For the first time in many years, it looks like Calgarians are going to ‘enjoy’ a white Christmas. It’s been a while since we’ve had this much snow, this early without a chinook to melt it all! I grumble about the extra hour it takes me to dress the kids before going out and the way no one in this city knows how to drive when it is snowy (for goodness sake people – just get a set of winter tires!!)

We had a bit of an idyllic Canadian experience the day we got that first big dump of snow – We wrapped this kids up in their snow suits and took them tobogganing, came inside for hot chocolate and decorated the Christmas tree. There are many great toboggan runs in the city  and toboggans are cheap so it is certainly a fun and easy thing to do with the family. And what is it about deep snow that just makes you feel like a kid again? We were cold, covered in snow yet we, and everyone else on the hill, were all grinning like idiots!

Of course this was before the temperature fell to minus a thousand with the wind-chill! The past while we have stayed close to home – play dates, tot time, and grandmas are about as far as we have ventured… And it’s given me a great excuse to avoid the malls! I hate the malls.

But I have to admit the prolonged cold spell has been getting me a little down. I know that I am much more short tempered with my family and they with me. I know that I should just venture out more and put on a happy face, I know that I am incredibly lucky to have a warm home, food and a healthy family at Christmas when so many out there have nothing but I really just can’t help but wish it were over.

I took my parents to Costco yesterday to finish the shopping for Christmas Eve, which they are hosting, and it was an absolute zoo. I spent my time urging my mom to hurry (ha!) telling my kids to stop whining or apologizing to them for dragging them out and telling them it would be all over soon! The only highlight was running into an old co-worker whose company I always enjoyed, whom I hadn’t seen in years and getting to meet her beautiful family. Merry Christmas Kim!

I just can’t help but wonder sometimes if it’s worth all the effort we go through for the Christmas season! There are so many parties, decorations, over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending and over-giving (Ahh Grandparents…) that I wonder if we ever remember why we are doing it or stop to think if we are even enjoying it?

And so I urge everyone to take some time before the chaos begins to just stop. Stop and sit down and be thankful for the good things in your life. Like I am thankful my son hasn’t tipped over the Christmas tree; yet…)

If you are dreading Christmas dinner (and many of us are!) consider what it would be like if the people you will see were not there.

If you, like me, are somewhat of a lapsed, non-practicing Christian, read Luke and remind yourself what it is all about – not the commercialism, consumerism and competitiveness that have come to define it.

And like I said on Thanksgiving:

Don’t sweat the small stuff, just let go of your expectations and enjoy!
It’s a great way to get through it all with sanity intact!


Merry Christmas everyone! And we wish you all a happy, healthy and positive New Year!

December 23, 2008