It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had a vlog, huh? While I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say this is some sort of Christmas special, I thought the festive season warranted a special episode discussing our holiday traditions. I never really paid much attention to these things until I became a parent myself. What do I want my daughter to remember best about her childhood as it pertains to this time of the year.


Bright Nights in Stanley Park

With the noted exception of when she was only a few months old, I think Addie has gone on Bright Nights Christmas Train every year since. It’s quite the spectacle, and it’s something we all look forward to seeing as December rolls around.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

Maybe it’s because Stanley Park was so important to me as a kid. I remember going to the old petting zoo to visit with the goats. I remember feeding the squirrels (in hindsight, that wasn’t a very good idea), visiting the monkey cages, and wandering down near the water park where I’d get French fries from the concession stand.

And for Bright Nights, we get to take in a wonderful light display in the plaza before hopping on the 15-or-so minute train ride. It’s always a good time.

Santa Photos at Metrotown

To be fair, we haven’t gone for Santa photos in a lot of different places. We’ve taken photos at Brentwood Town Centre and the now defunct Winter Wonderland festival. Both experiences felt a little lacking.

There are at least a couple of reasons why we’re willing to endure crazy lineups to get the pictures at Metropolis at Metrotown: it’s a gorgeous layout with the extra wide chair against the icy blue background; and they don’t try to sell you on expensive photo packages. Photos are by donation (recommended $3 minimum per picture) and you get a digital copy to use as you’d like.

As an aside, we did our photos last week — that’s Addie whispering her wishes to Santa above — and the lineup was practically nonexistent! Get there early and beat the crowd! Not like we did a couple years ago…


Put Up the Christmas Tree

I explain the story more in depth in the Christmas vlog episode from last year, but here’s the Cole’s Notes version. We didn’t really have a Christmas tree growing up, because we kept it at the family business. And when we got married and bought a home of our own, we didn’t get a tree either. And when Addie was still an infant, it didn’t feel all that necessary.

She’s older now, of course, and she loves having a Christmas tree as a holiday tradition… even if it’s a hand-me-down and it’s not exactly the biggest thing in the world. All it needs is a little love, right? She even helps to decorate it these days.


More Family Traditions for Christmas

If you’re looking for a little more inspiration for the kinds of holiday traditions you might introduce in your family, check out these suggestions from my fellow parenting bloggers.

Is there anything special that your family has to do every year around Christmastime? Do you bake cookies? Go sledding? Hang the stockings by the chimney with care? Watch Die Hard?