I have been thinking for a long time on what I would write about for my New Years Eve Blog. I returned to work today, and was asked a simple question, “How was your Christmas?” I am sure the question was meant with good intentions by all, but it goes to show that many view Christmas as a one or two day affair. It could be that times are changing, or it could be because once the big fellow leaves it is all over for another year, “Yes bye we made it through another year”. I believe it is part and parcel of many things, including the aforementioned but that we are all exhausted by the time the holiday is upon us. It is difficult to embrace a holiday for a month, to keep that spirit alive and prepare mentally, physically and in some cases financially, it takes a huge effort. It is easy to lose focus of the meaning of the season when it is clouded in commercialism and deadlines to get that perfect gift. I try each year to not let that get to me, but some portions do, as a result I can get a little frazzled. I try not to let it ruin the celebration, and to date it never do, I am blessed with a wonderful family and a great group of friends to celebrate this magical season. So when asked how was my Christmas, I usually say…”It is going great”…or in the title of this blog…”I’m Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time”
Thankful this year!!
I have so many things to be thankful for this Christmas, all are personal in nature, but worthy of blogging about. As you all know I love Christmas Eve, it is a time for family, friends and connecting with the past. I have been fortunate to have done all this so far this Christmas. I visit my grandparent’s grave site every Christmas Eve, the tradition started with my brothers, but now I go it alone. For the past 10 years that I have been blessed with children, they have waited patiently in the car with Lisa as I visited and toasted nan and pop, well this year they asked me if they could go with me, I was uncertain at first as I did not know what their reaction would be. I am so happy I consented, it was obvious it was a learning experience for them, there were many questions but they seemed to understand why I have been visiting for over 16 years. It is hard to describe the feeling I had, knowing they too embraced the visitation of my grandparents; it gave me the opportunity to tell them about their great grand parents and their traditions.
Christmas Eve @ the Noel’s
The visitation happens just before going to Lisa’s Mom and Dad’s for Christmas Eve. Speaking of traditions, I have been going to the Noels for 22 years now, the crowd never gets smaller, only larger, now a great deal of the grand children are grown and we are now blessed with great grand kids at the celebration. It is a special day, filled with family and friends, and yes, plenty of food!! This was the first year that we did not BBQ, we had a potluck, and it was tasty. My In-Laws are blessed, and they know it, all their children and most of the grandchildren live in Newfoundland and attend their Christmas Eve gathering, they are truly blessed.
Midnight Mass with Mom and Dad
Time permitted us to do something I have not had the opportunity to do since our children were born; we surprised mom and dad and went to midnight mass with them. It has been at least 17 years since I have been to St. Joseph’s for Christmas Eve. I use to sing in the choir and sometimes sang a solo, it seems so long ago, it was wonderful to go back with my family and have mom and dad with us. The comment that left me with the largest impact came the next day when dad (unexpectedly) said how nice it was to have three generations in the one pew for Christmas. His eyes filled with tears, I knew whatn he meant, but really did not know it meant that much to him. I will never forget it and am so happy we went to the “River” for Christmas.
Hockey @ Christmas
My son Kaegan has found a passion for hockey so we decided to enter him in a Christmas hockey camp. He really enjoys playing hockey with the Rovers minor hockey system, but this was an opportunity for him to further develop his skills. This was his first camp, but I think it will not be his last. He really enjoys his novice coaches and their teaching methods but the opportunity to work on specific skills was just the boost he needed. The camp also allowed me some father and son time . As well, it gave him some time away from the computer and Wii , I think as long as BO and Scott run these camps, we will be there.
Where are you Christmas?
Ok, my last shot at the media. We all know that Christmas on the radio is commercial based, but do they really have to tone back Christmas so early? You can still listen to my one hour Christmas radio show from anywhere in the world. Feel my spirit of Christmas. Please have a listen http://www.bayroberts.com/Christmas%20Radio/christmasradio.html
On behalf of My Wife Lisa, my children Maggie and Kaegan, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.