I didn’t want to leave Mr. Grumpypants sitting on my blog throughout the Christmas season, and so this is just a brief note to wish all of you who read this labour of love of mine the best of the holiday season. And also, to share somewhat shamelessly my favourite Christmas song, featuring the incomparable Jessye Norman.
When I wrote for the Calgary Herald, I always took great pleasure in writing my column at Christmas time. I think my favourite theme was the lighting of candles at the time of the winter solstice – the longest night of the year – and the laudable qualities assigned to four of those candle in the advent season of peace, joy, hope and love.
Well, that still stands, but I would have to admit that my enthusiasm for the season has waned somewhat over the last few years. When I had a family I took great pride (and joy) in finding the perfect tree and decorating it with ornaments collected through the years, many of them from the trees of my childhood.
But for the last few years I haven’t bothered dragging the box of lights and decorations out from the storage room, let alone foraging for a tree. It’s a symptom of living alone, I suppose. Rather like cooking, it’s not so much fun when you have no one to share it with.
Yet, while that sounds gloomy (and there have been years when it’s been very gloomy, indeed) it’s not as bad as it seems. There comes a point in your life when you learn to see beyond the plastic baubles and the tinsel to the heart of the matter, and see things as they really are.
For me, this is the certain knowledge that I am blessed in my life to have a wonderful daughter, a brother and sister and their families whom I love dearly, and so many friends, so many wonderful and distinct friends, such an eclectic collection of talented people in my life, that really, I couldn’t possibly ask for anything more.
And so I still go back to those four elusive qualities represented by the flickering flames in midwinter – peace, joy, hope and love – and I wish all of these for you and the ones you love throughout Christmas time and beyond into 2014.
Thanks for reading.
Here’s Jessye . . .