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OPEN Communications


the opinions and musings behind the expertise

Blog Author: Catherina Murphy

Sharing My Christmas Cheer

Catherina Murphy

Posted: December 23, 2013

Growing up in Hong Kong in a somewhat traditional Chinese household, the tradition of Christmas meant attending midnight mass and sending out Christmas cheer in the form of Christmas cards.  There was no hustle or bustle, no shopping frenzy, gift-giving or parties.  For me, Christmas was indeed a quiet, peaceful time.

Now that I'm living in Newfoundland, married with three kids, the pre-Christmas period has become something quite different.  It is noticeably more hectic. Definitely more stressful, though probably not for the reasons you might be thinking.

Have I mentioned that we have a new puppy?

Yes, indeed.  Our new bundle of joy.  Just as I carefully arranged pieces of the porcelain nativity on my mantle, she, too, worked hard to arrange her bone-and-wrapper artwork, just so, at the bottom of my newly vacuumed staircase.  Good job, Chiyo.

I awoke early the next morning, hoping to hit the stores before the crowd settles in.  After patting myself on the back around mid-morning for having most of the groceries done, I gleefully headed down to the post-office to pick up what I thought would be my new windshield wiper motor. It turned out to be a 42-inch TV, courtesy of Aliant.  Sweet! But big! It didn’t take long for someone to notice my dilemma. A nice lady offered an extra set of hands and together we hoisted the box into my mini-van.  Thank goodness for the great people in Newfoundland! There always seems to be someone close by willing to help.

Instead of cutting our own Christmas tree, my husband and I decided to break the tradition and buy one from the SPCA. It saves us time, and benefits the poor creatures, why not?  So, half an hour before the SPCA was due to close, we placed the money on the counter for our seven-foot tree.  With the wind howling and daylight gone, my husband sheepishly disclosed the fact that he had forgotten to bring any ropes to secure the tree onto the top of our van.  Exasperated, I rummaged through the van, and found – dog leashes. Good job, owner of Chiyo.  Always prepared.

The tree turned out to be beautiful, and filled the house with a lovely pine scent that I love.  After a few strategic trimmings, we turned on some Christmas music, poured out some Jelly Bellies, and the boys (my International students…my own kids know I'm borderline neurotic when it comes to the tree and helped empty the Jelly Bellies' bowl instead) helped decorate the Christmas tree, despite my sometimes off-key singing.  By the time we donned on the last of the edible ornaments, the tree looked radiantly beautiful. It gives off an aura that masks the hauled out polyester stuffing on the floor (again, good job, Chiyo), and lend an air of peacefulness that I thought would never come.

Great job, everyone.