It is hard to believe, but we made it into another year. Not
everyone on this planet is lucky enough to look forward to the
coming month. War and hardships are apparent in many places and
many a Christmas was not a merry one.
We lost friends and family to illnesses more often than to old
age. The news of financial doom nearly scared us out of our wits
until we realized that it does not have to be all gloom and
doom. Wise men always have told us: There is opportunity in all
situations. In the very least we can learn something.
One thing we have to learn is to stick together more closely. We
need to support one another more, be kinder to each other, and
help each other more. There is nothing to be gained by running
off in to an individual corner, trying to wait out whatever it
is that is ailing us. Above all we need to communicate with each
other better to discover what it is that is needed and wanted
most to be able to carry on and make the best of our situations.
I am tempted to use a phrase from the sixties and seventies as a
metaphor: Make love, not war. Perhaps we need to try and correct
each other’s weaknesses rather than resent them. Perhaps we need
to point out when something is amiss instead of turning away,
pretending it has nothing to do with us. A little less apathy
and a bit more passion would look good on all of us.
This last season I heard a lot about the lack of the word
Christmas in our lives. This is very odd indeed, because more
people celebrate Christmas in Canada than any other festivity
with a religious background. An Angus Reid survey had as a
result that 94% of the people they surveyed were celebrating
Christmas, 3% were celebrating Hanukkah, and just less than one
half % (0.3) would be celebrating Kwanzaa.
I think that is reason enough to insist that we are to wish each
other a Merry Christmas and not a happy holiday. There is no
need to be careful or apologetic. Since this is a democracy and
we are in the majority it is perfectly all right to insist on
our rights to celebrate Christmas openly without having to hide
And how do Canadians celebrate New Year’s Eve?
Half of us rang in the New Year with a smaller party or get
together at someone’s house. Two in ten (22%) treated it like
any other night, 9% watched Dick Clark’s countdown on TV, 5%
went out dressed to the nines to go out big time, and 3%
actually started the New Year with a real bang, like banging
pots and pans together or lighting fireworks.
And what did you do?
We spent the night at the German Canadian Club Hansa and had a
marvellous time! There is nothing like good food, good music,
good and comfortable company and that glass of champagne at the
right time. The toasting, hugging and kissing and well wishing
after midnight does not hurt either. It creates a real moment of
togetherness and makes for a very good start into the New Year.
We followed it up the next day with a Salute to Vienna in Roy
Thomson Hall and were very happy to have such diverse
experiences to ring in the New Year.
We wish all of you only the best of health and success in the
New Year. Let us make the best of it.