Tag Archives: Christmas

Happy Holidays

I love to celebrate, and what better reason than the ending of a year? Regardless of our family’s many faiths, or lack of any, the year is rendering its last few gasps.

My next Holiday event, this one the Hanukkah/Christmas party, is coming soon. In the midst of my planning, I pause and ponder. This departing year, what was it like? For me, there was a bit of everything. Great joy at the birth of a new great-grandchild, aching sorrow at the death of yet another old friend. Frustration filled me when I was told that some of my age-related problems were here to stay. The tension caused by this news eased when I admitted to myself that most of my health problems are being well managed, if not cured!

All this musing sent my mind back to our last Writing Class. A colleague introduced us to a quotation he had discovered:

“It is not because things are difficult, that we don’t dare; it is because we don’t dare that they are difficult.” (Seneca the Younger, 5BC to 65 AD)

This jarred me into wondering, “Were my difficulties this year caused mainly because I was afraid to tackle them? If I had ‘dared,’ as Seneca put it, and faced my problems head on, would solutions have surfaced earlier?”

I can’t rewrite the past, only learn from it. Just to be on the safe side, I’ll tuck this latest bit of learning in my arsenal for the future. My intention is from now on to: Address difficult situations realistically. Do it as soon as these arise. It will then be easier to determine if a solution is possible, or if acceptance must be my response.

Looks good on paper. The test will be putting it into practice. If I can succeed, even occasionally, time wasted mulling over “What to do?” will be saved. I’m ready now to meet the New Year. So – Join me! ’Tis the Season, and I’m in a cheering mood! I’ve had one more wonderful year savouring life, and have lived it with joy. How can I be this lucky?

Whatever Holiday you’re honouring, may the path ahead be intriguing, smooth, and very much worth travelling.


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Seasons’ Greetings – 2013

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What a nice way to say farewell to a year that is ending: with celebration!  Regardless of our faiths, or lack of any, the year is rendering its last few gasps.  In a very short time, it will be gone.

This is a delightful period!  Phone calls, emails, and unexpected visits come from friends old and new.  Memories surface of times throughout a long life, bringing tears and joy.  Our present life shoe-horns its way into line, claiming a place in the celebratory season. 

This is a valuable, nay, an imperative call.  We must learn to recognize all that is good, hopeful, and precious in life.  If this is our starting point, we will be standing on a firm foundation to view and acknowledge life’s realities.

Remember the nativity scene?  It depicts the joy, love, and wonder surrounding the birth of a baby in a stable.  Couple that with the real background of a cruel and heartless Roman occupation force.  The whole scene changes.

As it was so long ago, so it is now in our modern times.  There is so much to rejoice about, especially if we remember how much remains to be done. 

Let the bells ring in the blessings of this Season for one and all.


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Life Skills

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The room is festooned with banners and balloons, menorahs and crèches.  The noise level is high as people gather.  Laughter, hugs, kisses, and warm greetings identify this as a family gathering.  The group finally gets seated, and dinner is about to be served.  Two women rise.  One recites a Hebrew blessing, and the other an old Scottish Christian one.  Thanks acknowledged, attention is turned enthusiastically to the food.

We live in interesting times and in a rapidly changing world.  Many world areas have a great diversity in their population.  To live fully has always required hard work, well developed life skills, and a dash of good fortune!  The multicultural mix adds more complications.  For such a culture to flourish, it needs understanding citizens who value acceptance, and who reject prejudice.

Old fears die slowly.  For many eons we have been comfortable only with those “like us.”  How enriching to find people with different colour, religion, and race who cherish the same life values that we do.  What a marvelous opportunity for us all.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.


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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

This had been quite a year.  In mid-summer Dad moved Mom, Doris and me from the farm into Calgary.  They were determined that we were going to have a chance to get a good junior- and high-school education.  A suite was rented a half block from Haultain, a junior high, and a few blocks east of Central Collegiate Institution, a high school.  All of this produced major changes in our lives – urban living, rented suite instead of the comfortable farm home, large schools instead of a one-room school with a handful of students.  Nothing, absolutely nothing, was familiar save our parents’ love, encouragement, and the belief they had embedded in us of the importance of “an education”.  It was a very steep learning curve, but we gradually became comfortable in our new life.

However, Christmas was almost here and we could hardly wait.  All our lives we had celebrated Christmas Eve with our neighbours.  We gathered at the home of Dagmar and George Nygaard, as did Emil and Hansene Dam, Chris Dam, and sometimes a few others.  Dagmar, Emil and Chris were siblings, so it was a close group.  The plan to attend was wonderful, but fate stepped in.  To our dismay Dad developed a flu/cold condition complete with a fever.  The doctor ordered him to go to bed and stay there until his temperature returned to normal.  Between worrying about Dad and trying not to show our disappointment, Doris and I were a sad pair.    Continue reading


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