Old tra­di­tions set aside and new ones cre­ated

The Expositor (Brantford) - - OPINION - KIM­BER­LEE TAPLAY

Just a heads up: My Christ­mas cards are a lit­tle late this year.

I know I said that last year would be the last one for send­ing out Christ­mas cards. I meant it. But then Novem­ber hit and, with it, came the over­whelm­ing urge to buy stamps, ad­dress la­bels and colour­ful hol­i­day stick­ers. Re­sis­tance -- as I learned cour­tesy of the Borg in Star Trek: The Next Gen­er­a­tion -- is fu­tile. The cards are ready — al­most. If things go ac­cord­ing to plan, Ki­dlet No. 1, grand­daugh­ter Isabelle and I will make the short trek to the big red mail­box around the cor­ner on Sun­day morn­ing and send the cards on their merry way.

With all of the changes that have hap­pened over the past 12 months in this KAT’s world, there are few things that have gone “ac­cord­ing to plan” as far as Christ­mas goes. Funny thing is that I’m OK with how things are un­fold­ing, de­spite be­ing the sort of per­son who plans time in my sched­ule for spon­tane­ity.

My up­stairs tree is typ­i­cally a “show­piece,” all colour co-or­di­nated and dec­o­rated with del­i­cate glass or­na­ments and fam­ily keep­sakes. This year, there are lights and ar­ti­fi­cial flow­ers and pretty pink but­ter­flies clipped to the odd branch or two, and that’s pretty much it. The dif­fer­ence in dec­o­ra­tions is cour­tesy of the reg­u­lar ap­pear­ance in her nana’s liv­ing room by one ac­tive and walk­ing-al­ready-at-10-months Isabelle. There’ll be time in the com­ing years to bring out all of the fam­ily heir­looms and once again set up my manger scene. But, for now, I’m en­joy­ing the pared-down, messed up, up­side-down world that is Christ­mas with a vis­it­ing lit­tle one scur­ry­ing around and point­ing at ev­ery­thing ask­ing: “Whas­sat?”

I have yet to do any Christ­mas bak­ing, al­though there has been a spe­cial re­quest for her mom’s world fa­mous peanut but­ter balls put in by one some­what homesick and can’t-wait-to-get-home-for-Christ­mas Ki­dlet No. 2. I’ll get them done in time, I prom­ise. It will be worth the sev­eral hours of a messy kitchen and all the ex­tra con­tain­ers in the freezer to watch the balls dis­ap­pear in (most likely) one en­thu­si­as­tic bon-bon de­vour­ing ses­sion.

There will be old tra­di­tions set aside and new ones cre­ated this year, as a new “nor­mal” set­tles in. My world is chang­ing and Christ­mas is chang­ing with it.

What’s that old say­ing? You know, the one that talks about a tree that bends in the wind is the one that doesn’t break? Well, for now, I am the tree. I just hap­pen to be one that’s dec­o­rated for the hol­i­days, too.

Speak­ing of dec­o­ra­tions and Christ­mas Present, I have two Christ­mas presents to share with you. So, pay at­ten­tion.

First, don’t for­get about the Bah BumHug Din­ner and Fes­tive Gath­er­ing that takes place Tues­day at King ’s Buf­fet. There’s still time to join us. So, if you are look­ing for a great way to kick-start your hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions, send me your RSVP by Sun­day night. Doors open at 6:30 p,m, and the din­ner and fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin at 7 p,m. There will be an all-you-can-eat buf­fet din­ner for $25 (with un­lim­ited cof­fee, tea or soft drinks, taxes and gra­tu­ities in­cluded), a “Se­cret Santa” gift ex­change, guest speaker, an up­date on the progress of Project Dragon­fly, lots of door prizes – in­clud­ing a year’s worth of pizza cour­tesy of Domino’s, dou­ble guest passes to Marineland, a retro Coca-Cola per­sonal fridge / ther­mal-elec­tric cooler do­nated by the Koola­tron Out­let Store, tick­ets to var­i­ous up­com­ing per­for­mances at the San­der­son Cen­tre, a travel mug and un­lim­ited re­fills for the en­tire month of Jan­uary from my friends at Star­bucks in West Brant, and so much more. Plus there will be plenty of spe­cial lit­tle sur­prises through­out the evening. For more in­for­ma­tion or to RSVP, send me an email at kat­[email protected] or tele­phone me at 519-209-2683.

Sec­ond, thanks to my friends at the San­der­son Cen­tre, I am able to award a spe­cial prize next Fri­day. I have a pair of tick­ets (val­ued at $84) to the Dec. 16 per­for­mance of The Next Gen­er­a­tion Leahy in a Christ­mas show of hymns and car­ols, along with French-Cana­dian step-danc­ing, Celtic fid­dle mu­sic and other ex­am­ples of the fam­ily’s own hol­i­day cel­e­bra­tions.

All you have to do to en­ter is send me an email with the word “LEAHY” in the sub­ject line. I’ll pick one en­try at ran­dom next Fri­day at 5 p.m. and send the lucky win­ner a Merry Christ­mas email mes­sage with de­tails on how to claim the prize. Re­mem­ber, you can’t win if you don’t en­ter, so send your email to kat­[email protected] to­day.

And, be­cause good things typ­i­cally come in threes, check my next col­umn on Dec. 21 for an­other chance to win a great prize just in time for Christ­mas.

I’ve promised my­self that I am go­ing to take the time to ap­pre­ci­ate at least three good things in my life ev­ery week. What about you do­ing the same?

You can even write and share a bless­ing or two with me, if you’d like. Joy shared is joy mul­ti­plied. I look for­ward to hear­ing from you.

Kim­ber­leeAnna (KAT) Taplay is mom to two fab­u­lous young women, a “biker chick,” nana to one and some­one who is look­ing for­ward to get­ting some shop­ping done this week­end. You can reach her via email at kat­[email protected] or by reg­u­lar mail c/o The Expositor. Look for her next col­umn on Dec. 21.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Colum­nist Kim­ber­lee Taplay is of­fer­ing a chance to win a pair of tick­ets to the Dec. 16 per­for­mance of The Next Gen­er­a­tion Leahy, cour­testy of the San­der­son Cen­tre.

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