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Inspiration for this blog came from my cousin Roy. His daily reflections of the events in his life have been thoughtful and interesting. Family, friends, colleagues are welcome to read my blog.



Friday, December 19, 2014

A COUNTDOWN TO A CANADIAN CHRISTMAS- 1 WEEK TO GO

Present wrapped and some delivered to work mates, the bank and the bag ready for the newspaper guy. Babysitting out of the way for the evening event for one daughter and husband. Adolph has bought the fish for the Sunday dinner at another daughter's house which will be the family quasi seafood/meat meal. The girls have some in law commitments so it will be a time for all of us to be together. More babysitting during the day on Monday and Tuesday so one daughter has no babysitting/day care fees those days. Located one community event- the library up the street from us has a free craft event so will take the grandchildren there for an hour or so. Two other grandsons may join us for a bit on Monday so maybe a craft or cup cake decorating session and of course when everyone gets too rowdy- sit down and watch a movie!! This is my last day at work before Christmas but will return the week between Christmas and New Year's for coverage of other Social Workers. Actually looking forward to the break to help out with the grandchildren but to be at home during the Christmas season helps with the enjoyment. Forgot to mention last week, but if anyone is able to be a blood donor- Canada Blood Services needs you. I gave my regular donation last week. So I feel with helping different community efforts like the toy drive, food bank and blood, it is the Canadian thing to do to help those around us as we enjoy our family times together. So with one week to go, cleaning, watching movies and grandchildren, helping the cook, and just trying to finish the last minute gift card buying for that one more gift for someone. Hope your preparations are going well!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

LIFE IS LIKE A CANADIAN HOCKEY GAME

A hockey game is a Canadian tradition. Children-male and female start young. Learn to skate, learn skills and become efficient at stick handling. There are rules. So if you cross the line, you can get a penalty. Sometimes your slap shot lets you score and sometimes the goalie stops it. There are professional teams, young teams and old guys playing on a men's league for fun. Arenas are cold so warm clothing must be worn. Home towns like Toronto would love to see their team win the Stanley Cup. The Maple Leafs have not won since 1967!!! There are favourite players- some for their roughness and some for their overall demeanor of good hockey skills and being a nice guy- like Crosby, Gretsky and Howe and others that are liked- one of my all time favourites- Johnny Bauer. A hockey game has a start, a middle and an end. Played in periods with the clock counting down and not up! Moms and Dads across the country trek to the local rink, the next town's rink and sometimes across the world to see their children play. A pond, a rink in the backyard or the local one can find games ongoing!! Then there is street ball hockey year round. There is usually a referee to keep the players in line. So able to play or just watch- like life- how much does one want to be involved. Yes the colourful jerseys can give some a fashion sense too. So will you take the puck and find some sense to your life. One never knows where it may take a person until the little black thing is given a good whack!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NANA SAYS IT'S THE SEASON FOR SCHOOL CONCERTS

Well actually my grand children's day care holiday concert was held the other day at 5 pm and today there will be the Kindergarten to Grade 1 concert at the school. The memories of my own elementary school Christmas concerts and my children's is brought to the present moment while watching my grandchildren perform. No real Christmas carols are sung but sometimes songs like Jingle Bells may be heard. Although there are probably more Christian and Jewish children in the school, the multicultural focus must prevail, even though it is the Christmas and Hanukkah season. I do encourage children to say Merry Christmas as I do say happy whatever the season may be for any other culture or faith. Like Holi on March 17 in the Hindu faith, what a fun day. Seeing children perform and having family members in the audience is the important consideration. Including everyone in the season is the Canadian way. Children singing together even if a little off key sometimes does not change. As I sit in the audience, I often wonder where did the time go. It seems just like yesterday it was my girls doing the performing. I think it is good for teachers to have children practice for an event. It keeps the focus on performing and probably helps with the hyper energy this time of year. I could not imagine what it is like to have children in class the week before the Christmas break. So a real structured activity does help immensely. This Nana and Granpa will enjoy the performance. When 3 of the 5 grandchildren have a part, how could we not??

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS COMPLETE THE SEASON

A stroll through a neighbourhood to look at the lights can be rewarding. Or a drive down a favourite street big or small take in the season. I remember as a little girl driving downtown with the folks, especially University Avenue in Toronto where the lights seemed magical. Now on some reality shows there are families that compete for the most decorated and choreographed to music. Quite a scene!! A couple of strings with some prelit Christmas trees by the door and prelit large candy canes complete my display. No competition at my house. I do love Christmas lights. How about you? 

