Inside Fred Lee’s Decked-Out Home for the Holidays
The CBC Radio contributor and his husband, Joshua McVeity, make the season sparkle with their annual Bubbles and Baubles party.
November 21, 2018
When CBC Radio’s Fred Lee and his husband, Joshua McVeity, shared their first Christmas together eight years ago, it was in a 495-square foot-condo—so tiny, there wasn’t room for a proper tree. “I had a President’s Choice twig Christmas tree with fake cranberries,” laughs Lee.
But it didn’t stop them from entertaining friends. By their second Christmas together, they had launched their now-traditional Baubles and Bubbles party. Friends were encouraged to bring either a bottle of sparkling wine or a decoration for their newly acquired artificial tree. “Bubbles because we love sparkling wine, and baubles because we had no Christmas decor at the time—and it was a fun way to decorate.”
Lee would pick up a cheese plate, some sweets from Purdy’s and later, Chez Christophe, and friends would gather around the kitchen island—which, of course, was right by their new faux Christmas tree in the living room. Tight spaces made for warm and friendly nights.
They’ve gathered many ornaments from close friends over the years and remember the giver of each thoughtful memento. (“Joshua has this unbelievable memory!” says Lee.) McVeity has a love of Disney characters, so Mickey and Cinderella find their way onto the tree, but so do the couple’s personal collections from their travels—a Marilyn Monroe they picked up in Palm Springs—along with a new bauble from Tiffany, added each holiday season.
The tradition has become so important to the pair that when, three months ago, they took a leap in square footage to this 1,500-square-foot triplex in Kitsilano, it was one of the first things they thought of. “We thought, ‘Now we can have more people at our Christmas celebration,’” says Lee, “‘and we could probably put in a second tree!’”
Of course, more room meant that they could also welcome one more into their life, in the form of their nine-month-old sheepadoodle, Hunter. He’s not a Champagne drinker, but one can assume there will be many a puppy-themed ornament on the tree this holiday season.