Bah humbug or bring it on? Christmas is certainly and unavoidably coming, as indicated by these events

·3 min read
If you thought the 2015 Lumiere Festival whale was big, wait 'til you see the 2021 beaver.  (West End BIA - image credit)
If you thought the 2015 Lumiere Festival whale was big, wait 'til you see the 2021 beaver. (West End BIA - image credit)

The appearance of eggnog and gingerbread novelty coffees can mean only one thing: Christmas must be just around the corner, assuming your definition of "around the corner" means "six weeks away."

Harbingers of the Christmas and Christmas-adjacent season are popping up all over in the form of festive events, many returning to pre-pandemic form and welcoming people back after shutting down or moving online for a couple of years.

And while return-to-normal Christmas activities can be thrilling for those who keep Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You in Spotify rotation year 'round, it can also be anxiety-triggering for legions of others who liked pandemic isolation just fine, thank you.

If you fall into the latter camp, take a deep breath: this too shall pass.

If you are in the Mariah camp, read on for a list of some of Vancouver's seasonal favourites that are already underway, or soon to be.

And if attending, remember to pay attention to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Circle Craft Christmas Market

Location: Vancouver Convention Centre West.

Dates: Nov. 10 - 14.

According to its website, the Circle Craft Christmas Market has been around since 1972, which would make this year the 50th anniversary of the Vancouver holiday tradition. Touted as Western Canada's largest craft market, it features hundreds of craftspeople and artisans from all corners of the country.

Vancouver Christmas Market

Dates: Nov. 13 - Dec. 24.

Location: Jack Poole Plaza.

The German-themed market offers "festive Old World traditions" in the form of food, Glühwein mulled wine, handcrafted gifts to buy, "twinkling pathways of a European-inspired Christmas village" and festive cheer.

Did we mention Glühwein?

Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press
Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press

Lumiere Festival

Four locations: English Bay, Downtown/Bentall Centre, Davie Village, Granville Island.

Dates: Nov. 12 - 30.

Lumiere falls into the Christmas-adjacent category with its series of pop up and electrified art installations.

"The point of Lumiere is to bring light to the darkness. Every single piece is incredibly uplifting in that way," said Lumiere director Charlotte Taylor.

Many of the pieces are interactive, including Twin Harmonic Amplified Neuro-Knowledge Stimulator or THANKS, designed to amplify feelings of gratitude.

There's also a "dazzling" 3.7-metre-tall beaver at English Bay. Enough said.

Bright Nights Christmas Train

Location: Stanley Park.

Dates: Nov. 26 - Jan. 2.

It's back! After going off the rails, so to speak, for two years, the family favourite Christmas train returns for in-person rides through the magical and sparkling Stanley Park forest.

As the major fundraiser for the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund, firefighters will have their "kid-favourite" vintage fire truck on site and will be accepting donations.

Unfortunately, on-site Santa remains a casualty of the pandemic and won't be making an appearance this year.

Tina Lovgreen/CBC
Tina Lovgreen/CBC

Eastside Culture Crawl

Locations: Various.

Dates: Nov. 12 - 14 and Nov. 18 - 21.

Also in the Christmas-adjacent category, the 25th edition of "The Crawl" runs on consecutive weekends with hundreds of artists opening their studios for in-person or online viewing — or a combination of both.

The first weekend is by appointment only with online sign up.

The second weekend or "festival weekend" people will be welcomed on a first-come, first-serve basis with proof of vaccination and ID.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting