How They Twinkled

 Some enthusiasts (we’re being polite) keep the sparkly lights going all year, but the holidays are the time when we should release our inner twinkle without fear of mockery. And if a tree with all the trimmings is your idea of a good time (don’t be a Grinch), there are plenty of options for revelling in that tradition at its most glorious.

Head to VanDusen Botanical Garden for the annual Festival of Lights (Dec. 10 to Jan. 4., with musical fountains, hot apple cider, and Santa on hand to warm up the spirits of all the little ones. Or take a walk through the trees at the Capilano Suspension Bridge (to Jan. 3., all bedecked for the brave souls prepared to cross the canyon by fairy lights.

For sheer prettiness, the Carol Ships tradition can’t be beat. Now in its 52nd year, the event (Dec. 6 to 23. sees sailings and shoreside parties from False Creek to North Vancouver, all decorated with lights.

And finally, for an education on how far it’s possible to go in decorating your own abode, take a walk along East Vancouver’s Trinity Street, as the residents of the 2400 to 2900 blocks compete in a charity light-off to display the most festively dressed house. (Voting costs a toonie.)