Feeling a little bit Festive
Today is December 6th (though WordPress thinks I’m on UK time, and will say that this was posted on December 7th), and this December is already feeling longer than most. Usually at this time of year I’m packing my suitcase to head back to the UK for a two or three week vacation, which includes Christmas and New Year. This year is my first Christmas away from home, and I’m spending it at a cabin in Mount Baker with my brother and friends. We don’t head down until the 23rd, which means that my December in Vancouver is suddenly longer than two weeks. I haven’t been overly impressed with how Vancouver does Christmas for the last couple of years, so I’m hoping that this year is different.
First, we have a tree! We haven’t bothered getting a Christmas tree the last two Decembers because we’ve always been heading back to the UK before some people even get round to decorating. We just wait until we get home. Picking out the Christmas tree is always something that I do with my Dad, and always involves strict testing criteria of symmetry, bushiness and how-tall-can-we-go-without-Mum-minding-ness. Then the tree goes in the garage for a week so that the branches can drop before we start decorating. The decorations are a mix of old and souvenir baubles of all different colors and styles, with multi-colored lights and all kinds of tinsel. I know Mum would really love a tree with more of a classic theme (think wooden decorations), but Dad and I are in charge of the decorating, so that’s that. Saying that, I’m not there to supervise this year, so maybe Mum will win after all!
This year we were so excited at the chance to have our very own tree, then nervous at the thought of making it festive yet puppy friendly! After much thought (and searching on pinterest) we decided to go for a tree small enough to stand on our coffee table, out of puppy reach but still with a surface to put presents under. We booked a Zipcar and headed down to the closest tree lot with our Christmas sweaters on (Dave too!) to pick one out. It was a much quicker process than I’m used to, mainly due to the plummeting temperature and extreme windchill. The picking of the initial decorations was also limited to the slim pickings in the Christmas sale at The Bay. We haven’t fully decorated the tree yet (which is probably for the best because the branches definitely haven’t dropped), but James definitely belongs to the Mum school of thought so we’ll likely be sticking to a theme. One that involves no tinsel *sad face*. As it turns out, that’s the least of my worries after seeing the notice in the elevator about cut trees being banned from the building, a week after we brought ours upstairs. Oops.
Aside from the tree, there’s also been a healthy amount of Christmas sweater action in the Howells-Gross household. And not just with the humans. At first I thought dressing up Dave was something we’d do for a jokey picture, but he actually seems to love his little sweater. Which is good as he looks so cute in it! I also bought him a little santa hat that we only managed to get on him once while he was asleep, but I still consider it a victory. This week I was lucky enough to be given an early birthday present from a friend who just happens to be an amazing photographer and took some great winter shots of us and Dave, in his Christmas sweater, in Stanley Park. I can’t wait to see the finished images, watch this space!
My calendar is quickly filling with festive activities, and I’m excited to have more time to really make the most of Christmas in Canada. December will always remind me of home, and a big part of me is sad not to be there this year, but another part is looking forward to savouring the whole of the ‘holiday’ season. Totally Canadian, right?