Vancouver Christmas, pausing to be thankful

Sitting on a huge sectional, fire roaring, drinking wassail and watching “Home Alone” with Frank and the boys — there are few places I’d rather be Christmas Eve. Outside, Vancouver’s city lights are shimmering and there is one bright star — the Christmas star? — twinkling through the night. Yes, pretty idyllic.

We have been to Vancouver before and love the city. But to be honest, inside, in front of a fire, is the best place to be this particular week in December. The weather is rainy and bone-chilling cold.

The city is decked out for the holidays and the overall mood is cheery. Food is delicious and plentiful. Cocktails are flowing. The streets and malls are packed with young people bundled up in their Canada Goose jackets, carrying Louis Vuitton and Hermes shopping bags.

This is in stark contrast to the shivering homeless huddled in alleyways and along the sidewalks. Every time I walk into our building, I am reminded of “there but for the grace of God…” A warm fire, delicious food, good health and love of family — yes, idyllic. I am feeling truly blessed and very thankful this Christmas Eve.

December in Vancouver

Our airbnb hostess put up a Christmas tree for us!

Vancouver is a wonderful place to spend Christmas — decorations galore and the city is hopping. Our high rise airbnb was ideally located between historic Gastown and lively Chinatown, surrounded by a diverse assortment of fun little restaurants, bars and shops. It was also adjacent to the stadium, which drew hordes of avid hockey fans decked out in their favorite team gear. The neighborhood was bustling day and night despite the constant rain and cold. Vancouverites adapt. As did we. The weather may have prevented us from enjoying some of Vancouver’s natural wonders but the city provided plenty of holiday diversion and entertainment. It was fun just being together — walking the neighborhoods, eating, drinking, shopping, laughing and just hanging out.