From Where I Sit – Best Wishes

Are you ready? How are your Christmas preparations coming? Is your tree up? If you can manage it, get one of those fancy shmancy pre-lit ones. It will save untold hours of frustration and give you a perfectly balanced look. The fun part is selecting the ornaments and garlands to use. Will it be a collection of all your favourites including those kid-made ones, or will it be done in the latest fashion colours? Whatever the decision, it magically strips away the decades and takes us back to our childhood.

With the price of postage stamps and the convenience of email, is it any wonder that receiving a ?real? Christmas card is as rare as a dodo bird? This quaint tradition is more special because it happens so rarely. Imagine my writer’s cramp as I signed and addressed more than 125 cards for festival volunteers, sponsors, interpreters. I even added a short greeting in Ukrainian for the benefit of those who understand it.

Are the presents all wrapped with care and tucked under the tree or hidden in stockings? Whether you buy for everyone, or pick names like we do, the task is either fun or frustrating. Whether you do it all year round (and struggle to remember what you bought and where you hid it!) or love the Christmas Eve madness is largely a matter of attitude and preparation. Knowing the recipient is key. For some people a carefully selected gift card for a favourite store is better than some wildly inappropriate thing. To others It’s a cop out.

At this time we also remember Salvation Army’s kettle campaign, food bank drives, World Vision’s catalogue of farm animal gifts, clothing drives for the homeless, and a host of other worthy causes.

Have you recaptured the essence of Christmas by overdosing on holiday movies? From the innocence of a child’s faith to true love found to ludicrous slapstick, there is something to make you laugh or cry depending on your taste and mood. Whether it creates some unattainable expectations or provides much needed escapism is again a matter of perception.

If baking turns your crank, You’re in luck. ?Tis the season of excess. Shortbread cookies, Nanaimo bars, Christmas cake, homemade chocolate, and all manner of other goodies fill the air with heavenly scents. Of course, overindulgence also fills out our figures and not in a good way. Add the comfort food and snacks and you have a recipe for regret. At least the mandarin oranges are healthy.

Has anyone been able to top Boney M’s 1981 Christmas album? Mary’s Boy Child?ahhh. Or Wynonna’s rendition of the soaring O Holy Night? I realize It’s no Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer or All I Want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus, but hey.

But better than the music, the gifts, the food, or the entertainment is the time spent with family, Uncle Ed and Auntie Beryl notwithstanding. All the best wishes for a blessed Christmas and an incredible New Year, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites..

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