This time of year means many things to many people.
Let’s be honest, for some it’s a sad time. For others, it’s their favourite time of the year, enjoying with family and friends all that the season has to offer – wonderful memories from the past and the hope of more happy holidays to come.
However, what complicates things are the societal expectations, many of which come from many classic Christmas movies we see every year.They’re completely unrealistic, but that’s the world we live in.
We’ve all seen many of those movies and their miraculous Hollywood endings such as It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas, orA Christmas Carol. The story always begins on a positive note followed by the protagonist encountering an obstacle they must overcome. During the journey, they learn about themselves, solve the problem and everybody lives happily ever after.
Great movies, but they are just that; movies; make believe.
That’s way too much pressure for many of us to live up to here in the real world. Our Christmas memories are much simpler.
I’d have to say my favorite memory takes me back to when I was five years old living in a tiny southern Alberta siding called Whiskey Gap. Growing up away from my Maritime extended family, I waited anxiously, every year, for the Christmas parcel to arrive from my grandparents across the country in Nova Scotia.
As was the case every year of my childhood, I opened the parcel from Nova Scotia Christmas morning to find a hand-made toque and a pair of mittens fashioned by my grandmother. Oh, how I loved them! These ones were pink with grey stripes and a really big pink pom-pom on the toque.
How cool was that?
To make this Christmas even more memorable, Santa brought me a pair of skates – truly a cherished gift because we had a pond nearby and I longed to go skating on it.
Once the gift opening and breakfast was completed, Mom said we could go skating.
But, when I went to fetch my new toque and mitts I was horrified to find my toque was missing its beautiful pink pom-pom. My big, red Irish setter, Clancy, had eaten it. I think I’m still upset with that dog, but it didn’t dampen the Christmas spirit I felt or the afternoon of skating on the pond.
I still love to spend a beautiful winter afternoon or evening skating outside, but it’s always with a Pom-Pom-less toque these days.
This year, I hope everyone can create their own new, wonderful memories that makes this Christmas something to cherish.
From myself and everybody at the Westman Journal, we sincerely hope you have a happy, safe and memorable time over the holidays.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
– Nancy Johnson, Publisher
The Westman Journal