Christmas Time

To Do List:

  • Write Christmas cards
  • Bake cookies
  • Bake cakes
  • Clean and tidy house
  • Decorate house
  • Decorate outside of house
  • Change burned out light bulbs
  • Spend way too much time trying to fix a set of lights
  • Go Christmas shopping
  • Mail the parcels
  • Don’t forget to move the G.D. elf around the house
  • Create a Christmas music playlist
  • Assemble the gingerbread house
  • Watch Christmas movies
  • Drive around looking at Christmas lights
  • Go to the liquor store
  • get the Christmas groceries

…the list goes on and on and on.

I’m sure we have all experienced lists like this one and it can get very overwhelming sometimes. I wish I could go back to a simpler time where the biggest worry I had at Christmastime was trying to figure out what colour outfit I was going to put on the shepherds.

We put way too much pressure on ourselves this time of year, but why do we do that? Is it because Christmas has become too commercialized? Everywhere you look you’ll find Christmas sale signs noting 15% off entire purchase, or “Buy One Get One Free” ads. Many commercials advertise the “perfect Christmas” scenario with the family baking, a stylishly decorated home and expertly wrapped presents; images we think we have to live up to otherwise Christmas is a disappointment. The one that puts my anxiety on bust is the Christmas Countdown. I can literally run the car into a tree when I hear on the radio “It’s the VOCM Christmas countdown…you have 6 more weeks to shop.” I start to panic. I’ve been thinking back to when I was young and things were simpler, or so it seemed. Flipping through some old photographs got me thinking about this time of year and how different things were back then.

Here are a few snaps of that time. I take no credit for these pictures, obviously. But I did ask permission of the owners of the photographs and they were gracious enough to allow me to post them. Hope you enjoy this trip back in time.

I guess as little kids and young adults we often fail to recognize just how much effort our own parents put into making our Christmases as “perfect” as possible. I suppose that’s why Christmas seemed so much simpler back then. They had the same struggles then as we have now with regards to completing the “to do” list but their struggles were often concealed in order to give us kids a magical experience. We may not have gotten the latest gadget or toy but that means very little to us now as grown ups. When I reflect on Christmas as a child, I remember helping to put the decorations on the tree, especially these cute little pink teardrop-shaped ones. They were my favorite. Over the years they dwindled in number as they got broken but I did manage to get to keep one and every year it sits proudly on my own tree. I still feel the same excitement placing that on the tree as I did when I was 6 or 7. In the end that’s all that really matters.

Next week as we make our way around the bay to Riverhead to celebrate Christmas, I will be remembering all the things both past and present that make Christmas perfect in my eyes.

Here’s one of my all time favorite Christmas songs, although I may be biased. Barry Delaney and Erin’s Call do a magnificent job of capturing the essence of Christmas in the River. Have a listen as you reflect on your own childhood Christmas memories.

Until Next Time,

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Andrea

All Things Bright and Beautiful

It’s funny when I think back on the past summer and how quickly it came and went. We had a hard winter and everyone was sure it was a sign that we would have a great summer and fall. Surely, Mother Nature wouldn’t be so cruel as to deny us that much...scrap all that. Here I am again writing another blog about how fast summer went, talking about what a great fall it’s been so far, hoping for a good winter, blah, blah blah! As I sit here trying to come up with something new and fresh to talk about I realize it’s all been said before; if not by me then someone else: a friend, neighbour, TV, the World Wide Web.

2020 has been “crap on a cracker” for the most part. Mega blizzards, COVID outbreaks, lock downs, travel restrictions, and on it goes. We’ve been relatively lucky here in Newfoundland & Labrador as we have not been ravaged by the pandemic like other provinces in Canada or countries throughout the world have been. Yet, I still feel like we are in some sort of suspended animation, everything on hold until COVID is banished. It’s frustrating. In the meantime we all long to take that vacation to Florida, the cruise to the Caribbean, the trip to see family and friends back home, plan the big wedding, go shopping without a mask. Many of us are suffering from COVID fatigue, not being able to enjoy the things we once could; longing to have a normal life again. BUT, I challenge you to scroll through the pictures on your phone or camera or think back over the last little while. What do you see? Maybe you went to Cape Spear to check out the lighthouse. Maybe you went on a boat tour and saw some whales. Maybe you went to the Dildo Brewery with your bubble and enjoyed a few sociables. Maybe you went on your side by side and had a boil up on Glover Road. Maybe you had a backyard fire. Maybe you learned how to drive. Maybe you went on a road trip up the southern shore. Maybe you picked berries or learned about gardening and growing vegetables or maybe jigged cod for the first time! You get my point. What seems like little things are often the big things especially if it allows you to spend time with family and make memories. Speaking of which, here are some of the little big things I remember from the last few months!

*Don’t forget to click on the images in the galleries to enlarge them and get the full effect. 🙂

This beauty is my niece Emily. She graduated from high school this year, in the middle of a pandemic. Not likely she’ll forget that experience any time soon!

What seems like little things are often the big things…

“2020 – the year of perfect vision. Focus on the good.” I saw that quote on a friend’s Facebook profile and thought it was perfect. Although this has been a year we won’t soon forget, lets make sure we remember it for all the right reasons and be kind, ALWAYS.

Until Next Time,

Andrea