Santa’s Still My Homeboy

Christmas In Canada

by

Brandy Anderson

This week I’ve found myself starring in one of those sappy Christmas movies that most of us just can’t resist watching this time of year. As a single mother of the most wonderful kid in the world (I’m not at all biased of course), I work hard to try to make a good life for my son and I. Sure, we’ll never be the Rockefellers, we’ll never live in a mansion or own an indoor swimming pool, we’ll never be rolling around on a bed of $100 dollar bills; but, who cares? We’re lucky and thankful to have our health, good friends, an amazing cat with superpowers, and wonderful family and friends.

Our family and friends are beyond generous. I can’t tell you how many times they have helped us out with a few bucks, free manual labour, or lending an ear regardless of the hour. I spent most of my life thus far living within close proximity to my family and that was lovely. Get-togethers happened often and we rarely went more than a week or two without seeing each other. A few years ago, my son and I decided to become ex-patriots and make the big move to another country. Thank goodness for Skype, telephones, email, and text messaging! We’re able to keep in touch with family back home regularly. It’s not quite the same as it used to be, but it works for us.

Being up here, in a new land, has been a life changing experience. My son and I went from living in the desert of the southern United States to living in the often frigid climate of Atlantic Canada. We didn’t know any one who lived up here when we first relocated. As luck would have it, we found ourselves living in a particularly friendly town (well, the locals call it a “city” but that’s debatable). Our first Canadian friend was named “Elka” and we befriend her on our fourth day of living here. It was at the annual New Year’s Eve event held in one of the beautiful snowy parks and it was just so ridiculously perfect for families because the festivities began at 5:30 in the evening and ended with a New Year’s countdown and fireworks display at 7:15 at night. Not only was it early enough for young kids to be out and about, but it also ended well before the silly drunkards would hit the streets. This was our introduction to our new hometown.

We have now lived here for three and a half years and we continue to make great friends that I know we’ll keep always, regardless of where life takes us. My son and I have both made life long friends here. The truly remarkable thing is that my son’s friends are all wonderful, smart and well behaved kids who all have wonderful, smart, and well behaved parents. I have also made some great friends during my time as a student at the local university. The point is, we’re surrounded by lovely friends who have become our extended family.

Now, you may be wondering what I’m getting at with all of this and how exactly my life has become a Christmas movie. Two nights ago, I walked up the stairs to my flat only to find a great surprise awaiting me. There were boxes and bags full of food and gifts directed to us. Our names were lovingly written on a white label, our street address was scrawled beneath, and that was it. There was no “from” or “love” or any other closing name. To say that my son was giddy with excitement would be an understatement. He rushed about, unpacking the food with wide eyes.

We put away a plethora of fresh fruit, vegetables, noodles, sauce, and other goodies. Our refrigerator and cupboards are spilling over with carrots, seedless red grapes (my favourite), mushrooms, spinach, peas, three dozen eggs, jam, butter, milk (real milk which is particularly pricey in these parts), pancake mix, peanut butter, gingersnaps, and more! Coffee! My beloved coffee was even included. That’s not all!

Next came the giant bag of gifts. The bottom of our tree is now surrounded by gorgeously wrapped gifts addressed to my son from “Santa”. There was also a very pretty brand new set of cranberry towels tied with a lovely ribbon, a lovingly hand stitched Christmas teddy bear, and a handsome painted light-up ceramic Santa Claus decoration. This was topped off with two large, old fashioned plump stockings. We’re waiting until Christmas morning to go through them but I can already see warm hats and hand knitted mittens sticking out of the tops.

All of our friends are very generous but this must have cost a fortune! I haven’t a clue as to who could have possibly left these for us. I don’t know if we have Christmas angels, elves, good Samaritans, or Santa himself to thank for making this such a heart warming and special holiday. This is one holiday season that we’ll never forget. Take this time to hug those that you love and tell them how much they mean to you. I’m here to testify that the Christmas Spirit is still very much alive and well!

Happy Holidays! Happy Christmas! Merry Hanukkah! Happy Chrismukkah! Merry Kwanza! Happy Halloween! Happy Day!

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