It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

*Ed. Note: Originally written on December 24th, but I just realized that it hadn't been posted until now. In the last couple of years, it's been hard for me to get into the Christmas Spirit.  I live alone, have no children, am mostly unemployed and without money, so while I'm not exactly a Grinch, I do tend fall into the Scrooge category. That said, I must have had my own visit with Marley or something this year because there's been a few things that have actually put me in the mood.

First up, let there be light(s): There's something about downtown Ottawa in December.  Seriously, why doesn't the city leave those on until March?  It would make February so much more bearable.  With all my travels back in forth to Toronto, it's made me realize how beautiful I find my adoptive home.  My favorite corner (insert your own punchline here) is that spot near the War Memorial where Rideau turns into Wellington.  There's such a mix of architecture and energy in that area.  Throw in some Christmas lights and boom!  It's magic.  Tied for first place in the magic department: the middle of Mackenzie King Bridge - a 360 degree view of City Hall, the NAC, Parliament and the new Congress Centre.  When I'm away, I miss this town so very very much.  Those of you who are constantly around don't know how lucky you have it.

Why YouTube is amazing: if there's one thing that always opens the door to those feelings of childlike Christmas cheer, it's the music.  But not just any Christmas music.  Growing up, we had two albums (yes vinyl!) that were always on constant rotation at my house during the Holidays.  One, was the Boney M Christmas Album.  When I was growing up, I had no idea this band had anything other than Christmas album (seriously, this was their sixth studio album?!?).

How can you not get in the mood when you hear this?


But just when you thought it couldn't get any better, IT DOES!  While initiating some friends to my Christmas childhood joy, I came across this gem from the Kenny and Dolly Christmas album.  Yup, this was the second album I grew up with.  And I never knew until this year that there were VIDEOS!

We stayed up until 3 a.m. one night drinking beer, watching everything these two have ever done together and spending way too much time online trying to figure out if Kenny and Dolly ever "did it" (and if someone ever finds any info, please let me know! You'd totally help settle a bet.)

This night was probably one of my favorites this month. And speaking of friends...

When friends become family: as a roaming vagabond for the better part of three months, I am incredibly grateful for the love and support I've received.  From taking care of my cat to the number of people who have offered spare rooms, couches, meals and lifts to various destinations so that I'm not stuck lugging a suitcase through the snow... You all know who you are, but you might not know how much love I truly feel towards each and every one of you. This generosity deserves so much more than words could possibly express.  Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

But enough schmoopiness from me.  No matter what you celebrate this year, you go out there and find those little things that make it meaningful for you. Whether it be sparkly nights, warm hugs, or Dolly Parton in a spandex Ms. Santa suit, you enjoy it to its fullest, ya hear?

Lots of love,