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Hark the Herald Angels Sing


Since I was a teenager, my very favourite part of Christmas has always been the late service at church, where, in the quiet sanctuary, people come together to replenish their souls, and meditate on the true meaning of Christmas

Singing ‘Silent Night’ in the candlelit glow, my heart lightens a bit, and I know with deep certainty that life is as it should be.

Whatever this day is to you, I wish you all of these things; joy, courage, hope, peace and love.

Merry Christmas.

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This is How I See You: Grandmothers & Christmas

Frosty Footpath - winter snow
Frosty Footpath – winter snow (Photo credit: blmiers2)

This post is for all of the Grandmothers out there.

It’s for all the grandmothers who teach us how to bake and cook, how to always make room for one more at the table, why homemade gifts are the most meaningful.

In doing so, they also teach us how to hold our heads up day in and day out, even when the magic of Christmas has been gathered up and stored away for the next year.

I start celebrating Christmas as soon as I get the itch to play Christmas music. That usually happens in July sometime.

Most songs make me sing along happily, but one always makes me stop and remember the wonderful Christmas times I shared as a  young woman with my Grandmother;

“Sense of joy fills the air
And I daydream and I stare
Up at the tree and  I see
You’re a star up there”

(Wintersong, Sarah McLachlan)

 I’m writing this today because today would have been her birthday, and being only three days apart from my own birthday, memories of her start flooding my mind from now until Christmas.

My grandmother seemed to have a magic kitchen. For weeks she turned out baked goods and meals for our large family.

The space around the bottom of her Christmas tree was a black hole that just kept delivering gifts for the entire family, many of them handmade.

Every year she decorated her tree in a different theme. All of the decorations were handmade, and she made at least 101 of them. When I asked her why she made 101, she said it was so that she could say, ” I made over one hundred….”, and then she laughed.

Each year the tree took on her whimsy. One year it was Cabbage Patch Kids, one year it was farm animals, another year it was quilted hearts, and yet another year her tree was graced with finely crocheted white angels.

No matter who tagged along for the holidays; boyfriends, girlfriends, neighbours, clients, friends….there was always room for ‘one more’.

Whether it was a happy year, or a sad year, Grandma taught me that life, indeed, does always go on, and it was up to me to make the most of it, and carry on with my dreams.

For the grandmothers out there with grandchildren whose toddling threatens to break all the decorations on the tree, or the ones with teenage grandchildren attached to their cell phones, don’t lose heart.

We learn more from you than you could ever imagine, and we are deeply grateful. Well, at least when we grow up we are.

Things My Grandmother Taught Me During Christmas Time:

1) You can never, never, ever, have enough butter.

2) A deep-freeze is a lifetime investment.

3) Always have a little hooch stashed away for the really, really long days.

4) Do a little bit every day, and it’s not so difficult.

5) Handmade gifts always hold more meaning than anything else.

6) There is always room for one more at the table.

7) Invest in a table that expands

8) Presence is a gift, not presents.

9) Buy flour, icing sugar, coconut, cocoa, gingerale, and green and red maraschino cherries in bulk.

10) Stop to enjoy a cup of tea by the light of the Christmas tree at the end of the day after everyone else is in bed.

In honour of my wonderful Grandmother, I dedicate this song. It’s ‘her’ song during the holidays. I hope you listen to it, and remember your grandmother, and the wonderful things that she taught you.


Lake is frozen over Trees are white with snow And all  around reminders of you Are everywhere I go

It’s late and morning’s in no hurry But sleep won’t set me  free I lie awake and try to recall How your body felt beside me

When silence gets too hard to handle And the night too  long

And this is how I see you In the snow on Christmas  morning Love and happiness surround you As you throw your arms up to the  sky I keep this moment by and by

Oh, how I miss you now, my love Merry Christmas, Merry  Christmas Merry Christmas, my love

Sense of joy fills the air And I daydream and I stare Up at the tree and I see You’re a star up there

And this is how I see you In the snow on Christmas  morning Love and happiness surround you As you throw your arms up to the  sky I keep this moment by and by