Whether you like it or not, it’s that time of year.
I’ve seen countless pithy social media posts whining about holding off on Christmas celebrations until after Remembrance Day.
Celebrating anything after Halloween and before Remembrance Day does not minimize the solemn honouring of the men and women who have fought to keep our country free. Rest assured, that on November 11th, I will be not only wearing my poppy, but attending a memorial service.
Note to the cynics out there who are rolling their scrooge-like eyes; I finish my shopping before the end of November. My idea of Christmas is not fighting over parking spots and being elbowed like a pinball through the mall.
As I begin to squirrel away special gifts for my near and dear, and drizzle more rum on the fruitcake, I am giddy with the thought that I might be fortunate enough to celebrate all of the following between now and the new year;
1) Coffee chats with friends over eggnog lattes, caramel brulee lattes, or even a glass or two of wine.
2) Leisurely shopping to finish up the last few gifts that I need to buy.
3) Writing Christmas cards and receiving Christmas cards.
4) Mistletoes kisses
6) A toasty shot or two of bourbon or scotch with my writer pals
7) Escaping into the world of Christmas romance novels
8) Baking every kind of cookie you can imagine
9) Outdoor, night-time skating
10) A night-time parade
11) Civic tree-lighting, carol singing and outdoor Christmas markets
12) Our annual visit to the craft show with my mumster
13) The first night admiring the lights on the Christmas tree
14) Donating to my local food bank and the Salvation Army
15) Christmas afternoon and dinner with my friends
16) Communion on Christmas eve and singing Silent Night by candlelight in the sanctuary
17) Watching my favourite Christmas movies; White Christmas, Christmas Vacation, The Sound of Music, It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story
18) Hosting dinners and gatherings
19) Listening to Christmas music
20) Always having ‘room for one more’ when it comes to sharing the spirit of the season.
21) Raspberry Schweppes gingerale
22) Hot apple cider
23) The smell of cloves and pine
24) Invitations to parties and dinners
25) Listening to the Christmas story read in our candlelit church
26) Watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special
……what are you looking forward to this Christmas?
Today was Remembrance Day in Canada. We wear poppies sold by the Canadian Legion, and honour our military, past and present, with a moment or two of silence at 11am.
My kiddo and I attended a local parade and cenotaph wreath ceremony.
As the trumpet solemnly wailed the final notes of The Last Post, three old war planes flew overhead in perfect formation. The crowd bowed their heads in silence, and we paid our respects.
Today is not only a national day to ‘Remember’ our war heroes. It is a day I remember my Grandmother, a woman, who against all odds not only survived, but thrived in the world.
So, it came naturally to me to think of the women who have fought for our freedom here in Canada and around the world. I thought of the women who serve in the military, and the women who stay home and keep us sane when the world has gone mad.
Women lead with an organic sense of compassion and courage. We are ferocious nurturers. We need to love one another, and stand united. Whether it be in war-time or peace time, women, united have an incredible power to effect change.
In a Globe and Mail article today about sexual economics, columnist Margaret Wente, argued women need to hold out on their lovin’ to make this generation of young men strive to ‘be more”.
Before we waste the talents of our young women mothering men of the same generation, we need to foster our own courage and be compassionate to the other women in our lives. If we do that, we automatically are courageous and compassionate about helping one another in our roles as women, wives, mothers and daughters.
During great wars, it has been women at home who have sacrificed and fought to maintain stability for families and nations.
Today I bowed my head in honour of our fallen soldiers, the ones who have survived, and the troops we have defending Canadian democracy around the world.
I also remembered that I am a woman who comes from a long line of women. Courageous, compassionate, and ferociously loving.