As a child, Christmas was the most special time of year. It wasn't our festivity but we celebrated just the same. There was joy in the air. People were happier. Everything was delicious and nothing had calories. The decorations looked wonderful. The snowmen, the lights, the sounds, the stockings, the cards, the music. Pa, rum, pa, pum, pum. Me and my drum.
The joy and wonder. Santa Claus is coming to town! The magic even changed Scrooge and The Grinch.
WonderWe had an artificial tree with shiny silver branches. Like any good child, I believed in Santa and was rewarded. How did he get in when we had no fireplace and the chimney led down to the furnace?
Since the real Santa was busy at the North Pole preparing for his annual visit, he sent mall Santas to get our wishes. This was more convenient than writing a letter in those pre-email days. Plus we got a sweet treat. Joy to the candy canes! The lineup was worth the rewards.
We had a black & white TV with one over-the-air channel. This was in London, Ontario. That was fine. We watched uplifting old black & white classics. Year after year.
Boxing DayWhen I became a teen, Boxing Day mattered more than Christmas. On December 26th, I'd head downtown to Sam The Record Man where everything was on sale. This was the time to buy imports or expensive back catalog records (yes, the vinyl ones). The popular titles were discounted at other stores.
In those days before websites and home computers, you couldn't do your “Boxing Day” shopping on December 24th or 25th. Now we can. What "progress"! Can’t we get any break from shopping? We have to rely on our self-control, which can be weak.
If you still like shopping in person, Best Buy and Future Shop now open at 6 AM on Boxing Day. Even 7 AM was too early.
I remember lining up in 2001 to get our first digital camera: a Fuji FinePix 6800Z with a body designed by Porsche. Having photos felt important since 9/11 ended innocence a mere three months earlier. The normal price of $1,000 was now reduced to $700. That was for 3.3 megapixels, shutter lag and a noticeable pause between shots. A 64 MB memory card was pricey but necessary accessory. The “good old days" weren't for gadget lovers. The store only had four but I got one and still have it.
Hot ChocolateAs a child, we never needed to travel for Christmas because we were already together. When I started working, travel added stress because the weather was unpredictable whether driving or flying. Sacrifices.
We didn't have global warming concerns in those days. Since we were in a snow belt, we could count on lots of the white stuff. That's a wonderful excuse for hot chocolate.
We didn't have treats regularly. That made the shortbread cookies and boxes of chocolate so much more delectable. This year we have Costco sized boxes that last months.
Why Not?We live in such a complicated world. On this day in 2008, we were at the hospital emergency ward. We deserve to remember lighter times at least once a year. This is the best time because so many others are looking back and enjoying too. We also have time to think and try new things. Since the New Year is about to begin, this is also a great time to act on new resolutions.
Will it snow tonight?
More than once, we've gone to bed with green grass and awakened to snow. There's such a lull when you open the door. Snow dampens the sounds and makes the day even more special. Even the shoveling is fine when you return to a nice warm house with delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen.
This is the final post of 2011.
The best to you and yours during the holidays.
May your 2012 be swell, swell, swell!
- 2010 final post: Got 59 seconds for your gift list?
- 2009 final post: The gift of networking
- 2008 final post: Christmas in the emergency ward
- 2007 final post: Give your greatest gift
- image courtesy of ~xck (China)
Podcast 149 (6:05)
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PS If this post is just nostalgia talking, I'm still listening. How about you?