Contributed by Canuck Place – Miss604 is a proud sponsor the Lighting of the House at Canuck Place this season.
At Canuck Place, we believe that every light brings joy, no matter how long it shines. This holiday season, we shine a light on the journey for Canuck Place children like baby Rosalind, and the joy she brought her family with the precious time they had together.
Roz’s Story – Light a Life with Canuck Place
Baby Rosalind, or Roz as the Doyles affectionately call her, was born with Trisomy 18, a genetic condition also called Edwards Syndrome. Trisomy 18 affects each person differently, and for Roz, the most serious issues were in her brain and heart.
Roz lived 29 days. She spent almost her entire life at Canuck Place. It will forever be a special home for the Doyles because for them, it’s Roz’s house. The hospice brought light to their darkest days, where they made happy memories despite the circumstances.
“This is the place you don’t want to be because it means something tragic is happening, yet at the same time, it’s the best place to be because they care so much.”
The family’s first visit to Canuck Place was impactful. Baby Roz, Audrey, Mike and his two boys Seth (10) and Chase (7) were made to feel right at home. “It never felt like the nurses were there because they had a job to do,” says Audrey. “They were always encouraging us to get some rest, so they could hold Roz all night long.”
This wasn’t the Doyle’s first interaction with Canuck Place. At 20 weeks, after a routine ultrasound showed irregularities, Audrey was referred to Women’s Hospital where the Trisomy 18 diagnosis was confirmed. It was at this point, that Audrey and Mike were referred to Canuck Place Nurse Practitioner, Camara Van Breemen. Camara met the family at the hospital, and helped them create a care plan that focused on quality of life for the entire family. Camara and Canuck Place gave them hope.
As part of the evolving care plan that Canuck Place supported, it was important to the Doyle’s that Roz get to experience some of their holiday traditions. With the uncertainty of how long she would live, Canuck Place nurse Talia Showers, worked with the recreational therapy and kitchen teams to ensure that Christmas came early that year. In mid-November, the hospice was festively decorated, a volunteer dressed up as Santa, incredibly thoughtful gifts were handed out, and the boys were so excited to experience it all with their little sister.
“The holidays are about spending time with your family,” says Audrey. “Canuck Place gave us the gift of quality time together, and the peace of mind in knowing that help was only a few steps away at all times.”
Roz passed away the evening of November 25th. “Talia was our nurse that day. She coached us through what it would be like when Roz passed. Nothing can really prepare you, but just knowing what to expect helped us through those moments,” says Audrey.
This Christmas will mark just over a year since Roz passed. Canuck Place continues to care for the Doyle family with bereavement counselling and family support groups. “Canuck Place support and care gave us the ability to enjoy every moment we had with Roz,” says Audrey. “They gave Roz the opportunity to experience so much more than we could have done on our own. No matter how much or how little time you have with someone, it means everything.”
You can light a life this holiday season, for Canuck Place children like baby Roz. Donate before December 31st and your gift will be matched by John & Claire Nicola and Friends.
There’s a lot to do on land this holiday season but if you’re looking for something with a new perspective, check out these carol ship cruises and lighted boats in Vancouver. See the city from the sea at Christmastime and enjoy holiday dinners, carols, and more:
Vancouver Christmas Carol Cruises
Christmas Carol Cruises When: Saturdays November 30, December 7, 14, 21, 2019 Where: Granville Island (1698 Duranleau St, Vancouver) Details: Yoho Cruises will be serving up a traditional Christmas buffet dinner with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. Mike Sheeshka will be your musical host for the evening, performing his soft rock faves along with holiday Christmas classics. Join in the Carol sing-along or just sit back, relax and enjoy the Christmas Spirit. Tickets: Available for booking online now for $89.95 plus fees/taxes. Tickets include a glass of mulled wine. Groups of 10 receive 10% off. 20% off for seniors and kids.
