(You have to sing this one like the "five golden rings" in the 12 Days of Christmas song)
On the fifth day of Christmas Pandora gave to me... the tree of lights... Santa's stocking charm... a pair of silver bells... a polar bear charm... and a clear cz pavé lights charm.
I love Christmas lights! As a child my parents would drive us to see the most "lit up" houses in the city. And ever since I've lived in Canada's capital city I've enjoyed going for that same kind of drive, because there are lots of places "lit up" - on the government's hydro bill. In fact there are over 300,000 Christmas lights throughout the city! There's Parliament Hill of course but there are also lights in many of the parks and roadways maintained by the National Capital Commission. The program has now expanded to all the provincial capitals and called "Christmas Lights Across Canada."
One year we braved the cold and went to Parliament Hill on the evening when the lights get switched on. It was a disaster! It was chock-a-block full of people and when they switched the lights on we couldn't even see them! The kids were miserable, we were all freezing, and we swore we'd never do it again!
But last year we discovered "Alight at Night" at Upper Canada Village. The village is a historical site and living history museum, depicting life in a community in the 1860's. This time of year they have almost a million Christmas tree lights on buildings, trees and structures. You can take a stroll through the village as well as take a sleigh ride. This year we were surprised to see a Ferris wheel! And it was pretty nippy at the top on an evening when the temperature was at -18 C (around zero for those readers in the US). Next year we will have to go for a train ride.
The tree of lights charm helps me beat the winter blues by reminding me of this magical place and what is now a family tradition. As you can see from my photos, I clearly have a preference for Christ Church lit up at night.