Greater Victoria, my new home-city, goes all out during the Christmas season. The Legislature Buildings, Government House, Empress Hotel, Butchart Gardens, as well as numerous local establishments light up. Carolers wander the downtown streets and musicians perform in various plazas. One evening a huge fleet of transport trucks lights up and roars through the city in an amazing show; another sees a flotilla of brightly lit boats in a sail past.
Indoors, venues feature elegant garlands, wreaths, trees, and offer craft fairs, delectable food and entertainment. It’s a city of constant concerts and theatrical shows which are conveniently listed in glossy holiday guides.
I always decorate early (First Advent) and take down late (Epiphany). My tree is up, and the crèche displayed on the sill of a leaded glass window that very conveniently has a rosette over the manger.
In addition to my own vast collection of Christmas carols, offerings from the CBC’s classical Christmas stream play constantly.
As the days get gloomier, it’s gratifying to defy the night with light and song. (The northern ancients knew what they were about when they created Yule, the Saturnalia and other similar festivals. Thank heaven the church had the sense to steal from them when they saw austerity and penance weren’t working!)
This year I’ve added a 90-minute horse-drawn carriage ride beside the sea, through Beacon Hill Park and into downtown to my personal celebrations. If I bring the bubbly Victoria Carriage Tours supplies the ice-bucket, the glasses and warm blankets.
Since no one was interested in joining me, I will go solo. More bubbly for me! I reject the notion that Christmas is for children or not worth celebrating if you live alone. No matter what time of year, I’ve never let that stop me from creating beauty, comfort and joy. Bring on the Ho! Ho! Ho! And even the Happy Humbug!
Disclosure: Part of this content previously appeared in a comments thread.