Transformation of a Grinch

scrooge1I am known in my family as Scrooge – because the frenzy and consumerism of Christmas just makes me want to escape altogether to a land where Christmas was never heard of.

And then I had what Oprah would call an Ah Ha moment.  My 5 year old granddaughter asked me –

“Mama – why do you hate Chrithmath?”…. oh my goodness.  I stopped and really thought.  Had I really turned into such a Grinch?  What would I have thought about such an attitude when I was a kid.  Maybe it was time for an attitude adjustment.  I started to think about Christmas and what it meant to me.

Christmas Past ….. growing up poor with my father constantly away on an aircraft carrier somewhere in the world my mom somehow managed to make Christmas an amazing experience for us kids.  One of the best gifts we received was a Games Compendium (yes that’s what they used to call them) with drafts, snakes and ladders and Chinese checkers.  We were delighted and grateful.  Then things got a little better – Dad came home, got a promotion and we were allowed to lay pillow cases on the bottom of our beds for Father Christmas.  He was a little clumsy however.  One Christmas Eve “Father Christmas” dropped my walkie talkie doll on the floor and I woke up to a muttered “Oh shit!”.

Christmas Present ….. now that I have grandchildren I should be reliving all those wonderful memories through their eyes.  OK it’s a little different now – they want Ipods and Monster High dolls – but the excitement and anticipation is still the same.  They love to help with decorating the Christmas tree and even though the decorations don’t exactly go in all the right places – that’s fine with me.

Christmas Future …… where will I be in 10 years time over Christmas?  Well hopefully still on this planet.  Hopefully enjoying a glass of red wine with some Christmas treats while the kids and grand kids play with their new toys.  Yes there is something to be said for this whole Christmas thing – it brings families together – across the country – across the world.  So maybe it’s not all about the money and the gifts – that’s just the tinsel on the tree.  Maybe the whole thing is actually just about love.

There…. I feel better now!  Hey…. I feel my heart growing!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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