This weekend is one of the rare ones that I’ll be spending in Vancouver this winter. I typically hop a bus up to Whistler every Friday, returning Sunday night to jump straight into my bathtub to soak my aching body–snow sports are not for the faint of heart.
Instead of gondolas and après-ski (and my Friday’s Five, which is on hiatus this week), the next few days will be filled with my attempts to have as festive a weekend as possible, without the requisite snow from my childhood (thanks, ocean climate). The reason for the big push for holiday spirit is that my boyfriend, who is Australian, will be in the city and he just doesn’t understand the whole “holly jolly Christmas” thing. Something about December being summertime… mate?
Because I’m so eager to share, and because I refuse to believe that anybody can resist me when I use brute force, I’m going to try to adapt some of my favourite holiday traditions to my life in Vancouver. This way, I can begin my real holiday celebrations (you know, beyond the baking and eating) a week early. Oh, right, this wasn’t about me. I mean this way dearest Luke can get a real Canadian Christmas!
So here are some of my favourite traditions. Some are older than others, but all are enjoyed by my family and friends just the same. I’m not quite sure how to adapt some of them (or if I will at all), but nonetheless, here they be!
1- Yeah, I like Bing Crosby. Is that weird? Blame it on my dad. Every year on Christmas Eve, my parents, sister, and I sit at home, make a snack-y kind of dinner (because the real dinners will come in the days following), and watch White Christmas. It’s such an obvious classic, and a tradition that my dad started with his family when he was young. I love that!
2- Ever since I can remember, my mum would buy my sister and I brand new pyjamas to wear on Christmas Eve so that we’d wake up Christmas morning looking as nice as possible (and I’ll take all the help I can get, thankyouverymuch). It started with onesies covered in sleighs and reindeer, evolved into festive flannel disney princess patterns, and now mum’s go-to is Victoria’s Secret. You know, the family-friendly version.
3- I, unlike 99% of people, actually really love doing my holiday shopping in the days right before Christmas. I love the rush and bustle of the shopping malls, and the sparkly decorations everywhere. Oh, and don’t forget the last minute sales, because those also rock. But really, what other time of the year can you go shopping endlessly without any guilt? It’s not frivolous spending if I’m giving it away…
4- After weeks and weeks of taunting each other with useless hints, my sister and I are usually dying to see what we got each other. If I wear it on the ski hill, I’ll die and If I put it on my head I might get hit by a car? What is that… wait, a backpack? My sister gives crummy hints–this I also remember from years past. But we always open each others’ gifts first, every year.
5- My grandma’s famous butterscotch squares. Growing up, I believed that they actually only sold the ingredients for these yummies in December, which explained why that’s the only time of year we’d see them. It wasn’t until I was moving to Vancouver, and Grandma made me a batch to take on the road in August, that I realized I was wrong. To me, these are the epitome of Christmas. Obviously, because they’re food.
So that’s it! I’ve got no idea how I’m actually going to use these to make my poor, unsuspecting boyfriend realize that Christmas is awesome, but they’re fun either way. If you’ve got better ideas for something that can be done with just the two of us, I’d love to hear it. And finally, I want to share a memory from a Christmas past with you, because it just wouldn’t be December 25th without jolly old Saint Nick.
Yea, that’s right. I smile good. This photo belongs in a ridiculous childhood montage or something…