Monday, December 29, 2014


Did anyone notice that this Christmas was “different?”

About a week after Remembrance Day, Christmas music exploded out of our local radio channel, CHFI FM 98.1, and Christmas specials bombarded the plasma screen all throughout Christmas and right up until New Year’s Day. Almost every house on our street was lit up with Christmas displays and around the neighborhood there were more Christmas lights than ever before. Department stores had more selection of Christmas décor, with more tasteful items both traditional and modern, and even shoppers were happier.  

Personally, it was one of the best Christmases I can ever remember having. When the Christmas music started playing I got out all my lights and décor and put up the outdoor lights. I found my Christmas card list and started addressing the envelopes, all the while humming Joy to the World and Holy Night, Silent Night, and got those mailed by the last of November. I had our home all decorated by the middle of November with brightly colored balls, twinkling lights, a Nativity display, and a miniature lighted village, not to mention the foil garland hanging from the ceiling and all the plastic canvass patterns adorning the walls. I sat at my computer with a cup of Starbucks Peppermint Hot Cocoa and did my online shopping the first week of December, and we cut down our tree at the tree farm by the weekend. I started and finished all my Christmas shopping and got all my baking done by the following week. I even had all the trimmings for our feast a week early. I did it all at my leisure with a skip in my step and a smile on my face, and I never stressed about money or credit card debt; I bought what I wanted to buy and my son, husband, and I were ecstatic about our gifts under the Christmas tree on Christmas Day. We had so many things to awe and amaze us, and the best part was that we spent time together talking and laughing and playing games the whole day long. It had been a long time since I felt at peace like that. It was a wonderful Christmas. 

I called my younger oldest brother in Nackawic and he seemed to agree, speculating that it may have been the low cost of oil that contributed to the phenomena. When I spoke to other members of my distant family in Atlantic Canada, they were happy and content with their Christmas experiences, despite the absence of snow, and not one person complained that “Christmas is not like it used to be.”  And regardless of the current price of a stamp, I received many a Christmas card.

It was convenient that Christmas Day and Boxing Day fell before the weekend; it gave everyone a four day holiday to spend at home with family and that would put anyone in a good mood. 

Yes, the Spirit of Christmas was strong in many folks this year. I saw it in the happy faces of children when I was out and about, I heard it at the Christmas Eve mass at my church when angelic voices of the choir were lifted to the heavens, and I experienced it at home with my family; the looks of surprise on their faces opening their gifts, the fun and laughter while spending time together throughout the entire season, the twinkle in my son’s eyes while assembling the Gingerbread Carousel on Christmas Eve, and the never-ending signs of love and affection that seemed to flow from heavenly places. And when I was up alone in the quiet hours after midnight, I watched the twinkling of the lights on the tree, and I gave thanks for the food in the fridge, the clothes in our closets, the car we drive, the finances that sustain us, and our warm, safe, home.