SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS: A Cariboo Christmas

Santa arrives downtown during the Winter Lights Festival. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Santa arrives downtown during the Winter Lights Festival. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Chevii Boxeur, Willow Haveman, Cassidy Porter and Jordan Boxeaur take in the Winter Lights Festival Parade. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Chevii Boxeur, Willow Haveman, Cassidy Porter and Jordan Boxeaur take in the Winter Lights Festival Parade. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cassidy Porter

Spirit of Christmas

There’s something magical in the air, the cool, crisp, clean, Christmassy Cariboo air. The streets begin to fill with anticipation as families and friends line the sidewalks in front of colourful, light filled store-fronts, dawning marvellous Christmas displays. Reindeer on rooftops prance as proudly as a Prince looking over his Kingdom. Children, wide-eyed and rosy cheeked, throw the odd snowball to pass the time, poking their necks out to peer down the street every second or two creating a tidal wave of Christmas scarves, rippling beautifully down Oliver Street. Butterflies dance like sugarplum fairies in their hot chocolate filled tummies, aching with the undying hope to catch a mere glimpse of the bearded man himself, at the annual Williams Lake Winter Lights Festival and Parade.

The sirens are heard and the children’s glee is palpable, they know the parade is nearing!

It’s finally happening!

Police officers and Firefighters with tinsel in tow, hockey players and cyclists with bikes made for snow! The town crier announces that Christmas is here, and a reminder of Stampede 2023 makes us cheer!

The Cariboo’s very own Cat in the Hat, can be overheard making the children laugh!

With her knee-slapping story of layering leggings to stay warm, she’s won over our hearts, every stripe we adore!

Children wave from their cars, made fancy with lights, we all wave back, what a special delight!

Candy canes are handed to wool mittened hands, there may even be some for the moms and the dads!

And then the moment comes, that’s we’ve all been waiting for…

Could it be? Is it him?

Did I hear “Ho, ho, ho!”?!

A fire truck comes near, the most beautiful I’ve seen!

As red as Santa’s suit, as shiny as Rudolph’s glee!

We look up, we look up, and up a bit higher!

Oh my! There he is! By that ladder used for fires!

Perched right on top, what a wondrous sight! It’s him, it’s Saint Nick! I can’t believe I saw him tonight!

The parade draws to an end, but there’s still more to come. We meet at Spirit Square, for some more Christmas fun! The big tree is lit, and carols are sung, a night never to forget, a night just begun!

Our family merrily waltz’s back to the car, the Christmas Spirit thoroughly ignited now. We pass the old Shoppers and marvel how big and empty it looks, imagining it could be the most splendid place for Santa to set up his workshop, elves constructing Christmas morning delights, the perfect place to set up a barre along the back wall for dancers to practice their rendition of The Nutcracker Ballet.

We order a “Crazy Canuck” from RTP to warm our bellies when we get home. Laughing aloud about how it must be a Cariboo thing to pour syrup on your pizza and watch a winter parade in a sweater in -20 weather.

“I think I’ll wear my Christmas jammies tonight!” the girls say with dreamer eyes, as they use the back of their icy cold wrists to wipe the remnants of the hot chocolate’s whipped cream off their noses…”I just KNOW this is going to be the BEST Christmas ever!”

A Cariboo Christmas.

ChristmasWilliams Lake

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