Christmas ’06 in Whistler

Christmas was amazing this year up in Whistler. We were very kindly invited up to Shelley and Sean’s for Christmas, I went up after work on Friday with Pam and Wayne, who had been shopping in the city. Mark had to work on Saturday and Sunday, then drove up to join us for the Christmas Eve party.

Whistler has had the most snow in many years, and each day it kept on snowing over Christmas. Saturday was spent skiing with Pam, Cassidy and JJ. The girls took me through some new tree runs, the snow was soft as the groomed runs accumulated fresh snow. Sunday was a great ski day with Shelley and Louise on Blackcomb, there were hardly any people as I think they were busy in the christmas rush. Sunday night we had an amazing party where all our friends came. Mark unfortunately had a bit of a mission to drive up through the mountains, as the police had a roadblock just outside of Squamish, and were not letting people through unless they had chains or were in 4WD vehicles. So Mark had to turn around, and couldn’t find any chains in Squamish, so had to go back down to Vancouver and buy some, then somehow still made the party, just a little late.

Christmas morning was just so special with Jade being so excited to see all her presents from Santa, it was really cute (Click here and scroll down to see the video). Then we opened some presents with the Deane’s, the girls somehow got a new karaoke machine from Santa! By about midday we were up on Whistler skiing the fresh snow, as yet again another 20cm of snow fell on the mountain. For Christmas dinner we went with Sean and Shelley to their friend’s Amy and Lisa, they had made the most divine turkey dinner, and our Seppelt Shiraz and Wild Horse Canyon wines went down a treat. Luckily the highway had been cleared and we took it slow driving back to Vancouver.

Christmas is slightly different in Canada, for one thing everyone has a stocking that is ‘stuffed’ with little presents from Santa, including an orange in the toe. The main meal is the Christmas dinner at night time, and egg nog is huge, everyone drinks it. One of the main differences is that Canadians being so polite try to have the most politically correct christmas in the world. So everything is ‘Happy Holidays’, ‘Holiday Shopping’, ‘Seasons Greetings’ or ‘Festive Season’ when really you are wishing people a merry christmas. Starbuck’s is now a daily visit, I really can not drink Tim Horton’s coffee, and Starbuck’s is all decorated with a separate menu and everything for the ‘Holiday Season’ with Egg Nog or Gingerbread Latte’s.

We did attend both our work Christmas parties, Best Buy had theirs at Kelsey’s (similar to Sizzler), and our marketing team had their dinner at Quattro’s. Both parties invited partners, which was really nice. Our dinner was superb, and of course I was the wine waiter for the night, deciding which wines to take, and the order to have them. We introduced a wine options game, and true to form, someone that knew not a lot about wine won (blind tasting competition).

Work has been very busy for Mark, the store has had an amazing amount of people in for their Boxing Day sales, they did in excess of $1.7m in sales just on Boxing Day, and it’s been steady all week. Hopefully soon we will get some time to buy ourselves a TV. Although, you can watch this season’s episodes of Lost, Greys Anatomy and Desperate Housewives by clicking on ABC.com.

Although we were invited up to Whistler for New Year’s Eve, Mark has to work until 9pm, so we will probably lay low for the night. I don’t think it’s a big deal like it is in Sydney, Vancouver has their fireworks nights in August, mid-summer.

Last week’s question: The Canadian Pacific Railway was begun as an inducement to persuade one province to enter Confederation. Which province was this?

A) Ontario
B) British Columbia
C) Newfoundland
D) Quebec

This week’s question: How many Canadian’s hit the shops on Boxing Day?

A) 6 million
B) 10 million
C) 2 million
D) 1 million

Hint: estimated retail sales for Boxing Day nationally was $2 billion.

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