Saturday, December 16, 2023

Christmas Amaryllis: Remembering the Past

I bought an amaryllis from Costco the other day. I remember my mother, brothers and sister talk about amaryllises at Christmas. I knew they bloomed at Christmas but that's all I remember. Mine came in a three pack for 30 bucks and the bulbs are waxed. It's hard for me to understand how these can bloom without roots or water but we'll try it out. Mine won't bloom in time for Christmas but should be ready for the New Year. Rona had a single amaryllis in a pot with a pine cone in full bloom for 15 bucks. Very nice. Evidently, if you carefully remove the wax after it has bloomed, they will bloom again each summer. That's a nice Christmas tradition.
We went to the Vancouver Christmas Market again today and saw the Soar with Satan film at the Fly over Canada theater in Canada Place. I really like that. The bench of seats moves forward over the screen so you get a front row seat and you do feel like you're flying through air. Lots of great food at the Christmas market. It got pretty busy as it got closer to dinner time but the advantage of having season's passes is that you don't have to wait in line.

I was going to try a few other places this year but we ran out of money. Everyone at work is talking about Lac Lafarge in Coquitlam because that's free. I guess we'll do that next weekend. They have a free shuttle bus from Canada Place to the lights at Capilano Suspension bridge. I guess that's for the tourists because parking at Capilano is free but parking at Canada Place isn't.

Grouse mountain has lots of stuff going on at Christmas. They used to have live reindeer there and sleigh rides but the annual pass for the gondola is a bit pricey. The annual pass at the Sea to Sky gondola is half price but it's a further drive. Silverstar in Vernon has nicer sleigh rides with horses not a snow plow. You can also rent snow mobiles there. Big White in Kelowna has a lot going on. You can go on a dog sled there and they have a really cool ice climbing tower.

Cypress has the Lights to the Lodge of course. I forgot that they have some of the old Woodwards Christmas window displays at Canada Place on the way to the Fly Over Canada theatre. Last time we walked right past them without realizing what they were. That's somewhat historic. They're very old. Christ Church in Vancouver has the old Woodwards nativity scene.

We remember the Woodwards squat. Well when I was very young there was a large Woodwards department store on East Hastings. Every year they had Christmas window displays people would come to look at. When Woodwards shut down, the City saved some of the displays and showcase them at Canada Place each Christmas. I vaguely remember Woodwards on East Hastings but I do remmeber the Woodwards food floor at Guildford mall.

What I do remember about the Woodwards food floor in Guildford is that you'd get a plastic number to pick up your groceries. You'd then go get your car and drive up to a drive through where they would load your groceries into your car for you. That was retro.


  1. The Christmas windows at Woodwards on Hastings St. made my year when I was a kid. They were gorgeous. It was magic. You could pick up your groceries in the several stories high parcade across the street, at the back or have them delivered on Saturday if you shopped Friday evening. In the center of the grocery floor was a place you could get ice cream cones. Then Oakridge was built. You would pick up your groceries once you got your car out of the parking lot, drive to the piick up building and groceries were placed in the trunk of your car. Oh, they also had a place for ice cream cones on the food floor and an area where kids could sit and read comics
    I do miss Woodwards. Teachers used to have a joke about when you signed your contract with a school board they also gave you a woodwards credit card application. Back in those days grocery stores and liquor stores did not take credit cards, so Woodwards was important to teachers who did not receive a pay cheque in the summer. Woodwards at Oakridge, on the second floor also had what was almost a bank. You could cash your pay cheque, pay all your bills, then get your cash and off you went. Back in those days not everyone had a bank account and if you did, banks were not open Friday nights or weekends.
    Thanks for reminding me of the Woodwards Christmas windows, I can still see them in my mind.

    1. Remember that Hastings st Woodwards Christmas display vividly. It was a rite of passage commencing the season.
      Oh how much simpler and meaningful the world was then.
      Look at the mess progress and modernization has brought us.
      Change is inevitable in nature over time, change overnight for greed and power is shameful yet we celebrate it in today's culture.

    2. Great story. I too remember…. Our age is showing!
      Such a far cry from today’s “humanity”


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