Christmas Eve in St. John’s

The snow has started again. It’s likely that by tomorrow we’ll have another 20 cm to add to the 80 cm that has already fallen this month.

This morning I had a few small errands to run and snapped a few pictures using the ‘phone as I walked along.

See that blue building, dead centre, across the harbour? It’s where I’ve been working the past few weeks.


The snow on the ground is fairly deep. No chance to take in the harbourside park.


Likewise the war memorial.


The city crews have been busy all month, ploughing and spreading sand. See–there’s a truckload now.


Over by the courthouse it’s still pretty slippery. It’s been cold and the salt doesn’t do much good when the temperature dips below -10. It just makes the snow a bit more like powdered teflon.


A few shoppers but, like me, they’re in no great hurry. The simple fact is we’re just using our errands as an excuse to get out and around in the downtown on this peaceful but cold morning.


As I write this it’s well into the evening. The rest of the family just went across the street to have a few laughs with some old friends.

As I walked in through the door an hour ago the snow was falling softly down. I could hear some happy sounds just across the cul-de-sac (and I’ll be joining the ones making those happy sounds shortly). As I entered the house, though, the one word “Noel” (which means “new life”) was resounding in my head; a welcome ear-worm.

It’s still there.


About Maurice A. Barry

Coordinator: Teaching and Learning Commons, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Parent & Husband. eLearning consultant/coordinator. Program Development Specialist - eLearning (Department of Education; Retired). Writer: over 40 Math/Physics texts/webs. Developer & Manager of web content. Geek. Not into awards but loves comments.
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12 Responses to Christmas Eve in St. John’s

  1. Perhaps not everyone would think this was the best tourist-infomecial for St. John’s, but I’m sold. I love a quiet, non-commercialized Christmas Eve, and it looks like it could still happen up in your neck of the world. (plus I don’t mind snow at Christmas–although, I have to ask, how many months out of the year do you have snow?) We have no snow at the moment. It doesn’t feel very Christmassy to me.

    • Peter Smith says:

      You’d love the outports even more then! I’m from Newfoundland originaly, and while snow at Christmas isn’t uncommon, its also not uncommon to have a brown Christmas. The ocean has a great influence, we get snow and rain interchangeably in winter, and often there isn’t much snow at all some years, others theres a great deal. Generally it lasts until Aprilish, with an occasional cold snap here and there, and in localized cold areas of the forest could see some up until mid may.

      But of course maritime conditions being what they are, its unpredictable at best!

    • Peter’s right on all counts! Typical snowfalls–if there is such a thing–run around 350 cm for the winter. Generally we get some snow in December but the most of it is from mid January until late Feb. March tends to be a rotten mess of snow, wind and — the worst thing of all — freeeeeeeeexing rain. In 2000-2001 though we had over 700 cm; around 23 feet! What an awful winter! This year we have had around 100 cm so far which is slightly worse than normal.
      Now–Peter is also dead on about the other part. The “outposts” are the real gems. The tiny communities that dot our coast offer up an ever changing landscape and seascape. The people are the ream gems though. Tough and resilient but friendly and helpful to a fault.
      I’ll close with a “Merry Christmas,” and mention that when it comes around to time for shoveling snow (which I must now do) there is still something to be said for a brown or green Christmas.

  2. Lovely set of photos. Amazing to expect snow at Christmas. I can only remember a few as a kid, but they were magical Christmases. Here it’s bucketing down, not quite so magical. Enjoy your Christmas Day.

    • Still snowing here. I figure we have had around 20 cm more since the pictures were taken. I have to go shovel it soon–no fun. Hopefully it will end soon as I am looking forward to Christmas Dinner at Josephine’s parents’ place–and that is a 90 minute drive in the summer, probably twice that today, we’ll see. Yes there’ll be turkey but you’ll likely be interested to know that Alex grows his own vegetables (fertilizes them with Kelp and tiny fish called caplin) on the hill above his house. This time there will be potato, carrot, parsnip, peas pudding (mmm mmm mmm made with split-peas, placed in a bag and boiled), turnip (rutabaga actually but who cares), and, my personal favourite, cabbage. I will admit (but only to you) that I always forego the potato just so I have more room for Alex’s cabbage.
      Hopefully the rain will stop soon but I figure the rain has its own charm. Nothing at all wrong with you and OH sitting back with some wine and beer, respectfully. Pippa curled up somewhere gnawing on something and your new addition doing whatever new additions do–as long as it’s not running around ape-shit and wrecking the tranquility. Hmmm…and even that can be okay as long as it gives a few laughs, since that, in the end is part of what we all seek this time of the year!
      Merry Christmas!

  3. Peter Smith says:

    Great post, Happy Christmas to you and yours!

  4. Beautiful shots of St. John’s. We got hit by a couple of early December snowstorms but then temperatures went into the 70s — so strange for this time of year. Have a great Christmas, Maurice.

    • When you have to face the task of shoveling snow past the top of the wheels you have to admit there’s something to be said for the relatively warm temps you are having!
      Merry Christmas–I hope you enjoy Friends, Family and Fun!

  5. seeker says:

    Winder Wonderland. There is so much beauty if one can stay away from the thought of freaking cold weather. May the joy of NOEL keep you warm. Merry Christmas, Maurice. Perpetua.

  6. I passed this over somehow! Glad I caught them … very much enjoy each and every photo you post of a part of the world that my New England upbringing makes it possible for me to relate to. Please keep ’em coming … especially when the next big storm comes through! D

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