Another huge Christmas tradition for me is the Christmas lights. Not just any lights. And not with just anyone.
We have amazing Christmas light displays here in Edmonton.
My Grampa used to take my Gramma to see them.
The electric company opens up one of our major parks for two months. There are amazing light displays there, put on by larger companies and all money in is donated to charity. There are moving squirrels in the trees, Santa's Workshop, and, naturally, a hockey scene. Beautiful poinsettas and there is a Peter Pan display. You can't tell in these photos, but they are HUGE!
The Wrap-O-Matic is one of my favorites. It actually shows toys being loaded in and going through and coming out the other side all wrapped. Most of them do move around like that, on timers of course. It is amazing!
We have this one specific place called "Candycane Lane", which is ten residential city blocks decorated specifically for our enjoyment. People drive those blocks, take sleigh rides, or walk. They push their children in strollers when there isn't much snow, or pull little sleds when there is. There are tour busses and yellow school busses from senior's homes and group homes. Some people sell hot chocolate on the corners. There are food bank boxes for donation and mailboxes to drop off your kid's Dear Santa letters. It is a wonderful way to spend an evening.
Lastly, there is a new sight to see. This guy started decorating his home a few years ago. He has displays in every window of his house, has lights everywhere, Santa comes and news crews come. It is AMAZING!
After my Grampa got sick, we started to take my Gramma out. We go over and pick her up and she is always so excited. She waits with her bags of food donations. She's like a little kid in a candy store. Or, I suppose, like a person who is getting up in age and knows to appreciate every. single. moment.
Sometimes we go for hot chocolate. One time we walked it, but her back really suffered that time. Another time, we stayed out extra long to drive around a really ritzy area and look inside all the houses with their lights on.
We both LOVED it and Leon drove along shaking his head while we exclaimed about this one or that! This apple didn't fall too far from the tree.
Last year, we picked Gramma up to go see the lights, but there was no Grampa at home to be worried about this time. Just an empty chair. It's coming up on one year since he passed away, and I'm hoping and praying that I don't get so caught up in excitement and the 'to-do' list of my vacation, that I forget.
And when we get back from our Cancun trip, my family will pick up my Gramma and off we will go again. To see the Christmas lights.
Let me tell you, that woman had better live forever, because when it comes this time of year, that is something I look forward to even more than a trip to 7-11.
Candy Cane Lane and Gramma.
Gramma and Candy Cane Lane.
They just go together.