As many people in the area might have noticed, Santa is everywhere. It seems that most events I have attended recently have included a jolly, fluffy guy in a bright red suit.
Christmas and the holidays are finally here which mean the excitement for young and old is about to hit a fever pitch.
When I was younger my memories of Dec. 25 were pretty much me being the last child woken up by my siblings and trying to make it downstairs in my house without falling down the stairs.
I always woke up when I got to the bottom but admittedly I was a slow starter.
The holidays are a special time of year for many people. It is a time for families to gather and share moments which will become memories to last a life time.
However Christmas is a tough time of the year for many people as well. Depression can creep up on people in December and comes from different directions.
The so called holiday blues are tough feelings to deal with at a time of the year when everyone is supposed to be happy.
Being alone on Christmas when the world around you is celebrating can put you in a funk that is difficult to deal with.
In this sense I say to the people who are having a rough time to remember the blessings we can find in life.
The sense of belonging to an area is strong at this time of the year.
People gather and share a song (like many did at the Holiday Train) or are getting prepared to dance the night away on New Year’s Eve.
Life is complicated and every day we seem to face more challenges than we did the day before. But like my father says “That’s Life…what are you going to do?”
This month is a reminder of many things. For some it is about remembering their feelings of faith which seem to get amplified during the season.
For others it is about looking back on another year which has seemingly slipped by forever evolving us into the people we are today.
I sometimes catch myself thinking about the Christmas days I have shared with many people in many different places in the past. Many a Christmas in Newfoundland to a rather odd evening in shorts and T-shirt at the Hotel California in Southern Taiwan. The tales of Christmas past are always something I look back to fondly.
In the end the season to me is about hope. Hope that will see things be better as time moves forward in a world where the future is impossible to see. Hope is a funny word because it means different things to each of us and that is the way it should be.
For some hope is the smaller things in life.
The toy you want, the Dec. 25 dinner that will put you to sleep soon after you finish it or being with loved ones.
For other people hope is seeing a world where change is possible. A place where people act humanely towards other people on the big ball we all call home.
One of my personal favourite stories I heard in university was the tale of the Christmas truce during World War 1. If people in that situation could find the time to share a carol, possibly exchange a gift and make the guns go silent even for the shortest time then maybe there is hope for the future.
So have a happy holiday season and remember the best parts of your day.