Celebrating the season by giving, thankfully!

I am from a large blended family.  Today, with spouses, children and in-laws, the Christmas season can be extremely hectic and we tend to receive a lot of “stuff.”   We pass “stuff” around the living room in a hurried frenzy making sure everyone received some and we pile it up next to our feet which grows to the height of our knees or beyond.  This ritual around the tree lasts for hours as people come at various times of the day.  The most relaxing part about Christmas is dinner which seems to go by far too quickly.  It is the only time when we sit together in true peace.

My oldest sister, Suzanne, takes on the yearly tradition of pulling names to determine secret Santa’s.   The rest of the gifts are doled out as assorted stocking stuffers…therefore accumulating a lot of “stuff.”  Thankfully, this year, instead of sending us seperate emails to notify us who we were to buy for, Suzanne sent a group email requesting that we skip the secret Santa and cut back on stocking stuffers.  In exchange for this, as a family, we will put money towards a new refugee family that just arrived in Toronto from Palestine.  Everyone was overjoyed with this proposal and quite relieved that there would not be another year of accumulating stuff under the tree.  So, now, in the true spirit of Christmas gift-giving we will be doing just that, helping a family in desperate need of funding. 

I have listed some of my favourite charities in a link on the side which I donate to through the year.  Matt and I have proudly sponsored a little girl, Rukaya, for four years now, through the CCF and tend to give to Doctors Without Borders as birthday gifts to certain people we know who do a lot of humanitarian work regarding medicine in Canada.  Most agencies have catalogs that help you to see where your money is going and provide you with a Christmas card to give to the individual, whose name you have donated in honour of, and I guarantee, these gifts are always much appreciated by the reciever!

“There is a wide world of noble causes…”  – Joni Mitchell

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Tail End of November

In Toronto we have been fortunate to have a mild November and of course, we worry about greenhouse gases and climate change as the cause.  Matt’s garden shows signs that the lily’s and lilac’s are budding for a new season, confused by the above normal temperatures and warm sun.  I thought by now I would be scavenging Matt’s closet for a coat big enough to wrap  around my massive belly.  I considered that we might need to get to the hospital in the middle of a snowstorm and that this bundle in my belly would be a true winter baby.  The phone rings constantly with requests for updates but there is nothing new to report as this week is no different than the last four.  Our little girl is surrounded by the love of excited friends and relatives, and she has not entered our world yet; fashionably late and filling their hearts with anticipation.  Will this be a trait in her upcoming personality? 

I am enjoying this time to myself and have been reading a few excellent books and going to the movies ~ as shown below.  However, it will be wonderful to move again.  As it is Sunday, I look forward to listening to Garrison Keillor’s, A Prairie Home Companion, because it always transports me straight into Uncle Bob’s warm home in St. Paul, MN. 

The Year of the Flood             Buy The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger          Precious Poster

A culmunation of my scattered life…

I am sitting at my computer on the 40th week of my first pregnancy.  Now that I am off work for the next year, I find myself thinking about all that I have accomplished in 37 years, along with the various personal aspirations yet unfulfilled.  To wit, I gathered together my scattered journals filled with years of my creative writing.  With that initial idea, I started to review all my passions so that I could pass them on to my daughter, who will likely read more from a computer than from my library of books.  So, as a result, this blog will contain my writing, photos, favourite things, family recipes, and of course, my opinions on current events.  I hope that by blogging she will grow to understand me as more than her mother.