December 27th, 2011

Baby and me

Christmas, Canadian style

 

   
 
(Ottawa, Canada, December 25, 2011.
Photo courtesy of the Phantom Photographer.)
 

An afternoon at the duck pond

The propaganda has long since worked its magic. I do like to see some snow on the ground come Christmas and Ottawa, at least, got a story-book dusting. What were but a few flakes as I cycled home from the airport late Christmas Eve had become (as if by magic) a full blanket of snow come Christmas morning.

For Raven and I, the high point was a walk, taken later that afternoon. As you can see from the photo above, we changed upon a quintessentially Canadian scene: the frozen pond, cleared of snow and on which skaters of all ages and abilities were enjoying themselves. Which hockey players most prominent, of course.

The War on Christmas

As most of you know, there is in the air at this time of year, a recurring noise about a "war on Christmas". Out of the blue, otherwise intelligent and reasonable people are trade angry anecdotes about how they are tired of "giving in" to "political correctness" by being forced to say "happy holidays" or "seasons' greetings" instead of "merry Christmas".

Frankly, I've always found it a little baffling. In my younger and more cynical years, I hate Christmas, both the commercialism of it, and its religious origins. More mellow now, I rather enjoy it, though I stay away from most aspects of it.

But the occasional "holiday tree" aside, when the bitching starts, I can only point out to the shuttered businesses, to the full day of Christmas (not holiday!) music that takes over CBC Radio on the day of, and many other signs that Christmas as Christmas is in no danger in this country.

And as specific evidence, I offer the following.

The day after Christmas saw me drive a sick flight attendant to Montreal (you really don't want to fly when you're down with an ear infection!). Anyway, it having snowed considerably the night before, I'd opted to take public transit to work, rather than my bicycle.

The bus finally pulled up to the stop and we frigid passengers began to mount the stairs, we were met with a sight no doubt designed by a malicious god to throw fear into the sights of pro-Christmas warriors everywhere.

To judge by the beard, the turban and the kirpan, our driver was a Sikh, a slight brown man of probably middle early years.

He was smiling as we began to ascend into his bus. And what do you suppose he said to me as I dropped my tickets in the box?

Yeah, that's right. In yet another blow for political correctness for —

Oh, sorry. Actually, what he said, to each and every one of us as we boarded on the chill December day, was (you guessed it), "Merry Christmas".

So what the hell. If it's good enough for a Sikh bus driver, it's good enough for me.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas, whether you celebrate the actual holiday or not. And I hope we all have a better time in the new year than we did in the old.

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