The Illuminators

If you read some of my posts before you know that Canadians don’t really care about fashion (check out: “High Fashion”) and Vancouver has been voted as one of the ‘most unfashionable cities in the world’.

Canadians wear what they want as long as it is ‘comfy’and protects against the weather. But let me tell you this, as unfashionable as they are in the clothes department, Canadians know how to dress up their houses during the Christmas season!

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If you are North American and you are reading this, please excuse my ignorance.Of course you are used to twinkle lights on every house, bush, tree or ornaments attached to your property. I, on the other hand, am a money conscious, energy conserving, disciplined German housewife! The only extra-vaganza my parents indulged in was the lit up pine tree in front of our house. In Germany, electricity is expensive! We turn off the water while we brush our teeth. By November we bought a whole seasons’ supply of candles from IKEA. My mom said she wanted to create a wonderful, cosy atmosphere.-but I figured they wanted to save energy!

Let’s go back to fashion in Canada: Nobody gives it a second thought if you wear your pyjama bottoms to the shops, nobody cares if you wear shorts in the middle of winter (aka, now) or if you prefer flip-flops over winter boots. Everythings goes and I am loving it!   I noticed a certain change of consciousness when the season changed from autum to nearly winter:  At the end of November an invisible switch switches on in the brain of most Canadian house owners!

Even if the average house owner is not interested in the latest fashion, they sure know how to decorated their houses for the season! I believe there is a secret competition going on around here who can outshine the neighbours with the brightest, most colourful and fancy arrangements. All I can say is this: What Canadians saved over the previous 11months in fashin goods, they will spend on their electricity bill at the end of the year.

Normal and unassuming during day light, houses transform into a festival of extra-ordinary illuminations as soon as it gets dark!

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It is a feast for the senses! All this was prepared by caring husbands who gave up their free Saturday: Every single light bulb was single handidly polished before the string was artfully stapled around every window frame and along the gutters,

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I personally prefer ‘simple’over éxcessive’.2012-12-03 11.06.45

I keep our light decoration inside the house and wouldn’t want to force my light spectacle on innocent by-passers. But this is me- and this is what life is all about: We are all different- We all like different things! And this is how it should be! This is what makes us all so extra-ordinary!

Whay do you think of this one?

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I nearly crashed into the nearest lamp post when I saw this house. All I could think of is this:

“Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”.


Today was our first TRICK or TREAT PARTY ever!

During the last 12 years in The Netherlands we had to improvise to keep this scary, sweet tradition alive-in the name of my American husband of course!

The Dutch know what Halloween is, but nobody really cares about it!  As soon as our children were old enough to appreciate the sweeter things in life we were off:  Our cars were filled to the rim with dressed up children and we drove around the neighbourhood to our pre-arranged addresses!

Not today! Let me take you on a tour around the neighbourhood and show you what our boys had to deal with: 

This one is quite harmess!

 Fall decoration in front of our house:

This is some harmless fall decoration in front of our house

Let the fun begin:

Further along the road:You will find lots of skeletons on our Ridge:

If that isn’t enough, dead people are hanging everywhere!

Actually not, this is just the spiderweb!Around the corner:

Are they real or not?