Wednesday, December 16, 2009


“Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect." ~ Oren Arnold

It’s that time of year again. The time that forces all of us into the fluster and panic in our search for the perfect Christmas gifts and menus to satisfy all tastes. The older I get, the more I dislike it. Sunday my daughter and I spent the day planning and decorating outside. She had a vision of what we needed to do. She bantered with me about what I needed to buy, what we had to bake and who we had to visit over the next few weeks. She was contagious. I actually absorbed some of her enthusiasm.

Ever since she was young we have tuned into 98.1 CHFI right after the Toronto Santa Parade as they suddenly become “our official Christmas station” with non-stop Christmas music.

I wasn’t surprised when driving home from the store that she set the station to 98.1 only to hear Josh Groban singing “Believe”. I love that song. It has special memories of us going to the IMAX to watch “Polar Express” in 3D after my sister-in-law’s mom’s funeral. You might think that seems like a strange thing to do after a funeral, but it was my daughter’s first experience with loss, and she adored Maria. There was something magical about hearing the bells and rediscovering belief through that movie. So she and I sang along to “Believe” as loud as we could. I actually felt a bit of Christmas as we pulled into the driveway.

Ironically the following day, she had an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts which she is allergic to. Her school Vice Principles took charge of the situation and administered her Epipen and activated EMS. Suddenly Christmas presents and food don’t matter. Humanity and goodwill and doing the right thing matter. This Christmas I am grateful for her as she is the greatest gift I have ever been blessed with. I am grateful to Mr. Morgan and Mr. DeBoer and the EMS staff. People like that make you “Believe” whether you want to or not.

Merry Christmas!