A Good Home, Bowmanville, Christmas, Christmas Decorations, Christmas in Canada, Christmas Villages

Welcome to Bennyville, the Christmas Village

Happy Thanksgiving to my American family and friends! Here in Canada, we’re roughly halfway between our Thanksgiving (early October) and Christmas.

~~

Christmas is still more than 4 weeks away, but don’t tell that to my friends at BOAA.

Blog Photo - BOAA bldg side shot

Christmas decorations are already on display in this grand building in Bowmanville’s heritage district, east of Toronto.

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village red house and track

Blog Photo - BOAA Chrsitmas village and bus on road through village

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas Village City Hall lit up

You can’t help smiling when you enter this educational and recreational centre.

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas Tree

People are friendly. BOAA also holds many fun events and a surprising number of them involve costumes and decorations!

Blog Photo - BOAA Halloween 2-shot

How many associations can say their executive director (the wonderful, witty Angie Darlison, right) was a taco one year and a chicken the next? Not too many, I’d bet. Angie ensures that a sense of humour is alive and well at BOAA.

BOAA is big on celebrating the seasons and occasions, and its volunteers are some of the best decorators of all.

In November, the Christmas trees go up. 

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas Hallway

BOAA stands for the Bowmanville Older Adult Association. It’s run by professional staff and avid member-volunteers.  Its members are very active people 55 years and older. They’re usually on their way to or from classes and activities held at the centre.

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village gazebo

But when the Christmas village is set out on huge tables in the building’s original front hall, many linger for a while, smiling.

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village admirer

It’s been at least 8 years since “Bennyville” became a BOAA tradition. 

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village church

“Benny Young is a member of the BOAA and the entire village is his,” says Angie. 

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village and road

“When Benny moved to Bowmanville from Nova Scotia he offered to set it up each year at the BOAA for our members and guests to enjoy. He works days and days setting up the village.” 

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village buildings and people

Angie says some members bring their family and friends to see it. 

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village santa on roof

“It’s amazing to be in the office, listening to the folks enjoying the village. They look for the bank, the lawyer, the town hall … and of course the older adult centre.   

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village train and water tank

“The addition of the train a few years ago took some getting used to but we’ve grown to love its sound now too.”

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village carriage and horse

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village buildings and truck

Blog Photo - BOAA Christmas village at one end

As for me, I am one of those lingering as long as possible. I feel like a small child every time I stop to look. I always think they fit perfectly with the grand old family mansion that became the home of BOAA.Blog Photo - BOAA Historical Bldg

Blog Photo - BOAA Chrsitmas tree 2

~~

p.s. BOAA is holding a book-signing next Tuesday for Myrtle the Purple Turtle and me. I’m very much looking forward to it! 

Advertisements
A Good Home, An Honest House, Angels, Christmas Decorations, Christmas in Canada, Christmas Traditions, Christmas Tree Trimming, Family, Family Moments, Homes

Decorating With Memories

We prepare our hearts and homes for Christmas. My prayers are more reflective now, my gratitude expands. It’s the season of Advent, the weeks before Christmas.

blog-photo-christmas-ornaments-baby-angels

Photo by Hamlin Grange

Photo by Hamlin Grange

We also decorate our home with memories of those we love. Each activity, each object reminds us.

Like the year I proudly set the table — and my husband decided it was blah. Out came red and green candles and Christmas glasses instead. Now it’s tradition.

blog-photo-christmas-table

By early December each year, the memories start nudging: it’s time to decorate. 

blog-photo-christmas-2016-african-dolls

Older daughter and son-in-law couldn’t make it from the US, but memories of the whole family together always return on the day we decorate the tree.

blog-photo-christmas-ornaments-heart

Husband, younger daughter and son-in-law haul in the fresh Fraser fir, haul out the boxes of decorations, string up the lights and we all sip hot cider. The family room’s a happy mess.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-lighting-the-tree1

We laughingly remember previous Christmas trees: too small, too thin, or lopsided. But this year, we got it right.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-hands-and-lights

The ornaments also bring back memories.

My mother’s gratitude and wishes for the following year are written on a scroll in this cylinder. How we all miss her!

blog-photo-christmas-ornaments-keepsake-cylinder

My times working in S. Africa, where these Ndebele dolls were made.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-ndebele-dolls

Some ornaments are just for fun. Like “the disco ball”, that always makes us grin, with memories of the disco days.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-ornaments

Memories upon memories.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-hands-and-ornaments

blog-photo-christmas-ornaments-golden-dove

blog-photo-christmas-2016-single-ornament-2

Tiny Mr. J.C. finally gets tired of all the activity and lies down to sleep, paws up. *Can you see him on the sofa below?* It’s our first Christmas without his best friend Dawson, who would have been asleep at this point too. 

blog-photo-christmas-2016-jc-asleep

Blog Photo - Julius and Dawson Sleeping

Do dogs miss their companions? We do. 

blog-photo-christmas-ornament-sleepy-angel

All is calm now. Extra-special thanks are given.

And, as the fire glows in the hearth…

blog-photo-christmas-2016-fireplace2
Santa and the angels look on approvingly, I think. They, too, have kept us company through many a Christmas.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-santa-cu

Blog Photo - Christmas ornaments Peace Angel

From our home to yours, wishing you peace this Advent, good memories, and joyful times at Christmas.

blog-photo-christmas-2016-family-room

A Family Christmas, A Good Home, Christmas, Christmas in Canada

A PERFECTLY IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS

Tiny Perfect Christmas Tree

The tree’s too small and tends to fall

The angel’s tattered most of all

The lights don’t work, the garlands drop

But in this home it’s Christmas.

 **

Photo by H. Grange

The Christmas gifts aren’t quite wrapped yet

The puppy peed, the floor got wet

(That smell we sniffed was a sure bet)

But in this home, it’s Christmas.

 **

Blog Photo - Winter Garden

The snow outside is fluffy and bright

The turkey’s cooked and it’s done right

The baked ham glistens in candlelight

And in this home, it’s Christmas.

 **

Blog Photo - Christmas Table

This house has seen a hundred years

Of laughter, hopes and even tears

Of festive times and warmth and grace

And joy and peace at Christmas.

 **

We wish you warmth, we wish you love

Peace landing gently as a dove

We wish you rest, we wish you joy

In your good home, this Christmas.

Selfie Ornament
Ornament Selfie

Poem Written by Cynthia Reyes, December 2013.

All photos by Hamlin Grange.