Erin's Journal

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Just a thought... Volunteers are paid in six figures: S-M-I-L-E-S. [Gayla LeMaire]

Well, here it is: December. And just as if a giant advent calendar has dropped on our heads, Rob and I are leaping into the Christmas season in a huge way today, tomorrow and Sunday. What they really mean, these events, are just ways we're further dipping our toes into the community and life around our new home. After all, this month marks a year since we left Toronto and moved to Vancouver Island.
While I've gone to one Peninsula Newcomers meeting (not sure I fit), done a stint for Rotary at the summer fair and been to another gathering for a big women-operated charity (not one run by big women; the charity is large, though), our process of putting down roots has been very slow. That changes today.
This afternoon, we're invited to the first Christmas light-up in 2017 of the world famous Butchart Gardens. I'll be sure to get as many pictures as I can, although we may be challenged by some rain. Tomorrow, Rob and I will be ringing the bells for the Salvation Army at a small plaza in Sidney, a small town that we can see from our decks. I'm so glad I held on to my own bells from what I thought was the final ringing I did last year outside the Eaton Centre! 
On Sunday, it's a double feature: marching beside the Ocean 98.5 Cruiser in the Sidney Sparkles Parade at 5 pm and then judging (again on behalf of Rotary) the Sidney Sailpast that happens right afterwards, which, because it's Sidney, is only about half an hour later! Can't wait to see all of the boats decorated just for show. Yes, the Toronto parade is biggest and longest, but do they have boats all lit up at the end of it? I don't think so! 
In between all of that we're taking on our first babysitting duties for my cousin and her husband; they have a beautiful three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son and we'll see how they tolerate us not being Mommy and Daddy for the evening on Saturday. How wonderful it will be to have baby time again, though!
So there you go. This weekend we dive head first into December and the best parts of the season for us. Not the music or the presents; we've had and enjoyed enough of those for a lifetime. It will be through taking in the beauty of this time of year and through giving back that the real warmth of Christmastime comes home to us, as corny as it sounds. We're just doing the best we can, like everybody else.
Whatever your weekend holds, may it be only as full as you want and as joyful as you desire. Talk to you here on Monday.
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