I was in Vancouver last weekend and whether you are eight or 80 (moi), the city’s downtown Christmas lights are something special.
The St. Paul’s hospital display is spectacular but in Gastown the tree branches almost touch over the street and they are all lit up. It’s like driving through a tunnel of light.
I had the impression that every tree in the downtown area had lights. In some blocks there are forests of them, mostly blue. Entire blocks look like fairyland. I’m not really a fan of blue lights. They are so, well, blue. I’m sure I’ll get used to them. It looks like they are here to stay.
Downtown Vancouver in the morning is a different story.
On some streets the decor goes more to street beggars. I have a hard time believing they are all pretenders. Sitting for hours on cold cement on a cold morning can’t be a joyful occupation.
It’s obvious many people who live along the highway have the Christmas spirit. Some displays are especially “wow,” but they all brightened the trip home in the dark.
Some Cariboo towns were darkish, including Williams Lake. Coming into town I was surprised to see how few businesses looked Christmassy, from the outside in the dark, anyway.
I’ll admit to being a hypocrite on this issue. The Grinch in me wonders if Christmas lights are the best use of hydro power, because what’s happening with BC Hydro is getting (has gotten?) scary.
More about that in a future column.
For now, it is the season.
Maybe the lights don’t have to go up so early (the Grinch speaking again). Too much of anything can pall, but they are pretty. We need some pretty in our lives.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.