I Love Christmas in the City

By Lisa Lunney

One of my favorite childhood memories is Christmastime. Even as an adult the city of Edmonton still holds a magnetic draw for me during the festive season. In the month of December, Edmonton transforms into an enchanted Winter Wonderland. It truly is a beautiful city. A city of bright lights all around, sets a magical feel. It is almost as if anything, even the most unbelievable Christmas miracle, can occur.

There are so many different events to choose to partake in. In some cities, Christmas has become commercial and has washed away feelings of nostalgia. Edmontonians can rest assure this will not happen to their city.

In Edmonton the spirit of Christmas is alive and spreading. There are so many different events to choose from. Downtown is beautiful; Churchill Square is lit up with dozens of elaborate light displays. Edmonton incorporates worthy causes into all the Christmas festivities. At every single holiday-themed destination in the city you will find donation boxes for the food bank, or proceeds from the event go directly to a worthy cause. That is the spirit of Christmas: giving. Unlike other cities, Edmonton has not forgotten this.

The perfect start to the holiday season is the Festival of Trees. It gives you the chance to experience Christmas like never before! Every year there are extravagantly decorated trees, wreaths, and a delightful gingerbread village. The trees are all created by original designers through donations from all across Canada. They are displayed for the duration of the festival and then are auctioned off. It is a family friendly event. Children can shop, create splendid works of art, and even visit Santa Claus. Being in this environment you can’t help but feel a rush of holiday spirit. Any scrooge would truly be put in their place at this festival. The festival is operated entirely through volunteers. It is a pleasure to volunteer every year. The festival aims to please, and give everyone some holiday cheer. This cheer extends to patients in the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Funds raised from the Festival of Trees go towards updating hospital equipment.

On Christmas Eve there is no place I would rather be than Edmonton. Edmonton was home to Canada’s largest drive-through Christmas light show. Hawrelak Park was transformed into a magical Christmas exhibition. The light displays were larger than life, some over 40 feet tall! It was perfect to gather with friends or family and cruise through the beautiful lights with a cup of apple cider or hot cocoa. This event encouraged all patrons to bring donations to Edmonton’s food bank to ensure someone else’s Christmas day is a little bit brighter.

After the drive through Hawrelak Park, the best way to end your Christmas Eve is with a visit to the infamous Candy Cane Lane. Every year a local neighborhood elaborately decorates their houses and it has developed into quite an attraction. The streets are lined with everything from a Disney Christmas, to original Frosty designs. Walking through you feel all the emotions that are associated with Christmas: love, faith, and peace for all mankind.

So here’s to Edmonton! I thank you for making Christmas so memorable to me.

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