Those Were The Days: It Was A Very Good Year

Silhouettes of carollers

Lush green leaves surrendered to Autumn altering their colours to orange then brown, only to lose their grip and tumble hapharzardly to the ground abandonning baren tree trunks and branches silhouetted against the dusk of an early evening sky.       

It is a happy/sad time of year, scenery blending all of nature into one massive canvas but also a time to let us know summer has run it’s yearly lifespan. It is a time when September gives way to October, when turkey and stuffing decorated our dinner tables as we give thanks for the blessings received and for some, thankful for simply surviving another year.

Goblins and ghosts, spacemen and angels end the month, children in costume scurried from house to house in search of their Halloween treats, or tricks as the case may be.                                                                                                                                             

In November thousands of veterans and grateful citizens gathered at various cenotaphs across Canada remembering those who gave their all in defense of our freedoms. We honoured with deep respect those who marched slowly or sat feebly with teary eyes that mirrored the horrors they once endured.

And then December, the month we celebrate Christmas, to me the most important and significant day in all of our calendar. It is a time when people all around the world open their hearts and pocket books to help those less fortunate than themselves. It is a time when strangers greet total strangers with handshakes and tidings of good cheer. It is a time when Christians celebrate the birth of a Babe in a manger, a time when a jolly old man in a red suit brings laughter to so many children, a time when giving is much more appreciated than receiving. It is a time of jingle bells, ribbons and bows, presents wrapped in red and green, Christmas carols and trees lit with a rainbow of lights and shiny silver tinsel. It is a time when “peace on Earth good will toward men” actually means something. It is a time when all faiths of the world embrace those words in solemn prayer.   

Since snow is just over the horizon I can not help but think of the days of my youth. Fluffy flakes fell in slow motion to the already white covered ground. The one bulb street light shone a triagular glow over Salvation Army members playing brass instruments while a small chorus of carollers could be heard serenading our neighbourhood, many of us standing on our front porch bundled in scarf and touque enjoying every hymn. I will always remember Dad hoisting me on his shoulders so I could gently place the angel on the upper most branch of our fully decorated tree. The world has changed over the past many decades, not always for the good but the spirit of Christmas will live on forever.         

From my house to yours, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.                                                                  

By Russ Sanders –

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