During one of my days off work, I visited the Vancouver Christmas Market. Heard lots about it and it seemed like a nice festive event to attend. The Christmas Market is suppose to be a German styled Christmas Market that would include stands selling Christmas trinkets and food. Sadly it was quite disappointing. I originally purchased an online coupon for a discounted entry to the market but we took our time during dinner at Prestons (which was also disappointing, I will save that for another post) and missed the entry times for the online coupon. So we paid another $5 per person to enter the Christmas market. What a rip off that was.
The market was very small and probably took about half an hour to browse through all the stands. I purchased a cup of mulled wine to see what the hype was about, also because it is drank excessively by characters in the Game of Thrones book. Mulled wine is what I believe to be wine that has been boiled with different spices like cinnamon and cloves. It was very potent, I didn't enjoy the taste at all. The entire marketplace had this wonderful scent of cinnamon wafting through it, leaving me wanting a taste of it. I imagined it was from cinnamon buns or something that was sweet. I never found the source of the delicious scent, but I did settle for a waffle. Which would probably be the highlight of the marketplace.
It was made on the spot and fluffly and delicious. Although a bit expensive, like everything else in the marketplace the prices were quite high. I originally had intended on purchasing a new Christmas ornament for my tree but had decided otherwise after seeing the price tags. We spent about an hour or so at the market, probably shorter if we did not line up to look at hand made ornaments. There was also a carasaol and a stage with people singing different Christmas carols. It was a nicely decorated marketplace but I was hoping for more Christmas trees and festive things. I don't think I will be returning again next year.
To celebrate Christmas, my girlfriends and I get together every year to exchange presents and have dinner. Winnie is a wonderful host and has been letting us have this get together at her house every year. She is also an amazing cook and whips up a feast for us. We help out but she does do most of the cooking herself.
Speaking of traditions, another tradition we have is to go to Starbucks on Christmas day. Now this goes back to the days when many of us used to work at Starbucks. Some of the most memorable shifts we had were when we all worked together on the Christmas shift. It was fun because we would all be scheduled to work together (who else would want to work Xmas day?) and the remainder of the friends would come visit. So even after we all quit we still return on the day to the same store. This year was no different.
I spent Christmas morning with my friends at Starbucks. We all talked over our coffees and enjoyed each others company. Even Jon came all the way from Calgary to join us on our Christmas tradition and reminiscence of all the times we had bussed that very lobby.
Later in the evening I got to enjoy a turkey dinner that my mom whipped up. It was a smaller gathering this year then we usually had, just some family and a couple of friends but I still had a great time. The food was amazing, the wine was flowing and the company was good. After dinner and before dessert we played an intense game of taboo and exchanged presents.
All my presents were very thoughtful. I received an e-reader since I do enjoy reading. I've always said I prefer the feel of a book but I must admit a kobo really is more convenient and much lighter than the books. Its much easier to carry around than my usual books. I also received a piano this year, quite the gift. During the summer I dabbled into trying to learn piano but fell off from it pretty quickly, I guess this is motivation to take it up again. I also received a new bracelet, its a bit sparse right now but I can't wait to start adding more charms and beads onto it.
At the end of my Christmas evening I found myself swaddled in blankets on the couch feeling so very content. It wasn't a super extravagant Christmas that I had but it was perfect. I had a belly full of food and I got to spend Christmas with my friends and family. I could not have asked for more.