Featured image photo credit – Chris Ainsworth.
The West End’s charm is amplified around Christmas time when it comes alive with Christmas lights. Soriah Kanji, a community champion and top West End REALTOR®, loves this time of year and can think of no better way to share this feeling than to show you where to see the lights, and how to craft a magical display of your own. For this, we’ve also brought on the festive support of Santas Little Helpers Christmas Light Service, who, from their West End base on Robson Street, have been brightening up people’s homes and places of work for decades.
The West End’s best displays.
The Lumiere lights festival is one of the stand out events of the year, and West End residents are fortunate to have two installations that have been running through November to the end of January 2021. The two West End locations, in English Bay at 1800 Morton Avenue, and Jim Deva Plaza at 1200 Bute Street, feature astounding art installations and sculptures.
One of these is a return of a community favourite and representative of our large marine friends: Luna the whale. Named after an orphaned orca that roamed the waters of the Nootka Sound, Luna continues to bring cheer to residents and tourists in the West End, in a nod to the love given to her namesake by those who saw him off the coast of Vancouver Island. Luna is covered in more than 6,000 lights and will be brightening up the evenings through to the end of January 2021.
Walk the West End’s beautiful residential streets.
In the West End, it is not just professionals that are making the headlines and bringing much needed festive cheer to the end of a turbulent year. Walking the peaceful, tree-lined residential streets in the West End is magical enough during the day, but at this time of year it has taken on a new charm. One residence, in particular, has captured the attention of local Vancouverites and soon to be travellers. Head to the intersection of Nelson and Bute for a truly magical, and awe-inspiring display. We would include a photo, but is worth being surprised by this gem!
Ideas for your own home.
With snow everywhere and bright lights dotting every corner, Christmas in the West End, and Vancouver for that matter, is truly picture perfect. While businesses and buildings in the area have their professional setups to boast of, such as those provided by Santa’s Little Helpers on Robson Street, you can join in the fun by putting up lights at home. Here’s an insight into how to battle with the best in Christmas light displays, or bring your own personal touch both inside and outside of your home.
Use simply captivating string lights.
Christmas is the busiest and most wonderful time of the year, but it doesn’t need to be the most tiring, too. Opt for simple yet impactful string lights that you can hang around your home’s entrance. The setup will dramatically illuminate the décor surrounding your entryway easily – there’s no need for you to break the bank for a grand design. Think of it this way, the less time you spend on decorating your home, the more time you can spend celebrating the holiday with your family.
Deck the halls with Christmas greens.
Tip your hat to our beautiful environment by pairing lights with greenery – green is a popular Christmas colour, after all. You can put up wreaths on your front door and outline the entrance with garlands. Then, flanking each side of the door, place your most striking pots and plants to welcome your guests home. Lastly, you can finish the setup with decorative tin lanterns with LED candles to highlight the bursts of nature in your beautiful home.
Decorate with icicles a cool holiday look.
Icicle lights are classic and reliable. By simply adorning the edges of your roof with these bright strands of varying lengths, you can create the effect of tiny drops of light falling on your rooftop. Not only does this look magical, but it also works perfectly against the snow (if we happen to get a flurry in the West End this winter)! Make sure the lights go all around your home to achieve that white, winter wonderland feel.
Create your own lanterns for extra starry nights.
For something more homemade and cosy, you can create your lanterns like these DIY star lanterns. By putting wooden slats together and wrapping them in string lights, you can create a mini-galaxy of drawn-on stars right outside your home. The fun thing about star designs is that they’re universal. They can last all winter long, even well beyond Christmas, and with 2020 being a year of change, why can’t the ‘new normal’ be for Christmas lights to be a year-round thing?
Trim your outdoor Christmas tree.
If your front garden or entryway has evergreen trees, you can make it an outdoor Christmas tree for your neighbours to enjoy. String mini lights through the branches, including the interior ones, to make your tree light up from all over. You can also add sparkly ornaments to reflect the light. Or better yet, go all out and add other outdoor elements like Christmas messages, DIY Christmas light balls, and light up topiary animals. Try and create a colour scheme so that each component would look like its part of a set. It’s a Christmas diorama on your front lawn!
Enlist the help of professionals.
If you really want to go all out, it isn’t too late. Santa’s Little Helpers Christmas Lights Service are here to help. Simply send a picture of your home, or display area, with your location and details of the lights you have (or need) and they’ll get right back to you.
Santa’s Little Helpers have been installing Christmas lights in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley for decades, helping over 4,000 bring the magic of the season to their neighbourhoods and friends. “We can do simple and elegant, all the way to the most extravagant and awe-inspiring displays,” they say. To find out which you’d prefer, head to their website and get started today, there’s still plenty of time!
As always, Soriah Kanji is also on hand to help you discover the best of the West End community. As one of the top-selling Real Estate Agents and a lifelong Vancouverite, her heart belongs here. Soriah has helped so many people find and sell beautiful homes in the West End, reach out to her today to find out more.