Winter magic.

Parliament Hill Christmas

There is something special about seeing Christmas lights shining in the snow.

As it’s still a bit quiet in this neck of the woods, Peter and I took the opportunity to take a few days off and make a quick trip to Ottawa, Canada to visit family and friends.While we absolutely love living in the quiet of Warren, we were delighted to once again experience the excitement of Christmas-time in the city. Stores full of shoppers, Christmas music playing everywhere, and house all around the area decorated with Christmas lights.

For us though, one of the favorite annual displays of lights is on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Not only are the trees and bushes surrounding this majestic site covered with coloured lights, the building itself is beautifully lit with coloured floodlights and each evening  from early December through early January there is a light show. It is fascinating to watch the colours change and  see enormous snowflakes slowly drifting down the side of this historic building. Residents and visitors alike gather on the snow covered lawns in front of the Parliament buildings to marvel at the spectacular show. In fact, provincial capitals across the country are brought together by the annual celebration of Christmas Lights Across Canada as winter landscapes are brightened by over 300,000 multi-coloured lights. The photo here is from  one of the National Capital Commission websites.

If you visit Ottawa before Jan 7, 2011 this light show is a must see. By the way, we stayed at Les Suites Hotel, an easy walk from Parliament Hill. Oh, don’t forget to bring your ice skates so you can take advantage of skating on the Rideau Canal and stopping at one of the small kiosks on the Canal to enjoy a warm and delicious Beaver Tail pastry!