Christmas Carol Boat Cruise When: Saturday, December 7, 2019 Where: Vancouver Cruises, Plaza of Nations Details: Join a Christmas Carol Cruise aboard the luxurious Abitibi. Your ticket includes a traditional Christmas buffet, dessert buffet, music by DJ Rob Steel for dancing and more fun. Tickets: Available for booking online now for $99 plus fees.
Carol Ship Dinner Cruise When: December 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 & 23, 2019 Where: Coal Harbour (501 Denman St, Vancouver) Details: A 2.5 hour cruise with traditional dual-entree holiday menu, featuring slow-roasted turkey and honey glazed ham, onboard carol singers, and more. Tickets: Available for booking online now, $76.95 for adults plus fees/taxes
Burrard Yacht Club Festival of Lights When: Saturday, November 30, 2019 sail past starting 6:00pm Where: The Shipyards (125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver) Details: A flotilla of brightly lit and decorated boats from the Burrard Yacht Club will sail past the Shipyards at the Lonsdale Quay to celebrate the start of the holiday season on the North Shore. Ship Captains look forward to this event and go all out to decorate their boats and spread good cheer and carols with families, friends, neighbours and visitors along the water front. Come down to the Shipyards on the evening of November 30th and watch the Festival of Lights. Tickets: Free to watch from the Shipyards
The Fraser Valley’s biggest and brightest holiday experience kicks off on November 16th at the annual Highstreet Tree Lighting and Holiday Show. Highlights include the lighting of a 65-foot Christmas tree, the arrival of Santa Clause, Rudolf, Frosty, and ‘Spandy Andy’ the dancing elf, a 40-piece marching band, festive dancers, live music, and a magical snowfall.
Annual Tree Lighting and Holiday Show at Highstreet
When:Tree Lighting on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 5:00pm Holiday Shows every Saturday until December 14th at 5:00pm Where: Highstreet Shopping Centre, 3122 Mount Lehman Rd, Abbotsford
Holiday shows run every Saturday, from 5:00pm to 5:30pm with pre-show festivities starting at 4:30 pm, until December 14th. The show includes a multi-media light display, utilizing 6,000 tri-colour LED bulbs set to holiday musical favourites.
Activities this Season
Photos with Santa November 21 – December 24, 2019 Visit Highstreet’s oversized Holiday Gift Box, home to Santa and his beloved elves. The private experience allows families to have a perfect photo moment. Photos are by appointment only.
Santa’s Mailbox November 21 – December 10, 2019 Wish lists to Santa can be dropped at Highstreet’s oversized mailbox, located inside the post office at London Drugs, Highstreet. Santa’s helpers are ready to collect the letters and ensure a personalized note will be mailed back to everyone. For every letter collected, Highstreet will also donate a can of food to the Abbotsford Food Bank. Letters must be received by December 10th.
Gift Wrapping and Personal Shopping November 21 – December 24 Complimentary gift wrap is offered with donations to the Abbotsford Food Bank. Shoppers are encouraged to drop by the Holiday Gift Wrap Station at Guest Services. For those that are too busy to find time or need help choosing the perfect gift, Highstreet provides personal shopping services.
Over the last ten years, it’s become tradition for John and I to have a date night at the Vancouver Christmas Market. He meets me after work and we immediately get some gluhwine to warm our hands while we shop for ornaments and gifts. Then have a schnitzel dinner under the lights while listening to a live band, it’s a pretty magical time to be in the city.
Vancouver Christmas Market
Dates: November 20 to December 23, 2019: 11:30am to 9:30pm December 24: Closed at 6:00pm
Tickets: Online Admissions: Adult $12.99, Seniors $10.99, Youth $6.99 (Includes free 2019 Season Pass. Upgrade to Fast Pass for $3.99) Gate Admissions: Adult $15, Seniors $13, Youth $9 (Children under 6 are Free) Upgrade to Fast Pass on site for $5.
