“B” as in “Blizzard,” “C” as in “Christmas”, “D” as in “Done”

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On the evening of December 23, we drove to downtown Ottawa in a blizzard.

Why? Because we’re Canadians and we fucking drive in a blizzard if needed, that’s why.

Okay, this was my brilliant idea. Feng and Mark had just watched the latest Pixar earlier in the day. Meanwhile, the farthest I had been able to go was the neighbourhood’s Starbucks, because of unplowed snowy sidewalks and also because I was sick and feeling weak (yes, again). I wanted to get out of the house and experience the pre-Christmas rush and excitement—snow doesn’t count as “Christmas magic”, it’s called “winter” around here and it’s not that exciting.

I thought Mark would enjoy the holiday lights at the Byward Market and inside the Rideau Centre but he was dragging his feet and kept on complaining as if looking at a Christmas tree was torture. He’s usually a fairly enthusiastic kid—I think the long countdown to Christmas combined with the long fall semester turned him into a cranky monster.

The Rideau Centre was quieter than I thought it’d be. Maybe it was late or maybe Christmas shopping was actually done because the busiest areas in the mall seemed to be the LCBO and the Farm Boy supermarket.

On Christmas Eve, we had an early dinner with my in-laws—and yes, the personalized photo calendar found a new home and was appreciated.

Christmas Day was a bit bittersweet. Feng and I were too cold, too sick, too tired and too snowed in to deliver the Christmas magic I wanted to give Mark. I think Mark expected a more “traditional” Christmas like he sees on TV with an entire house and yard decorated, piles of gifts and all and I feel bad for him because it’s such a long countdown to the morning where he gets to open gifts… and then it’s over.

Or maybe I’m projecting because this year, I feel I spent a lot of time and energy on Christmas and it wasn’t as magical as I hoped it would.

Merry Christmas if you celebrated this holiday—and if you don’t, please accept this virtual, secular hug anyway. Stay warm and happy!

Snow on December 23

Snow on December 23

Driving in a blizzard on December 23

Driving in a blizzard on December 23

Stopping at the Post Office (inside Shoppers) to pick up the last gifts received

Snow on December 23

Driving in a blizzard on December 23

Driving in a blizzard on December 23

Driving in a blizzard on December 23

Arriving downtown Ottawa

Last-minute shopping in Ottawa on December 23

The Byward Market on December 23

The Byward Market on December 23

The Byward Market on December 23

The Byward Market on December 23

The Byward Market on December 23

The Byward Market on December 23

The Byward Market on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Rideau Centre on December 23

Mark’s Christmas drawing on Christmas Eve

… and his apology for being annoying (I didn’t make him write it!)

Christmas Day

Christmas Day

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

13 Comments

  1. Martin Penwald on

    Blizzard? Where that? I don’t see any snow falling in these pictures. At least nothing noticeable. :p
    I had an annoying cold rain in Kansas a couple of days ago. Because it was only -8° at ground level, it froze on the road, so very slippery. Fortunately, the ice became snow after 2 to 300km, so it was easier to drive, up to Torrington, WY, and the rest of the road was clear up to Casper.

    • Okay, okay, it doesn’t look THAT bad on the pictures but there was quite a bit of snow and the roads weren’t plowed. City driving wasn’t too dangerous I guess… I wouldn’t like to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with winter weather :-/

          • Martin Penwald on

            I usually buy canned fish from the Brunswick brand. I guess it is available Canada-wide, because it is a company from the Maritimes. It would be curious they sell in Alberta and not in Ontario.
            I have them especially because it is convenient, and indeed pretty tasty.
            I have tuna salad from Ocean something brand too. I could be stranded for 2 or 3 days in the middle of nowhere without any problem. But I’ll always have the support of the company if something bad happened the same day.

            Technically, I’m a very picky food eater, not into meat or fish, but not willing to put a lot of effort to switch to a vegetarian protein source, because border crossing restrict a lot of healthy products I could take (no citrus of any kind, but other fruits or vegetable could easily be confiscated), and once on the other side of the border, it is not easy to find a spot where to park and get groceries.
            Except, unfortunately, in Walmart.

          • I guess I didn’t look for it! I also rely on tuna and eggs for proteins (and tofu). I’m not vegetarian but I can’t be bothered cooking meat! Plus good meat is expensive and I never crave it. I like the small flavoured tuna cans, lemon/pepper, tomato/onion, etc.

            I can’t picture you as a picky eater! What kind of picky are you? Stuff you don’t like (i.e. particular foods) or just can’t be bothered with cooking?

          • It’s both. I don’t have anything to cook yet (not enough room) and even if I’m less picky than when I was young, I am still not a fan of cooked meat, and I don’t like a lot of kind of fish. Nor spinach or brocolis.

  2. Love the photo of the three of you and Mark’s improvised Xmas décor 😉
    I hope you are finally on the mend? This winter has been brutal for flu / viruses etc.
    We ahd -25 weather here so not ideal to get out but it was a white Xmas indeed!
    And thanks so much for your card, it arrived on a day when I needed a bit of comfort (dealing with more bad news from France) and it did just that 😉
    Now I feel bad that I didn’t get round to doing anything for anyone! I do have something in mind for you and Lexie but we’ll see when I find the time….

    • I’m sorry to hear about the more bad news… just a few more days to a better year, I hope! And I’m glad you enjoyed the card but seriously, I’m not expecting anything in return. I clearly remember times in my life where keeping my head above water was using all my energy (ahem… like the first two years with Mark?!) and I just couldn’t offer much in terms of social niceties. Not saying you’re at this stage but let’s face it, Christmas cards are pretty much at the bottom of the list when you’re dealing with tons of other stuff 😉 Just to say, it’s not like you “don’t do anything for anyone”. You’re taking care of yourself and that’s what matters the most 🙂

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