Christmas tis the season to be jolly merry happy joyful etc….
But many people seem to think Christmas is an interruption in their lives. They hate the crowds, the spending, the parties and the waste that often happens at Christmas. But then there are those that really “Get It.”
Like my sister D. D is a great fan of Christmas. She decorates and cooks and makes gifts and wraps everything (hey where’s the cat). She loves making Christmas dinners and caroling and plays Christmas carols starting in November. She goes to Santa Claus parades and to see the holiday train etc… This is how you celebrate Christmas. There are real pine boughs in her house so it smells like pine and cinnamon and roasting turkey etc…
Then there are people like my buddy H whose house has no decorations who whines about the malls being full and the fact that he has to buy gifts. He says he doesn’t give to many gifts to his kids because he buys them enough the rest of the year. (This is BS because his kids get most of their stuff from their grandparents.) He thinks that Christmas indulgence is gluttony for the most part. Parties are something that interrupts his online gaming. He thinks that there is too much partying and not enough church. Etc… In general he finds Christmas a nuisance.
Generally I tend to find the happy medium in-between sides like this but not this time. Christmas is the one and only time of the year we come together and celebrate. We often aren’t sure what we are celebrating, but does it matter. We talk of peace on earth and good will towards men. What other time of year do we do that? Then there are people that would argue we should do that all year. Yes that’s right, but just try to sustain that feeling for more than a few weeks – not possible I’m afraid, so let’s at least try for the few weeks over Christmas.
For those of you that seem to think Christmas is a pain in the Ass, let me leave you with a few Christmas ideas that might (MIGHT) help you get into the spirit.
1. In Ottawa one of the most amazing things we have that helps bring on the Christmas spirit is that huge skating rink we call the Rideau Canal. Every Year my wife and I strap on skates and wobble our way down the canal we listen to wandering Carolers and smell wood smoke from fires lit to keep the skaters warm we smell Beaver tails and hot chocolate from the booths. People push those funny baby sleighs along (half the time just to steady themselves on their skates) there are lovers of all ages skating along and in hand and young guys with hockey sticks passing pucks back and forth as they go for that never ending breakaway. There are the famous Winterlude Ice Hogs skating along to make children laugh and giggle.
2. There is always a visit to the parliament buildings to watch huge projected snowflakes drift peacefully over the neo-gothic spires of that usually less than peaceful place. I am told there are over 3000 lights on the trees and buildings on parliament hill. Then go for a hot chocolate at Yesterdays.
3. For the not so outgoing types you can always guarantee there are parties to go to we have been to 2 this year and had to turn down another. For ours we invite as many people as possible and try to squeeze them into out two bedroom apartment were we drink eggnog and wine and beer and share pot luck as we talk about politics (It’s an Ottawa thing) and travel and what we have been doing all year. This year a professor buddy of ours held the floor talking about Japanese sword play and historical Chronicles and missing biblical texts. My wife made odd blue martini like drinks which everyone liked. Our cat checked out all the guests and seemed to gravitate to those that are allergic to cats. One couple brought there new baby and we talked babies for an hour. So have a party trust me it’s fun.
4. If you’re more into a family Christmas then there are wonderful places to find things to help make merry at home. Ottawa has a Christmas store to buy all the trimmings you need for any house or tree. It’s located in the Market the same place you will find all the food and unique gifts that help make people smile. There is a first class butcher there as well that will sell you fresh turkeys that don’t take days to defrost. There are cheese stores and fish markets and many more great places to help you plan the party I mentioned above.
So with that advice in hand I would like to wish you a Very Merry Christmas may you find the spirit of Christmas or the holidays in your own way.
And for those that don’t like to celebrate may you GET STUFFED with turkey despite of yourself.