Editorial 26

Editorial 26

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Give me a time machine and I would go back to the 1970s for Christmas in northern Ontario.
In some areas of our property – the Sugar Bush Motor Court – the snow was chest deep, and as children, we loved wading out into it and getting stuck.
The icicles that hung from our roof nearly touched the ground in some places. Licking them and playing Star Wars duels was a great pastime that never got old.
When it was time to get the tree, my sister and I piled into dad’s pickup and drove to a spot where we climbed a fence and made our way through the forest. Blue jays and whiskey jacks played hide and seek while dad blazed a trail with axe in hand. We had to be careful to step into dad’s footprints, otherwise we would lose our boots and start crying.
After some debate between sister and I, we managed to choose a tree that was just right; not too tall and not too skinny. Linus would have been proud.
On the way back to the pickup, I marvelled at the trail the tree made in the snow, wondering if other lonely Linus trees would be chosen as the star attraction in somebody’s home. I believed our tree was lucky because it would be cozy warm in our house instead of freezing cold in the bush.
Once home, it didn’t take long to decorate the tree with a ton of ornaments that surprisingly didn’t break the branches. Perhaps the Linus blanket was all the support it needed.
The next job was rather tedious: folding every page of those huge Sears catalogues, a task that transformed them into miniature Christmas trees. You’d probably need three or four catalogues to make them today.
I’ll never forget the last day of school before Christmas holidays. All of the students gathered in the gymnasium for an assembly and each class lined up to get a red mesh stocking from Santa. Each stocking contained a number of little toys that we played with for hours. The rest of the day was spent playing floor hockey in the gym.
On the bus ride home the driver would pass out treats to every student. We felt like kings and queens.
On Christmas Eve sister and I could barely contain our excitement as we stared longingly at the tree and envisioned how many gifts there would be in the morning. It was the best time of our little lives.

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