An Insider’s Guide to the Perfect Christmas Day…

This guest post is brought to you by Tourism Vancouver’s own Kathy Nicolay. Coordinator of the Be A Host program, Kathy works with local “hosts” to assist in bringing their national or international conferences to Vancouver.

Christmas in Vancouver is truly a magical time of the year. Natives of Vancouver know that the chance of being treated to a white Christmas (except on the ski hills!) is rare but numerous festive activities are guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit. Putting aside a night to view the Christmas lights of Vancouver has been an annual pilgrimage since I was a little girl. The days of the magical Woodward’s windows and Santa’s Toyland at Eaton’s may be gone but I highly recommend taking a trip to the city to see the splendor of the glitter, fun, and magic of Christmas in Vancouver.

Traditionally Christmas is a time when many charities make the most of their fundraising campaigns. By making a donation at any of these holiday events, you have the opportunity to give back at this special time of the year. Here are just a few of my favourite ways to spread the holiday cheer:

Bright Nights in Stanely Park: November 27-January 2

More than a million sparkling lights transform the forest into a magical and illuminated Winter Wonderland guaranteed to bring back childhood memories. To make this 12 year tradition even more special, all donations collected at Bright Nights go to the BC Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund.

Christmas at Canada Place: December 4-30

After Bright Nights, continue the lights tour to Christmas at Canada Place where you will find the five white sails transformed into a spectacular array of light & animation during their nightly light show. Donations can be made to benefit the Strathcona Community Centre’s crucial Food Security for Children program as well as other local charities.

Four Season’s Festival of Trees: mid November – early January

Vancouver’s hotels do not spare in making their properties fabulous at Christmas. One of my favourites is to take in the Festival of Trees at the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. There is no admission cost but the hotel suggests a minimum $2 donation if you would like to vote for your favourite tree. All proceeds go to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.

My friends and I usually end our Christmas light excursion by enjoying a festive hot toddy at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Sitting listening to the tinkling of piano amidst the fabulously decorated lounge is a perfect way to end the night.

Happy Holidays everyone and enjoy the magic of a Vancouver Christmas!

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