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