Location: Jack Poole Plaza – Home of the Olympic Cauldron (Vancouver Convention Centre West) 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
For its 10th anniversary this year, the city’s authentic German market amplifies its festive offerings with more than 80 huts stuffed with sweets, treats, and treasures. Share food and drink in the cozy Alpine Lounge, indulge in winter cocktails and holiday-inspired bites in the WunderBAR’s winter oasis, and venture down Lovers’ Lane — an Instagram-worthy, newly extended 40-foot long tunnel adorned with 20,000 twinkling lights and mistletoe. Don’t miss everyone’s favourite glittering carousel, and a multitude of festive family activities, including daily seasonal entertainment performed on the Christmas Pyramid’s Flying Stage.
New Events and Highlights
$10 Tuesdays November 26, December 3, December 10 & December 17 New for our 10th anniversary season! Every Tuesday between November 26 through December 17, all day long, save on entry fees with the $10 Tuesday discount. All visitors who attend the market before 2pm on any weekday will receive our Early Bird Rate, offering adults, seniors, and youth $8 entry to the market.
Deluxe Date Nights November 27, December 4 & December 11 | From 5:00pm Share magical evenings with your friend or loved one at our Deluxe Date Nights! Guests are invited to enjoy 2-for-1 admission on the evenings of November 27, December 4, and December 11, starting at 5pm. This deal can be purchased at the gate and also includes 2-for-1 non-alcoholic hot drinks and carousel rides.
Kids Day December 1, 2019 Join Holly & Jolly for a day of family fun! Youth (12 and under) can enjoy admission and carousel rides by donation to Children’s Wish Foundation all day long. All ages are encouraged to support Children’s Wish by making a donation to take a photo with Gingerbread Mascots Holly & Jolly, everyone’s favourite princesses from Enchanted Events Vancouver, and Santa Claus himself!
Win a Date Night package
This year I’m giving away a Vancouver Christmas Market Date Night Package, valued at over $600! It includes a Mistletoe Combo (2 admissions, 2 Fast Passes & Season Passes, 2 Traditional Beverages, 2 10th Anniversary Collectors Mugs, 2 Unlimited Carousel Passes, 2 Love Lock), a VIP WunderBAR experience, as well as some gift certificates to Das Gulasch Haus and Two Sweet Guys. There is also a giant prize package of lovely merchant gifts including:
You know in the movie Elf when everyone comes into the toy department after Buddy has been up all night decorating and they’re just totally blown away? That’s what it’s like stepping into The Christmas Store at Potters in Surrey, the 28,000 square foot greenhouse which has become the largest Christmas store in Western Canada.
The Christmas Store at Potters
Where: 19158 48 Ave, Surrey When: Open daily through December 24, 2019. Mon – Wed: 9:00am to 6:00pm; Thu – Fri: 9:00am to 7:00pm; Sat: 9:00am to 6:00pm; Sun: 9:00am to 5:30pm
Shop décor that’s tasteful yet unusual, along with decorations you simply won’t find elsewhere. They have more than 50,000 ornaments that make for great personalized gifts and come in a wide variety of themes, including pets, travel, food, “Baby’s First Christmas,” and much more.
Visit the 3,000-square-foot “Dark Room,” illuminated by an incredible array of themed tree-light sets, including favourites like The Grinch, Star Wars, Peanuts, Christmas Vacation, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and even retro Bubble Lights. New for 2019 is WhoVille, with a wide variety of Grinch-themed items including teddy bears, ornaments, mugs and snow globes.
For the foodies, the Gourmet Food area offers thousands of products you won’t easily find elsewhere, including multiple flavours of popcorn, hot chocolate, jams and sauces (including irresistible ice cream sauces like Butter Tart Caramel). New specialty product lines include Cranberries Naturally from Fort Langley, farm-direct BC honey, and classic mince tarts from Scotland. Saturdays and Sundays also include food demos and live music.
There’s also Petland, an area entirely devoted to spoiling your best friend with pet-themed stockings, cushions and tree ornaments; the Nutcracker Room, with nutcrackers in short, medium and tall designs, and in every price range; ladies’ fashions; and trendy gifts for men.
Win a Gift Card
I have a $50 gift card to give away to one lucky holiday shopper. Here’s how you can enter to win: