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Sunday, December 10, 2006

'TIS THE SEASON...

"Deck the halls with boughs of holly,
Fa la la la la lala la la!
'Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la lala la la!"

Here is it is, the Christmas season, one of my most favorite times of year! To keep in the spirit of things, I've decided to post a few of the Christmas memoir stories I've written in the past.
I started writing them a few years ago when my writer's group "The Scribblers" decided that at our annual Christmas get-together we would submit anonymous stories (fiction or non fiction) about the Yule time season.

Yesterday I went to a senior's Christmas luncheon at my Dad's old church, Grandview Baptist.
We came to live in Vancouver in 1947, after the war, when Dad accepted a position of pastor at this church. Mom and Dad always loved the seasonal holidays: Easter. Thanksgiving, Christmas and went to a lot of trouble to decorate the church and organize Christmas concerts and pagents. Mom was an expert seastress and usually it was she who became wardrobe mistresses of these events. Dad would participate at the concerts but putting on his old paint-splattered overalls, paint cap and, holding an empty pail of paint ,would recite his rendition of
"When Father Papered the Parlour." It always brought the house down with laughter.


Every time I go into that old church hall I remember the many happy times we had there. My parents' spirits are still very much there. (Dad left the church in 1960 to take a position of chaplain at Valleyview Hospital, a care home for elderly who had dementia or alzheimers. But many of the old parishoners and the folks my age remember him and my mom with many loving thoughts.) So yesterday when I was at the banquet, sitting the daughter of my late friend Doreen, we began to reminisce. Paula and her brother are my kids' ages and they all grew up together, going to Sunday School and at the summer homes our parents had on Keats Island. Doreen, their mom, was one of my best friends and hiking companion. She died of liver cancer about 10 years ago. So Paula likes being with me and I consider her like a surrogate daughter. We had fun remembering the many Christmas concerts and events that my parents organized at the Church. So when it came my turn to speak about how the Church affected my youth, I had to tell some of these Grandview-related Christmas tales.

Some of the stories I'll post are related to these events and others are Christmas memories of my childhood or things that have made Christmas memorable in some way.

"I'm the Ghost of Christmas Past."
"Long past?" inquired Scrooge.
"No, your past."

Charles Dickens 1812- 1870 "A Christmas Carol." 1843

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