Erin's Journals

Monday, December 20, 2021

Just a thought… Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you have for sure. [Oprah Winfrey]

As always, you can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

As we get set for the Winter solstice – a change of seasons, longer days on the horizon and, of course, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s and so much more just days away – we find ourselves in a sort of limbo. Last year at this time, we were in our bubbles and today, we’re back in them, as we gather cautiously, keeping in mind not only those who can’t be with us, but also those who won’t be, if we’re not careful enough. Not the cheeriest of sentiments on which to begin the week, but here we are.

HO HO Here we go. We’re going to the world-famous Butchart Gardens (pictured above) for their annual Christmas light display tomorrow. I can’t wait to see Colin and Jane’s faces, but I think Phil and Brooke are going to be wowed as well.

So I have a special game, something I wrote that’s fun to play that I’ll bring to you here in Thursday’s journal so you can see and play it too. But today, a different sort of pre-Christmas wish for you.

Like you may have been, I’ve been scurrying around trying to find just the right pans for little whipped cheesecakes I’m going to endeavour to make, and loving the idea of preparing gravy in advance by baking and spicing wings a few days early, thanks to a recipe from the internet.

Oh, and we’re doing something completely different this year: having a turkey dinner Christmas Eve and then replaying it Christmas night with different side dishes, including – get this – stuffing waffles. You top them with gravy, mashed potatoes, even turkey and cranberries, and voilà. The recipe from the Food Network is here.

So my resolution for 2022 is to make use of new cookware and get comfortable in the kitchen. It may not go perfectly, but it’ll be progress.

And as I posted last week, as a wise person once said, “Progress, Not Perfection,” right? So on that note, a poem I found (author unknown) from the website of Amy Rees Anderson, who wrote, “What Awesome Looks Like.”

This is pretty awesome, too, so here we go, and it’s called “‘Tis the Days Before Christmas.”

‘Tis the days before Christmas, we’re all going nuts;
With so much to do, there’s no ifs, ands or buts.
Buy presents, hang tree lights, pop cards in the mail,
Send gift packs, thread popcorn, find turkeys on sale.

Decorations need stringing up all through the house.
And you haven’t a clue what to buy for your spouse.
School concerts, receptions, open houses with friends,
Long lineups, short tempers, tying up the loose ends.

With all our mad dashing, we’re reeling from shock;
Let’s stop for a minute and really take stock.
It’s crassly commercial, the cynical say;
If that’s true, that’s our fault – it’s us and not they.

Take time for yourself – though hard as that seems?
Enjoy your kids’ laughter, excitement and dreams.
Take a moment out now, don’t get overly riled,
Instead make an angel in snow with your child.

The shortbread can wait, and so can the tree;
What’s important to feel is a child’s sense of glee.
The holidays aren’t about push, rush and shove;
They’re for friendship and sharing and family love.

Hear the bells, feel the warmth, light up with the glow
Of a message first sent to us so long ago:
Peace, love and goodwill, and hope burning bright.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Well, we can hope, can’t we? I’ll be back Thursday with a very special journal that’s a whole lot of fun for you and your friends, family – whoever you’re gathering with this year, so safely. So gratefully. As I am for you here: always grateful.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, December 20, 2021