Countdown to Christmas

The days are flipping by much too quickly. By Monday we will be only a week away from Christmas. I am so not ready.

I am ever grateful for my family's patience as it has been go, go, go for what seems like months.  The evenings and weekends have been jam packed with special events, concerts, Deputy Mayor obligations, meetings and myriad other things that left no time to get ahead of the holiday wave.  Add to the mix, long days of singing rehearsals for Hometown the Musical, and my traditional December pattern has been obliterated.

This is my last official work day before burning off some accumulated vacation time, and apart from one council engagement event and a few more rehearsals, it is clear sailing to the 25th.  I'm looking forward to designing our annual family photo-laden holiday newsletter.  And while I am about two weeks behind, I'm not prepared to let this particular tradition die.  The process of collating reflections, stories and images from the year about to pass is cathartic, super important.  It serves as a reminder of brilliant moments, challenges overcome, family visits, and travels.  It also puts into sharp focus the most important thing in life - the love of friends and family.

In addition to some surreptitious shopping in the next few days, I have a growing pile of snow in the front yard that I want to turn into a quinzee.  Honestly, I've been building snow forts my whole life, I just didn't know what they were called.  Councillor Meagher has been coaching me on the procedure for making a snow shelter that, if built correctly, should be able to warm to between 5 - 10 degrees with the help of a few candles burning inside empty tin cans with holes poked in their lids.  I'm intrigued to give it a try and if I'm feeling especially adventurous, perhaps I'll attempt an overnight camp out.

Mostly, I'm looking forward to spending time with my family, hanging out, traveling down to Edmonton for a few days, and just slowing down.  The rush from the opening days of September to this point is intense.  The pace is furious and unrelenting.  Who's with me on this one?  It is so constant and predictable that the whole family become numb to it, almost unaware that it's happening.

Last Christmas season, I picked up the paint brush for the first time in years.  I feel that itch coming on, as I do the itch to dive into a couple of good books.  Time is precious, and three weeks off offers lots of it.


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