The first weekend in December is one of my favourites in Hamilton. The lighting of the Christmas Tree of Hope and Victorian Night in the Village have both become one of my holiday traditions. This year, I added Lights of Locke Street to the mix.
Christmas Tree Lighting at City Hall
My first stop of the weekend was City Hall for the lighting of the 40th annual Christmas Tree of Hope. New this year is a temporary synthetic ice rink that is FREE to the public between Saturday, December 3 and Friday, December 9 (noon-7:00 p.m.). Skates are available to rent free of charge. The lighting also featured music by the Coverboards and hot chocolate or cider. As always, CHML broadcast live for their annual 12 Hours of Christmas.
Victorian Night in the Village
The 6th annual Victorian Night in the Village featured free horse and carriage rides, apple cider in Ferguson Station, and Christmas carolers. Most importantly, it's a chance for shoppers to pick up local gifts from the International Village's many shops, which stay open late for the festivities. (I snagged up a few things from the Gifted and J.H. Gordon books).
Display at The Thrifty Designer (203 King Street East), a shop that aims to reuse, recycle, repurpose, and repair quality used clothing.
Window display at one of my favourite Hamilton shops, The Gifted, located at 249 King Street East.
My vintage finds at J.H. Gordon Books at 314 King Street East.
Lights of Locke Street
Featuring Santa rolling up on a vintage firetruck, letters to Santa at Quills (158 Locke Street South), carollers, and a tree lighting, Lights of Locke Street was perfect for checking a few people off my shopping list. First stop was Finch on Locke to fuel up on coffee.
Finch on Locke (formerly Johnny's Coffee) recently opened at 129 Locke Street South.
I gush about my love of Quills (158 Locke Street South, above the Starbucks) at least every six months on this blog. During Lights of Locke Street, they featured letter writing stations for little ones hoping to reach Santa.
Next stop, polishing off some complimentary bubbly at Pure (174 Locke Street South).
The future home of my better half's new restaurant on Locke Street (190 Locke Street South, formerly the Cheese Shoppe). Follow CIMA on twitter for updates.
Each year, Epic Books (226 Locke Street South) reveals their 12 Books of Christmas, offering 25% off each other title. If you look closely at this photo, you can see my dad peeking through.
And then Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus arrived ...
Our last stop of the day was another holiday tradition — the Maker's Market at Christ's Church Cathedral on James Street South. The Maker's Market it Hamilton's original "hipster craft fair" as I've started to call them (affectionately) as dozens have seemed to pop up over this holiday season. Believe it or not, it's celebrating its 10th anniversary.