Here we go, ho, ho, ho!

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - Editorial - BY GARY SHAW

We all know how busy we seem to be as we plod through our lives. Time isn’t in­fi­nite, as many of us thought it was back in our youth.

The days, weeks, months and the year it­self all seem to be a blur as we try to man­age our time and ef­forts as each sea­son ar­rives.

There is no bet­ter ex­am­ple of this and it should be no sur­prise to any of us, that Christ­mas and all that it brings, is zoom­ing in on us.

Whether we are a few of those peo­ple who plan ahead, get our shop­ping done and have fam­ily and friend plans made, well in ad­vance of the sea­son, or are among the masses who sud­denly re­al­ize that we are well into De­cem­ber and by hur­ry­ing up and wait­ing, we have then found our­selves in panic mode, that is made by our own hand.

We all have our fam­ily tra­di­tions that in many cases span across gen­er­a­tions.

Things have cer­tainly changed with the pas­sage of time. For us older ones, as we look back on the Christ­mas that we cel­e­brated “back home” in days long gone by, is a far dif­fer­ent mem­ory than the Christ­mas we cel­e­brate now.

It is in­her­ently hu­man for us older ones to re­flect on how it was and now, how it is. Christ­mas was at home in our lit­tle com­mu­ni­ties with our fam­ily and friends gath­ered with a far sim­pler and more mod­est cel­e­bra­tion of Christ­mas.

The churches in our com­mu­ni­ties were al­ways filled with parish­ioners who were clearly re­minded of the rea­son for the sea­son. It was a time and place where most gath­ered, re­gard­less of age, as one to cel­e­brate the birth of Christ.

We had a sim­ple live tree set up in our homes, dec­o­rated with strings of pop­corn and tin­sel, with a star placed on the top, it was the cen­ter­piece of Christ­mas at home.

The gifts were not piled to the ceil­ing in those days. The stock­ings were hung and we were ex­cited and sat­is­fied with a big or­ange and a sweet treat of some kind. It was plenty enough for us.

A sin­gle gift con­tain­ing some new socks, of­ten knit­ted with the gifted hands of our grand­mother was not just a gift, it was of­ten a need. Thanks Grandma. I re­mem­ber a fine new hatchet with a hand-carved wooden han­dle with my name on the tag. How ex­cited was I. It was not only a gift to me, but the whole house­hold. It would serve us well to have the nec­es­sary pile of splits in the wood box that we would need all win­ter. It was af­ter all, my job.

The Christ­mas meal was the cli­max event of the sea­son. A big meal with ev­ery­one gath­ered to share it was the gift that we re­ceived. It was with the peo­ple that mat­tered in a place that mat­tered, shar­ing the things that mat­tered. We never once thought that we should ask for any­thing more.

Just in case you have some­how missed the date on the cal­en­dar, here we go again. With the pas­sage of the years, things have cer­tainly changed.

So many among us seem to be so time chal­lenged that the Christ­mas sea­son be­comes more of a time of stress than a time of cel­e­bra­tion. The stores have the Christ­mas mu­sic play­ing and the isles are filled with all the items that we can’t pos­si­bly get through Christ­mas with­out. Santa is front row and cen­ter for the young­sters. Our lo­cal mall is all set up thanks to the many ef­forts of the Christ­mas Elves on staff who have ev­ery­thing ready in a great ef­fort to de­liver Santa and the best Christ­mas ever.

Fam­i­lies are far more spread out than ever be­fore and the time and ex­pense at­tached to get­ting fam­i­lies to­gether adds to an al­ready very busy time.

In our ef­forts to have more “stuff “and give more “stuff “, we have added more com­po­nents to the stress pile. The sky seems to be the limit. New snow­mo­biles parked in the yard with a big rib­bon on the wind­shield and a stack of gifts spread high and wide around our Christ­mas trees that cost more than our first car back in the “old days”.

There seems to be no end to the lat­est items in the world of elec­tron­ics and the pile of brand name clothes and gift cards that will pro­vide any and all of the must have items.

The re­al­ity is that that the sky seems to be the limit, a sim­i­lar limit to the credit cards that of­ten make it pos­si­ble. I guess it’s all good as long as the stress me­ter doesn’t bust.

It is how­ever, a time that we may find our­selves look­ing back at some of the sim­ple Christ­mas ways that we found to cel­e­brate the sea­son back in the years long gone by. That wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Per­haps a bit more time spent with the peo­ple that mat­ter, shar­ing the things that mat­ter, in a place that mat­ters might just be a bit less stress­ful and a whole lot more fun than many of the things we find our­selves en­gaged in. We just might have an op­por­tu­nity to leave some mem­o­ries for the young ones that they too, can look back on with fond­ness and com­fort.

Merry Christ­mas!

GARY SHAW – SPE­CIAL TO THE AURORA

Santa on duty at the Labrador Mall.

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