On Boxing day we once again hit the road (which unfortunately included a ferry ride) to head to the Island where Tim’s family is. We made a quick stop at their home in Nanaimo before heading out with everybody toward Mackenzie Beach Resort in Tofino. Tim’s parents booked the same cabin we rented a couple years ago in the fall, so it was kind of nice to have a familiar place to spend Christmas. If it isn’t at home, it may as well be somewhere you’ve been before! I was the first outsider to join their Christmases two years ago, and this year Amy joined us on the 27th when we all exchanged our gifts.
We spent three days there, and most of it was spent lounging around, playing games or going for walks on the beach.
There was a beautiful sunset the evening we arrived.
Take it all in, Calvin. Take it aaaall in.
It was PJs.
One of the afternoons we went for a good walk on the Wild Pacific Trail. I’ll be honest and say the two hour trek really did me in, but it was beautiful. Michelle borrowed an Ergo from a friend in Victoria and we all took turns carrying Calvin. Now I really want one!
There were so many pretty views along the way.
And that was our week with Tim’s family.
We left Edmonton in the evening of December 19th and arrived in Langley just in time for dinner the next day. The first six days of our Christmas vacation officially began!
We were able to attend my niece’s Christmas pageant at her preschool. She had the part of Mary and said her one line very well. It was such a cute little production, and everything a Christmas event at a preschool should be.
The next thing on the agenda was the Janzen extended gathering at our family cabin at Hatzic Lake. The cabin recently underwent some renovations to open the living space up, but we still seem to be bursting at the seams! It is always fun to catch up with my cousins and see how their own little guys are growing up so fast.
Cousin Julene tells a story to the youngest generation as they wait for their supper to be plated.
Uncle Abe (or Opa to the little ones) didn’t mind lending a hand to hold a great grandchild.
We had a fun round of a White Elephant gift exchange, involving some pretty ridiculous items. I liked what I ended up with though, a set of navy curtains that makes Calvin’s room look more like it belongs to a boy than a gender neutral baby.
At one point Tim had this lovely banana suit, but it was snatched out his hands quite quickly. What a sad day.
Since Darren brought Chelsea to our family Christmas for the first time I dunno, 9 or 10 years ago, we have switched up the days we celebrate together as a family. Every other year we do Christmas day, switched with Christmas Eve the other years. This year we had Christmas Day. Most of the family was there in the morning for a yummy breakfast (even Rosie’s new fiance and his son!) and then everybody else joined in the afternoon for a little while all together before Mark and Isaac were due at his parents’ place. Fun times were had and good food was enjoyed by all.
Isaac had to remove his Batman mask because it was scaring Calvin, but I think he will get over it and they will be great friends.
Showing off his present from my friend Carleigh.
Exhausted with Grandpa at the end of the evening.
And that was our week with my family.
There is always a lot going on in December to celebrate Christmas. This year I tried pretty hard to get out and participate in a few events. I already told you about the Christmas Tree Lighting downtown, but since then, there have been a couple other things we have done.
My friend, Andrea, invited us to a fun, new event her church put on this year. It was called Imagining Christmas and was in a building at Fort Edmonton. There was music, food, crafts and a photo booth. There were also a TON of people, so we didn’t stay too long, but it was fun! Here is our family photo from the booth:
We are wearing our “It’s cold!” faces.
Last weekend, our friends Dee and Matt invited us to their church where they had a Bethlehem Walk. Tim had been to one on the Island before, but this was the first one I had been too (and Calvin too, of course). I forgot my camera, but Tim used his phone to get some not-so-great shots. Here we are at the top of the village:
And of course we can’t forget Christmas in our own home! We won’t be here for Christmas, and I really don’t have that many decorations, so I didn’t go all out. But I did put some lights around the window and set up my little 3′ apartment sized tree. Up until last night, Calvin hasn’t really noticed it. But I have it up on a box, so hopefully he can’t get into too much trouble.
We plan on leaving on Wednesday after Tim gets off work. We will drive the flat stretch that evening then tackle the snowy mountain drive in the daylight on Thursday. We are very much looking forward to spending some time with family and letting everybody get some Calvin snuggles in.
I am used to the downtown life of Victoria when it comes to special events and fun activities, so when I heard that Edmonton’s Christmas Tree Light Up was happening this weekend, I was excited to go! When we got there, there weren’t too many people, but by the end of the night, it was shoulder to shoulder in the square.
Amy was singing lovely Christmas carols with her choir as part of the entertainment.
Right in front of city hall, they flooded the square so it made an ice rink. We stood Calvin on the ice, and right away he got his excited, jumpy legs on. You could say he took to it like a hockey player to the rink. Don’t look too closely at the ice…it’s pretty gross looking.
After the tree was lit up, there were fireworks and Calvin loved to watch them. I was quite impressed with them! Every Canada Day in Victoria, people are disappointed with the display, but these, for the humble little Christmas Tree lighting day, were quite comparable Let’s see what they pull out of their hat for other holidays!
It was a fun evening, but cold. I have never seen so many children in show suits all in one place! And it did a good job of getting me in the Christmas spirit, although that isn’t hard to do.
Are you looking forward to any specific Christmas events in your town?