Wednesday, December 5, 2012


back yard December 2010 005

It is a beautiful day today and as I puttered in my garden several things occurred to me. The first being, “Oh my gosh it’s December”, a fact that never escaped me when I lived in North Vancouver. The temperature in my little back yard hovers around 23 or 24 degrees centigrade (75-78 F) and although we've not had any rain in quite a while, Todd has worked his magic and the lawn is still lush and green.

As I weeded the pots and plucked dead flower blooms my mind wandered back to December in North Vancouver when I was a child. Long before global warming had raised it’s ugly head, our home on the side of Grouse Mountain was usually snowed in by this time of year. There was a huge tree in the basement, drying out, and each morning I would ask if we could put the tree up today. I’m sure this amused (or irritated) my parents as I knew they never put the tree up before Christmas Eve.

One wall of the living room was picture windows which looked out over Princess Park and the one directly across was brick. The brick wall held a huge corner fireplace and a wood box large enough to play in when it wasn't full. I used to like to sit on the flagstone hearth in front of the roaring fire and look out at the winter wonderland that was my playground at that time of year. The nearest neighbour was a good walk away and the little road in front of the house was not well traveled so the silence of the landscape under a deep blanket of snow was profound.

It is likely that I had been playing in the snow so the hearth was a wonderful spot to sit and drink hot chocolate while warming up with my Irish setter Roxy, who would come in with large snowballs hanging from the feathers on her tail and belly.

Fast forward…..A lazy December afternoon in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. There are cats sunning themselves on the lawn or chasing butterflies among the flower pots on the wall. The bougainvillea seem to be at their peak and the geraniums, calla and cana lilies are striving to compete.

back yard December 2010 003

Christmas huh?

Yesterday we went to see the latest James Bond movie which, by the way, I thought was great. The best one made in years, but I digress. The shopping mall was elaborately decorated for the season and Christmas music rang out cheerfully from all the stores.

back yard December 2010 011


The nights are getting cold now, here in San Miguel, although not so much as last year. Yet. The winter blankets have found their way out of closets and hang, freshly washed, on the line. In the evenings we are snuggling under an electric throw blanket while we watch TV. Still the Christmas spirit is eluding me this year.

Last year 4 friends from Patzcuaro ( and a son from San Francisco ) joined us for our first Christmas dinner here in San Miguel. In Patzcuaro we usually had a full house at Christmas. There were quite a few single people who, for whatever reason, had not gone north for Christmas that joined us at our house.

I imagine that this year will be a little quieter and perhaps that is why I had actually forgotten that Christmas is almost upon us. However, today Todd brought home a big box of Walker’s shortbread from Costco and some door hooks to hang wreaths, so I think it is time to drag out the decorations and put up the tree. That should jump-start my Christmas spirit!

back yard December 2010 019

Merry Christmas!


  1. Hi, I have the same problem as you do. The weather really influences my thought processes about holidays.
    If it wouldn't have been for people emailing me about Thanksgiving this year I would have completely forgotten about it.
    I don't think I have ever put up any decorations here for Christmas. This year I almost bought a small set of lights for the stair railing; but didn't in the end.
    Still seems strange to look out and see the flowers blooming, etc. in December and just doesn't feel like Christmas; regardless of the stores, etc..
    Merry Christmas to you both and also to Larry lol.

  2. It's kind of odd, you'd think it wouldn't affect you after several years of warm Christmases, but I guess it still does. I actually did forget Thanksgiving. There aren't that many Canadians around to remind me. We went out for the American Thanksgiving though. It was a very nice turkey dinner that I didn't have to cook.
    Actually Larry passed on a couple of months ago, but Merry Christmas to you both as well!

  3. I was just saying to Doug that it feels more like late September here in Patzcuaro with some trees changing from green to yellow, leaves falling to the ground, and a fall-like coolness in the evenings. Yeah, hard to believe it's December already! We signed up to receive your blog by email, so hopefully we won't miss them now.

  4. The trees don't even change colour here so it could be any time of year, it's still so warm during the days. Looking forward to seeing you next week!

  5. So far nothing but rain in the GVRD. Wish we were where you are.

  6. Yes Peter, Christmas in post-global warming Vancouver is a little different than it used to be. Actually the weather is incredibly beautiful here right now. Couldn't be much more perfect.

    I put up the Christmas tree last night, and now, with a backdrop of bright sunshine it's great!