice cream sauces in tasty flavours such as Banana Bread); locally-made jellies and syrups from Krause Berry Farms and The Preservatory; maple syrup and maple butter from Muskoka Lodge; and for the first time this year, Dr. Henry Whisky BBQ Sauce, created by local Chef Ann Kirsebom in honour of Dr. Bonnie Henry (100% of proceeds from every bottle will go to the BC COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund).

And rest assured…
Store management and staff have implemented safe shopping protocols, including reduced occupancy, temperature checks, hand-sanitizing stations placed throughout the store, widened and one-way aisles, check-out lanes with clearly marked distancing lines, and Plexiglas screens at every cashier desk. All visitors are requested to wear a mask and respect physical-distancing guidelines.

The Christmas Store at Potters is located at 19158 48th Ave. in Surrey.
Phone: 604.576.5011

Open daily through December 24
Sat – Tues: 9am – 6pm
Wed – Fri: 9am – 8pm

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Arts and Entertainment

Surrey Celebrates Multiculturalism With Virtual Surrey Fusion Festival And Cultural Video Series



Surrey, BC – In participation with Culture Days, this year’s Surrey Fusion Festival took place virtually followed by a month-long interactive cultural video series on social media. The livestream surpassed 60,000 views on Facebook and YouTube Live, and cultural video series collectively garnered over 45,000 views on Facebook and Instagram.

“This year’s Surrey Fusion Festival celebrations reminded us about the importance of community connection and coming together to celebrate our culturally diverse City,” said Mayor Doug McCallum. “We were able to bring our community together during this uncertain time by providing a virtual interactive, inclusive, and accessible platform to celebrate the food, music and culture of this great city of ours.”

Presented by Coast Capital Savings, the free family-friendly livestream featured cultural entertainment by 20 performers including BC World Music Collective, Buckman Coe, Mad Riddim, and Indigenous hoop dancer and influencer James Jones.

Additional highlights included musical entertainment, Surrey history, Indigenous education, kids craft making, cooking segments, and participation from the City of Surrey’s Museum, Heritage and Civic Theatres departments. The livestream also included personal photos and videos submitted by residents across Surrey and the Lower Mainland.

“This event could not be possible without the support of our long-time presenting sponsor of Surrey Fusion Festival, Coast Capital Savings,” said Councillor Laurie Guerra, Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Committee. “We are thankful for their continuous support and contributions over the years that make this wonderfully diverse event possible.”

Following the livestream, Surrey Fusion Festival continued the festivities through an online cultural video series featuring 30 educational videos posted on Surrey Fusion Festival’s social media accounts. The series featured a variety of cooking tutorials including how to make Ecuadorian ceviche, Nepalese momos, Indigenous bannock, Guatemalan horchata, as well as dance, arts and crafts tutorials such as how to Metis jig, tie an Indian sari, make Japanese origami and play the traditional Nigerian game Ayo. All videos posted from September 25 to October 25 are available online at

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada in addition to community sponsors. For more information including a full list of videos, visit

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