Developing a Christmas tradition requires three essentials—a vision to get started, the passion to keep it going year after and having the ingredients to keep the public coming back.
No time of year has as many traditions as the Christmas season.
Back in the 1930s and ’40s, my dad’s horse-drawn sleigh rides became a tradition for many Kelowna residents.
Then starting in 1962, our nursery created a tradition by staging their first Christmas open house, which carried on for more than three decades.
Way back in the 1920s there was a tradition of buying and forcing Chinese paper white Narcissus provided by a Chinese gentleman who imported them here from the Orient in time to peddle them from his cart up and down the streets of Kelowna.
Most of those older traditions are now just memories many of us cherish as today we enjoy new traditions that families can take part in.
Church organizations such as the Latter Day Saints in Glenmore and the Willow Park Church on Highway 33, each stage an elaborate Christmas display and invite the public to enjoy them.
Another Christmas event that has now become a tradition is the Arrival of Santa in his helicopter at Bylands Garden Centre in West Kelowna.
That will happen again this year at 11a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30. There will be entertainment featuring a chorus of Christmas carollers and guitar players as well as hot chocolate and hot dogs served with the proceeds going to local non-profits.
As well, non-perishable food items can be dropped off for donation to the Westside food bank.
Christmas trees have been a tradition for centuries and a tradition that has gained more and more in popularity is to go to the tree farm to choose a fresh cut tree.
The Okanagan is home to more and more of these farms, and I would be remiss in not mentioning Ted Corbett and his Woodhaven Farms located on 1705 Swainson Rd. in Rutland, where you can choose from at least six different varieties including Douglas fir, Nordman fir, Grand fir, Noble fir, Fraser fir and, my absolute favourite, the White fir.
Ted has been treating folk to a warm bonfire, a cup of steaming hot chocolate and personalized service picking out your tree to be cut wrapped and loaded for several years.
One of the things Ted will do for you at no extra charge is shake all the loose needles out of the tree before it gets wrapped.
He does this with a special machine that I have not seen anywhere else in the valley and it’s actually fun to watch it in operation.
For more information such as hours of operation go to his website Woodhaventreefarms.com or call 250-826-8733.