By Jenn Watt
The warm, sweet smell of apple cider. The anticipation of a new toy. Singing along with holiday tunes on the car ride home. Saving up to give something special to a loved one. Hanging glowing strings of lights to brighten the neighbourhood. Walking through the magical silence of the woods, covered in a blanket of white. Whispering your heart’s desire to Santa. Spending the day in your PJs with your family all around.
The holidays hold deep, personal meaning for many of us and are loaded with memories from a time of year set aside to show appreciation for one another, to be kind, to reach out to those needing a hand, and to celebrate – one’s faith, one’s family, or just the great privilege of being alive.
In this year’s Season’s Greetings section, there are many perspectives on the Christmas tradition, from the sanctity of the natural world to the pleasure of dressing up in whimsical wear. There’s a story of a child in wartime London, wishing for a toy in a country under siege. There’s another about one woman’s love of decorating Christmas trees. Belinda Gallagher writes about the Proust Effect – how you can be transported back in time by a whiff of peppermint or a dash of nutmeg on your eggnog.
And then there are the kids’ letters and artwork, reminding all of us of the nearly uncontainable excitement Dec. 25 can bring.
Although this time of year is hectic, it’s always enjoyable to read through the stories in Season’s Greetings because of how many facets there are to the holidays. It’s a time for kids, of course, and a time to get together with family. It’s also a time to think back to all of the wonderful seasons of your life. Remember that time you made a snowman with your siblings on Boxing Day when there was nothing else to do, no deadlines or worries. Remember the tray of cookies delivered with a smile by the kind neighbour down the road. Remember how sure you were that you could hear reindeer hooves tapping lightly on the roof as you sat in the darkness, wide-eyed with anticipation.
Now we get to make new memories. Find new ways to do kind things for others. Look to make someone’s eyes light up with joy. It’s a lovely time of year. Season’s greetings.