Opening the little doors to peaceful Christmas memories

Reader seeking an Advent calendar for a grandchild helps remind of the true meaning of Christmas.

I missed talking to all of you this past week. Darn computer did something or other. Back in business now. So ready or not, here we go.

As many of you know I do have reservations about Christmas. I say that, then I will be told about a grand craft fair or a beautiful choral presentation. Service groups do their best to make a happy Christmas for others. Food hampers are taken where they are needed. And so it goes, all the things that in my mind make a Christmas.

Then I turn on the TV finding out that in short order my mind is assaulted by the commercialism. Buy this, buy that. Cooking shows filled with all manner of decadent Christmas goodies. I could go on but I have an idea you get the idea.

My mood was saved after I had a short chat with a reader who was on the hunt for an Advent calendar for a grandchild. Those little paper doors will open up to display an image, bible verse or a piece of chocolate. One door a day for 24 days before Christmas.

It came to me that I could in my mind’s eye open a little door to the many memories of a Christmas past. I thought about the cabin we lived in outside Cassiar. High on a knoll sat our log cabin. We didn’t have running water or electricity. Propane lights, an old Fisher wood heater trying its best to keep the cold from creeping in. When Christmas came we would find a small tree. A few decorations were added. We made up buckets of food colouring which was poured down from the roof to colour very big icicles.

A cabin in Atlin where we cooked a big meal on a wood stove. A tiny cabin above Nanoose Bay where a Christmas was spent trying to save a couple cats someone dumped.

I think about the many Christmas events we hosted at this cabin in the woods. Paper bag lanterns would line the driveway. Those who could play and sing would gravitate to the little Robert Service cabin down the trail. A dump rescued cat was passed around from guest to guest in a soft Santa hat.

In Santa’s workshop many things happened. A rocking horse for a neighbour, a real boat for the other neighbour. Carved Santas big and small were carved from willow.

Now I see the commercials showing shoppers with a frantic look about them as they shuffle through malls. Decorations bought for every nook and cranny. Flashing lights and all manner of peace-altering noise and colour.

So you see, even though I understand the true meaning of Christmas I find all this nonsense does blur some of the memories for me. So, for the next few days I will choose to open the little doors to my peaceful memories just hoping that “peace on Earth” will have some meaning for all of you.

I will see you when I am out and about. You could call me at 250-846-5095 or email a note to mallory@bulkley.net.

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