It’s that Time of Year: Getting Ready for Christmas

As a Canadian, I celebrate Thanksgiving the second Monday in October, not the fourth Thursday in November. What does that mean? Essentially, it gives me more time to get ready for Christmas since I don’t have another holiday feast to prepare in what’s basically a four-week period.

Whew! Since turkey is our traditional Christmas meal as well as our Thanksgiving one, we have a couple of months between each gargantuan meal. It also gives me more time to shop, but as the grandkids get older, there’s less of that involved and more e-transfers! In the picture on the right, this is me and my mother. A long tome has passed since then, but so far, I still have her with me.

Every year, Christmas is just a little bit different. Who can forget the COVID years? But, no matter what, our Christmas traditions remain the same. For example, our eldest son will come home for a week. We’ll go up to Upper Canada Village for Alight at Night. We’ll attend Christmas Eve Service, followed by a gift exchange since we can’t always be together on Christmas Day, and we’ll chat on the phone or through Facetime with those far away who can’t make it home. We’ll also visit my mother in the nursing home on Christmas morning. The baby in the third picture is the blonde in the second. She’s in the arms of her paternal great-grandmother who passed several years ago. Photographs keep memories alive. The last picture shows my grand-daughter in Norway. Memories, some sad, some happy are what we cling to all the days of our lives.

Starting on Friday, and for each ot the subsequent day until December 25th, my daughter’s family will removed one gift from the tree pictured here. Behind each gift is a thought for the day. Examples include, wash the dishes without being asked, or say hello to someone new, random acts of kindness that can brighten someone’s day. Of course they’ll be accompanied by a Christmas treat, but you get the idea. My seventeen-year-old grand-daughter painted this last year, and it’s now part of their family tradition.

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember the real reason we celebrate the season. I saw a meme that said, on Thanksgiving, we celebrate all that we have and for which we’re grateful. The next day, we’ll fight tooth and nail for something on sale, even when we don’t need it. We may not celebrate Thanksgiving here in Novemeber, but we certainly embrace and celebrate Black Friday.

Moving along … We all see the Salvation Army Santas with the bells and kettles. Some of us can afford to be generous while others, thanks to circumstances not always in their control, need that generosity. Sadly, this year more than ever, it’s important to do what we can for others. The world is an absolute mess. There are wars raging in more places than I can name, some being fought in the name of religion, others, for territory, and still more for a combination of the two. People are at one another’s throats all over the world. There are mass-shootings, racially motivated riots, brutal attacks on others based on their religion, color, or sexual identification and preference.

So here is my Christmas wish for this world!

Wishing you all peace and joy this holiday season. It doesn’t matter how or what you celebrate, what matters is that you do and remember to be kind to others..

If you’re looking for some great holiday reading, check out the ABB’s Chritmas collections including Irresistable Scrooges

And Unforgettable Christmas Wonders.

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About Susanne Matthews

I'm a retired high school English teacher turned author. I'm Canadian. My husband and I have been married 48 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, as well as 2 step-grandchildren.  I enjoy traveling, especially somewhere warm in winter.

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