Monday, December 15, 2014

DECEMBER AND CHRISTMAS BRING MEMORIES

I realized mid-way through my day yesterday that it was the 14th and not the 15th but left my post as it was. It is always good to check if someone actually read it which of course my cousin Roy did! Sundays can be busy days or days to slow down and putter and relax like they were intended. So being Monday and the real 15th, it brings the start to another work week. Yes 10 days to Christmas and 2 days to Hanukkah!! Some cultures and countries have different Christmas celebrations throughout the month of December. I wonder if there is one for today! I believe my Canadian tradition let's me wait for the day since the shopping is done! Work will bring what it brings. But usually patients and families are more generous this time of year so the chocolates and cookies start to arrive in abundance. "Thank you" is nice but the work is to service our patients so we are not doing anything out of the ordinary. Available 24/7 year round!!  It is tough being in hospital this time of the year for anything. So the best advice is to be careful out there!! Try to stay away if you can!! Yes too much over eating and over drinking is not good for one's health so pace yourself and enjoy! Sometimes in the middle of it all, come the memories of past Christmases. Nothing amazing, just ordinary. Family times with the good, the bad and the ugly but usually happy times. The things that mean the most so those traditions are carried on for this generation. What was the best Christmas? What was the saddest? Which Christmas dinner had the most people? Which had the least? Is there someone missing? A death around Christmas time? I remember the  Christmas I had my first child- a baby born the end of November so little in my arms with a picture by the tree. The fun of "playing Santa" and bringing the magic to Christmas that parents do for the next few years. Memories creep into our consciousness, don't they? Perhaps a huge time for reflection and honouring Christmas past as we celebrate the season of Christmas present! How are you doing with your memories?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

MID DECEMBER HAS ITS JOYS TOO

December 15th- the middle of the busiest month of the year. But on a Sunday!! Sundays are for church and catching up with the week's events. For some last minute Christmas shopping and wrapping and other activities. With good weather, outdoor activities or just a walk or a walk with the dogs, December can be enjoyed. As long as it is not too cold and your face freezes with the wind chill if there is one. For those wanting to burn extra calories, walking in snow does the trick. Of course, more exercise can make one hungry!! Or putting on some music and sitting and perusing the newspapers or finishing a good book or just the book needing to be finished. With all the hoopla around, some quiet does bring reflection! Is it a time for you to remember others who are no longer with you? Is it a time to think about phoning- yes let someone hear a real voice and not just a facebook entry or email- that person you have missed? Amidst all the busyness that occurs with the festive season, stopping and taking a breath. De stressing in your own individual way may be necessary to avoid catching a bug and getting sick. Try to concentrate on what are the most important things you want to do after the tedious tasks are done! I feel relieved for example that my wrapping is done. Slowly the presents will leave the house. Although there is something pleasurable about looking at piles of wrapped gifts! Thinking about the anticipation of little children shaking boxes and wondering what is inside! However like many others, I wonder did I buy enough? Of course, I need to stop myself! The dilemma when presents are bought early! Time to buy more! The season brings renewed energy but can be exhausting too. So eating well, fluids and a good night's sleep- like the rest of the year is always good advice. There are still 10 days to Christmas so there really is lots of time to finish. One shop stop or even the wonderful modern online shopping! Even gift wrapped and sent to the recipient! So enjoy the quiet of the day or the quiet after some running around- your choice!! And if really exhausted-take an afternoon nap!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

SNOW MEANS A WHITE CHRISTMAS FOR MOST CANADIANS

A white Christmas is a given for any Canadian kid. I remember the Christmas of 1961 that was brown and I was so disappointed. Playing in the snow, sledding and throwing snowballs. Now with more ski resorts to ski, snow board and some with toboggan runs there are lots of opportunities for outdoor fun. Cross country skiing has become more popular with many people was it can be done in more places, especially without big hills or mountains. The trouble with some Canadian winters is the snow can come and go. Like this week with the big dump in the GTA and other parts of Canada, it will melt and it will be brown again. I like the snow to stay on the fields and lawns but not the road or sidewalk. A little white just makes it pretty and clean!! We don't need rain after a snowfall because we just get wet. Look at the Maritimes on the East coast and then Vancouver on the West coast- lots of rain and some folks had flooding! Who needs flooding in winter! For the record, winter does not officially start for another week!! How is your "winter" going so far? Do you get out and enjoy the season? Or do you stay indoors to avoid the cold? Since having grandchildren, I find myself trying to embrace the outdoors again. Building a snowman or just walking around in it can be fun! So come on, let the big kid in you get out and enjoy!!