Thursday, 13 December 2007

Christmas is...

Family. Friends. Being home. Being together. Traditions. Advent calendars and millions of decorations made by my mother. A christmas tree covered in golden tinsel and tiny coloured lights, its boughs laden with ornaments collected over the years. A million different kinds of Christmas cookies. Eating enormous dinners until you can barely move to get to the couch and doze in front of the tv. Parades, pot lucks, and paper chains; snowflakes, Santas, and shoveling. Candles. Going to church for the only time in the year, but actually enjoying it. Caroling all around Lunenburg, even though none of us even live there any more, and just walking around talking and fooling around and playing ini the snow, and singing the wrong words to the songs and making old ladies cry and then going to Tim Horton's for hot chocolate and donuts. Egg nog, apple cider, and hot chocolate with a candy cane in it. Way too many present piled under the tree, with their ribbons and bows shining in the light. Slowly opening our stocking presents, then taking a break for brunch before moving onto the other presents, and savoring each one, pitying those poor fools who rush to tear the wrapping off.

But I think, what I like most about Christmas, is that certain attitude that people get, I guess it's what you call Christmas spirit. That certain air of being just a little kinder, a little more generous. Waking up to realize that "there's a world outside your window and it's a world of dread and fear," and giving back a little bit of what you've got, because most of us really have far more than we need, and yet we insist on holding onto it and letting millions of people go on being deprived of the bare essentials...

I've always loved that Christmas song from Charlie Brown, 'Christmas Time is Here'... but I never really paid any attention to the actual words until I went to see the 'A New Kind of Light' concert (which was, by the way, excellent) and they performed it. And really, it's the perfect song to describe my feelings. So here it is:

Christmas time is here
Happiness and cheer
Fun for all that children call
Their favorite time of the year

Snowflakes in the air
Carols everywhere
Olden times and ancient rhymes
Of love and dreams to share

Sleigh bells in the air
Beauty everywhere
Yuletide by the fireside
And joyful memories there

Christmas time is here
We'll be drawing near
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year
Oh, that we could always see
Such spirit through the year...

So my parents keep asking what I want for Christmas. And I keep saying I don't know, because, as always, I don't. Their threat to me is, "if you don't tell us what you want, we're going to get you a goat." Meaning, of course, buying a goat for a family in Africa or South America through World Vision. I think that might just be the best present they could possibly give me, so I'm not going to argue.

Anyway, while I'm on the topic, go play FreeRice.

Good night.

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