Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful Christmas day!! It was so nice spending it with my family – sleeping in, going for a drive through snowy roads, cooking together, and having a fabulous Christmas dinner (tofurkey – vegetarian style).

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Me and my sister, Shirley’s Bay, Ottawa

Here is a little Christmas poem, inspired by the day, and the meaning of Christmas. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Christmas Day

Snow falls softly,
amongst the evergreens.
A mother gently nudges her
children awake; while
gifts and treasures await –
On Christmas day.

Walking through the woods,
Taking pictures in the snow
Sisters laugh and pose, while
a father captures a cherished moment.
The faded sun looks on, peeking
through the treetops.

What did Santa get me? Did he listen
to my heart?
The sound of yesterday’s carols hum
in my mind, while
I close my eyes and wish anew,
for joy and love and peace to all.

The Little Lord Jesus Lay Down His Sweet Head

Christmas is here. A wonderful day to celebrate with your family and friends and all those you love. I’m fortunate to spend this time with my family every year. It also really makes me miss those I care about that are not with me. It makes me think of everyone around the world, including those who are suffering, and wish that everyone could experience the love and joy of the season. When I was young I wrote a little essay on the meaning of Christmas, and as I read it now, the words still resonate (see image below). And when I hear the song ‘Someday at Christmas’, I dream of a Christmas where there is peace on earth, and love prevails. My family has a yearly tradition that renews my faith in humanity and love. We go to the Glebe Centre in Ottawa and sing Christmas carols to the seniors. First we go to the different floors and knock on their doors and ask who would like to join, then we wheel them down to the third floor, and we all gather and begin singing. A lovely woman Zorana plays the keyboard and her voice carries us through. We sing all the favourites, Silent Night, Away in a Manger (which always makes me cry), Deck the Halls, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and we finish off with We Wish You A Merry Christmas. It is difficult to see people who seem to have lost their Christmas spirit along the way, and amazing to see tears streaming down faces as their childhood songs are brought to light and emotions surface that they didn’t even know were there. I would try to look out at them while I sang, but then it would make me cry too, so I kept my eyes on the paper and my voice strong. Here are some pictures from the morning:

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I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

A lazy Sunday. I slept in until 11 (11:11 AM when I rolled over and checked the time).  I woke up to little Alexander knocking on the door saying “Miiiiiittta… are you awake?” and then he came in and jumped into bed with me, with my friend Gosia (his mother) in tow. They made me some coffee and I spent the morning colouring with Alexander. He made me a beautiful card!! Here is a picture:

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Then the three of us went to the Christmas Market in the Distillery. It was beautiful. Santas and elves and gingerbread houses and snowmen, and a larger than life Christmas tree, covered with red ribbon that extended out into the sky. In the centre square there was an orchestra playing “I want a Hippopautomus for Christmas” (Alexander’s favourite song). Pure magic. I bought Alexander a stained-glass butterfly for his Christmas gift. He was so thrilled! He is working on it right now and is going to surprise me with it when he’s done.

I can’t believe Alexander and Gosia are moving! It’s been a wonderful two years having them live down the hall from me. Walking back and forth between each other’s places, late night teas and discussions about books, dinners together, and always knowing that the other is just down the hall. It’s the end of the era. I’m so excited for Gosia and Daniela. They are renting a house together on the Danforth. It actually has fig trees!!! I can’t wait for many more beautiful memories that will be created there.