Good evening, fellow Winnipegers.
What a day, eh? The view of the city this morning blanketed in fog was incredible. Thankfully it hasn’t snowed yet, but we all know that’s coming soon.
Today felt like the turn of the season, at least in my opinion. After such beautiful weather on Halloween night, it seemed like the chill in the air this morning was saying, “Okay, that’s enough. Here comes the misery and madness.” Not that I find the cold miserable, but I know that a lot of you do.
For me, it’s the shorter days and lack of sun that really ruin winter. All day I wanted nothing more than to crawl back into bed to hibernate, and even my drive home from work shortly after 5:00 pm seemed much darker than it did when I left on Friday. My only consolation is knowing that a certain happy season swiftly approaches, though you won’t hear me say it out loud for some time because I am sure to be scolded for even thinking about it.
Now that Halloween is over, retailers aren’t holding back any longer when it comes to packing up all the spooky decorations and preparing for you-know-what (I still can’t bring myself to say the word) if they haven’t started already. Unfortunately, most of them have and it seems that every year it is forced upon us sooner than the year before. Don’t get me wrong; I love the you-know-what season itself but hate that retailers feel the need to shove it down our throats before the last leaf has fallen . I often find myself thinking, “If I have to see one more reindeer before Thanksgiving, I’m moving to Egypt,” and now that it’s November, all of the insanity is going into overdrive. Is it really necessary to prepare so far in advance?
On top of all that, the simple act of switching over to winter tires just seems to finalize the whole deal: the ice is on its way. You can avoid you-know-what shopping all you like, but there’s no ignoring a Winnipeg winter.
So now here we are, sitting atop the slippery slope that will eventually have us hurtling toward the new year, with little more than our forced ignorance to keep us from tottering over the edge, and what is there to do about it?
Nothing. I say bring it on.
Why? Because despite all of the corporate garbage injected into Christmas (yeah, I finally said it!) people still find a way to love it truly and honour its tradition. Even though Christmas has been exploited in countless ways, it still endures as the season of love, generosity and joy and that is what I love about it. If you can ignore all of the unnecessary stresses and instead manage to maintain sight of what is important, nothing can ruin what you love and that can be said for anything.
So even though you may be shying away from the premature holiday music, the thought of how much weight you’ll put on, your fear of crowded shopping malls and the accompanying traffic, remember that, early or not, it’s okay to embrace the little (and often most important) joys; the magic of that first snowfall, the smiles and hugs you’ll exchange with those you love most, the warmth of helping another human being, that favourite sweater you’ve been itching to wear, and the cozy feeling you get that can’t quite be put into words simply because you’re on the right side of the glass from the worst snow storm of the year. If you remember to appreciate these things, no annoying radio commercial in the world can ruin the magic of the season that you forgot you loved.
In case it wasn’t apparent, this is how I maintain my love for Christmas (and life in general). Though it is only November 2nd, I already find myself standing with open arms, ready to embrace the bustle of the season feeling assured that I will snag the little bits of happiness I await all year, and it will all be worthwhile.
Let the madness begin.