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Thursday, 22 December 2011

reminder to search for the true meaning...

So the countdown is on.  Officially, we have only 3 more sleeps til Christmas day.  I've been ready for a while now, including even baking up a few batches of cookies (and if you know me at all, I NEVER BAKE. One of the recipes wasn't even from a pre-made mix!  It might have only been three ingredients, but I mixed them up with my own bare hands!).  Don't get on me though, I actually have 2 more gifts to wrap, and I can't wrap them, because they're not done. And I'm waiting on Christopher to complete them so I can wrap them.  And his poor brother will be opening up a belated Christmas gift because we couldn't fit our heads together to come up with a suitable something to forward along to the poor bugger.  Sorry Shawn!  I promise a little goodie is coming your way soon! 

This past weekend, there was a slight, slight snowfall, and on Sunday night we hit the road to Rustico to view the lights (good thing, too, because it appears we'll be having a green Christmas after a few days of milder temps melting the little snow we did have). Monday night I attended Todd MacLean's music school Christmas concert (starring my dear Chris playing "Greensleeves").  Tuesday night, I shared a lovely evening with some of my best girlfriends with our annual gift exchange, and I've been treated to two lovely dinners for Chris' work Christmas parties.  I've been feeling the little anticipatory butterflies of the holiday excitement, and really have started to look forward to a few happy surprises and quality time spent with my family and friends.  I love Christmas. I'm especially looking forward to it this year, because my momma will be home!  She's been in Ontario the last few years, and it just isn't the same when your family isn't close.  Fred & Belinda are joining us here on the Island on Boxing Day, too. 

Life, as it seems to always do, however, interrupts the reverie to give a devastating reality check.  While I sit in my own little bubble of happiness and dream of sugar plums and all such things, 5 families are forever changed.  Last week, on their way to the airport, 2 young PEI boys along with an Alberta resident were murdered.  Another PEI girl is fighting to recover in an Alberta hospital. Doctors claim that it's a miracle that she wasn't killed.  The incident appears to have been a random act - one that was domestic in nature. One of his victims was an ex-girlfriend of the shooter. The shooter, after having fired many rounds at his intended victims then turned the gun on himself, and he too, died from his wounds. 

I've been wanting to write a post related to this event since it happened, but I haven't been able to put anything into words. Four families have lost a son or daughter.  Their family circle is broken, and while time will mend it somewhat, it will never be the same shape again. A horrific circumstance of 'wrong place, wrong time' proving our own mortality, and the ugly face of reality...I can't get my head around it. My cursor has been flashing in the same spot for so long.  I've typed, and typed over, and re-typed and then removed what I've typed...My heart aches thinking about those poor families and friends of the victims.  The survivor, though so, so fortunate to have escaped this tragedy with her own life, now has to live with the horrific memories of what happened, and the loss of three of her dear friends (one was her boyfriend).  The scope of what she must be feeling is unimaginable.  I pray for her, and for the families of the other victims. May they find the strength to deal with this tragedy, and somehow move on from it...

Christmas is a magical time of year. For those people who have lost a loved one, though, it can be especially hard.  As you're hurrying and busying yourselves getting prepared for the festivities to come, please, please take a few moments to reflect on what is truly important in life, and  remember what the real meaning of Christmas is.  Never leave things unsaid, and treasure every available ounce of time you have with those people that mean so much to you.  Life is a gift.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Are you ready?

Well folks, you'll be glad that I spared you all the frantic, "omg it's only 4 weeks from Christmas; omg it's only 3 weeks from Christmas and I have NOTHING done".  It's currently 2 weeks from Christmas, and aside from a few bows, tags, and gift bags, I'm DONE!  That's right. Done.  The tree has been up and trimmed for two weeks. The cards (albeit, store-bought on account of my wrist issues) are addressed and ready to go in the mail. The gifts are bought, wrapped and under the tree.  Heck, I even have Chris' stocking stuffed.  And, I'm not gonna feels damn good! 

Per my usual routine, I took the first full week of December off from work and stayed on 'staycation' to accomplish the preparations for Christmas in the 'hood. I truly don't know how or if I'd get it done otherwise.  Of course, there will still be some final loose ends we'll need to do, like a run to the grocery store and the liquor store.  And of course the house still needs a good scrubbing (which, instead of blogging, I should be doing right now).  However,  I plan to completely and utterly ignore, avoid and boycott the malls altogether, and sit in front of my fake led-lit tree and electric fire, sipping on a mug of coffee and Baileys and just let it all happen :).

How are your preparations going?  I hope you're all making it as stress-free as humanly possible.  If not, go a little heavier on the Baileys hand - it might help :)