Monday, 10 December 2012

A very Christmas-y kind of weekend

This weekend the Velo Family got right into the spirit. As you can imagine, with two young children, gearing up to Christmas can be an exercise in extreme patience for everyone. Every day, our six year old asks us how many more days until Christmas (15 if you're counting), and our four year old asks about three times a day when Santa will bring his presents. With kids this excited, it's near impossible to not start feeling pretty excited for Christmas day, but we helped it along with the start of some holiday activities all weekend long!

The busy Christmas Market
Friday evening we headed downtown to the Vancouver Christmas Market at the plaza at Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Since November 24th, the plaza has been set up as a Bavarian Village, filled with vendors selling all sorts of Christmas crafts, as well as lots and lots of food! The highlight for the kids was a French Canadian treat of maple syrup candy, just like I used to have when I was a kid living in Ottawa, ON. Coralie and I also had the pleasure of riding the Carousel, while Etienne watched, claiming it was too fast. With a winter chill in the air and a clear night, the market was a perfect way to start a busy weekend of Christmas fun!

Coralie and I and our trusty, colourful, steeds

Etienne watching as we round and round

A beautiful, dry morning, complete with snow-capped mountains
Saturday we woke up to a dry, sunny day. The kids had their last swimming lessons of the season at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, and with no chance of rain, we hopped on our bikes and rode along the seawall. It was a little chilly, but after a few minutes of pedalling, we were all warmed up and enjoying a quite ride along the water there and back. Once we go home, I got into full baking/crafting mode to prepare for the Christmas Crafting party we were hosting for the kids and some of their friends the next day. With the kids' help, the kitchen was warm and welcoming all day as we baked our Candy Cane Cupcakes, made warm apple cider, and baked some salt dough decorations for painting the next day! 

Our Christmas cupcake creation!

Before the chaos. No action shots of the kids;
as you can imagine, it didn't stay this neat for long
Sunday proved to be a busy, Christmas-y day indeed. We woke up, got dressed up, and headed to Trout Lake Community Centre for the Annual Breakfast with Santa. Not only did we get to enjoy a pancake breakfast, complete with whipped cream, while Santa came round to say hello, but the kids also got to take part in some crafts, face painting, and the most exciting, a bouncy castle! Needless to say, it took great effort to get the kids to leave all the fun and excitement. Then it was time to set up for our crafting party. With the table stretched out as far as it would go, I got all the stations ready for our friends. The party was a lot of fun for everyone involved, and the kids (11 of them aged 3-6) got to make some fun and glittery decorations to take home to their trees. I may be tracking glitter around my house for the next few weeks, but it was worth it to share in their energy and excitement for the holidays!

Coralie's crafts from the day
Much fun, and glitter, was had!
Now, Monday morning, I sit recovering with a warm cup of coffee, still reeling from everything we got up to, and looking forward to yet another busy week of parties, visiting, and trying to teach the kids the value of patience as we wait for the big day. While it will be tiring, it's definitely a nice way to spend a time of year where we get a bit homesick for our family and friends back East. Christmas and the whole holiday season is a time when we cherish the new friends we've made on the West Coast, who are like our extended family, and when my husband, our children and I create new traditions that keep us busy well into the New Year!


  1. Big thank you to the Velo family for visiting the Vancouver Christmas Market. Personally I'm counting down the days as well, and will be looking forward to Christmas this year. We're really glad that the Maple shack was able to bring back some memories from back out East. Wishing you and your wonderful children a Merry Christmas!

    1. You're welcome! We had fun and plan to go back before Christmas for sure!