I'm dreaming of a stormy Christmas

Santa's down with the rain. St. Nick himself was spotted strolling down Broadway today, unphased by the stormy Christmas Eve weather. "I don't mind the rain. It's Christmas. It's a happy time."

He then invited this VO reporter to reach into a bag of candy canes he had tied around his waist. "Christmas is a wonderful time because I get to meet people like you," he told me with a twinkle in his eye. Before he could pull me onto his lap, I wished him a merry Christmas and continued on my way.

On Broadway and Cambie I met Dana, who called himself "the urban treasure hunter." He stood guard over a shopping cart full of green and brown glass bottles, covered in tiny raindrops. Dana said he was cool with no snow. "I won't freeze to death," he enthused.

Vancouverites dreaming of a white Christmas tonight were instead treated to pelting rain and strong winds today. Ah, well.  It's the rainforest, right?

A heavy rainfall warning was issued for the city, with 10 to 20 millimetres forecast. The stormy weather caused power outages, cancelled ferries and extreme avalanche risks on B.C.'s southwest coast.  How predicatable.

In Vancouver, some last minute shoppers were disappointed nonetheless by the wet weather, but others agreed that a rainy holiday is a tradition unique, and possibly even previous, to Vancouver.

"Everybody has been complaining that it's gross," Ziggy Byrne, a barista at Elysian Coffee on Ash and Broadway, said. "We've had twenty-two rainy Christmases to four white ones."  He shrugged philosophically, and twisted his spoon around the foam on his latte.

"Christmas decorations are really funny without the snow," his co-worker, Annina Greenfield, said. "You know those blow-up snowmen? They make no sense in a downpour."

"We never have a white Christmas in Vancouver. It would be nice if the sky was blue," said Robert, who sought shelter under the awning of the Starbucks Cambie St. as he waited for the bus in a downpour. But he wasn't concerned that the weather was going to stop old St. Nick. "Santa seems pretty crafty," he said. "He'll figure it out."


Seven-year-old Sophia Samliski will probably be happy to hear that. She's already disappointed that she won't see any of the white stuff this holiday. "I wanted to make a snowman."

"There's something very magical about a white Christmas," Jebet O'Reilly, a grade 10 student from Churchhill, said. "But this rain is very Vancouverish." O'Reilly had just bought a last minute gift, a board game, for her younger brother. "He's a bit upset because he's getting a toboggan but now he can't use it."

John Davidson, who just arrived from Ottawa, is heading to Whistler to get his fix of winter sports. "I'm not sad that it's raining because generally it means good things for Whistler," Davidson said, while waiting for a friend at the Broadway and Cambie Canada Line stop.

But the weather was putting a damper on Robert's spirits, as he walked along 12th Avenue. "I hate the rain, but I wouldn't want a white Christmas either," the retired petroleum engineer said. After living his entire life in Winnipeg and Calgary, he has had enough of snow. Maybe next year, Santa will grant Robert his wish.

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas..." That might be true for Robbie Williams, but hey, I'm a Vancouverite. I dream of a stormy Christmas, just like the ones I used to know...

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