There are so many special things that signal the Christmas season for me. Things that I am trying to make a part of traditions with my own family, some that were passed down from when I was growing up. When a number of the other Vancouver Mom Top 30 bloggers class of 2012 and I decided to do a 12 days of Christmas traditions this year, I had to think about what I wanted mine to be. Would it be Christmas stories? TV shows that we watch every year? Food we eat or make? As I was mulling these things over, one thing came to me.
Christmas lights have to be one of my favourite parts of the holidays. I love how beautiful and cheerful things look all lit up, even on the darkest and dreariest of West Coast winter nights. We almost never get snow in December here, so the lights are the one thing that really mean Christmas is here for me. Every year, I eagerly wait for places to start putting their lights up and turning them on. Each night, I drive past houses and notice which ones are on, and who hasn’t turned theirs on yet. The neighbourhood that I live in is a fantastic place to see lights. Almost everyone here does a beautiful display, and as you drive down the road, there are coloured lights everywhere you look. To me, it’s magical.
Seeing the lights is something that I can remember doing with my family for as long as I can, well, remember. Every year, at least once or twice in December, we would bundle into the car and go for a drive in search of lights. There have always been a few houses in town that do spectacular light displays, and we would drive all over town looking for them. When I say spectacular, I mean it. People would pull their cars over to the side of the road so that they could get a better look at the lights, and delight in their magic for a few more minutes. Some places would have music, and a couple of farms used to have drive-through displays, with a nativity scene projected in shadows onto the barn.
Even as I got older, we would still go and look at the lights. When I was around 19, I remember taking my Great-Grama out in the Suzuki Sidekick that I owned at that time. She was quite old then, and I had a little step-stool so she could get into my truck. I picked her up at her home, and we drove out to the big displays, and looked at them together. That was so special to me.
I remember going to the drive-through light displays at a local nursery each year with my Grama as an adult. We would drive the car through the nursery, with the radio turned to the appropriate station so we could hear the accompanying music with each new show of lights, each one more spectacular and beautiful than the one before it. After that, we would park the car and go inside to buy tickets for the little train. It didn’t matter how cold it was, we would all ride the train through the light display and ooh and ahhh at the lights. Then we would go for a hot chocolate at the little cafe. I miss that. I also think that I will take Q there this year, if it’s running, and share those memories with him.
Even since I have been married, we have gone out every year, usually with my husband driving so that I can look at the lights. There is something about them, that can make even a bad day better. In my eyes, they are magic, and I hope to share that with Q as he grows up. For we could all use a little more magic in our lives, even if only for a few weeks a year.
If you haven’t already, come and check out the rest of the traditions, which will finish tomorrow with Little Miss Mama and her stained glass cookies. Here is the rest of the list for you to check out too!
Day 1 – Julie Nowell on traditions in a new home
Day 2 – Jen from Mamma.Papa.Bubba on homemade ornaments and crafts
Day 3 – Lori at The Write Mama on her Christmas village
Day 4 – Amy at The Connection We Share on her very cool Experiential Advent Calender
Day 5 – Erin at Erin at Large on The Giving Part of Christmas
Day 6 – Jessica at North Shore Mama on a few of her favourite Christmas things
Day 7 – Suzanne at Enchanted Chameleon on a Gluten-free Christmas
Day 8 – Hillary at Double the L Please on her Christmas Eve BBQ
Day 9 – Lisa at The Sprog on their blended Christmas traditions
Day 10 – Eschelle at Mumfection on the German Pickle
Day 11 – Me (see above) 😉
Day 12 – December 7th – Tairalyn at Little Miss Mama on stained glass cookies
What are your favourite Christmas traditions? Anything new that you’ve incorporated as an adult or since you had a family?