Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Winter’s Tale


I had an epiphany on Thursday afternoon: I didn’t want to work on Friday. I asked my boss for the day off. It was a risky thing to do, considering there was work to do and I was taking a significant chunk of time off over Christmas, but I did it. And surprisingly, he gave the okay. So I woke up early Friday morning and caught the 7:30 bus to Kitchener. I like to think of my weekend as “Home for the Holidays Part 1.”

Friday afternoon, I spent four hours making gingerbread cookies with my brother Joel. It was quite the hilarious adventure with a surprisingly stellar outcome, save for one burnt batch. We discovered that if you flip a burnt cookie upside down and thickly coat the burnt side with icing, the sugar counteracts the burnt taste. Joel is the sprinkle king. And he was right; Mom uses the icing recipe in the little pamphlet. I assumed she had a magic one stored in her head. I’ll never live that one down. One day we’ll host a cooking show. With a witty title like How to Bake Gingerbread Cookies In Under Two Hours From Pre-Made Dough.

That evening, we watched Sons of Mistletoe. I don’t care how uncool this makes me, but I love made-for-TV Christmas movies. And Sons of Mistletoe became a favorite when it first aired in 2001. I’ve been waiting for it to air again ever since. I’m serious. I’ve Googled the thing many a time. Warm, gooey, heartwarming Christmasy goodness. ‘Tis the season for orphans and romance. George Newbern is one of those everyman charmers whom I absolutely adore. Plus, he makes my Jesus radar go off. It’s a gift, identifying Christians in Hollywood.


I woke up early. Up until Saturday, I had only purchased one Christmas gift. So Mom and I headed out into the shopping madness and I gave up my debit card to the Ghost of Christmas Presents. We shared New York fries, ran into an old friend (he’s not old; it’s just been a long time. Just to clarify, in case he ever reads this), I discovered a love of the Skinny Vanilla Bean Latte, and had a pretty productive and stress-free day. I’m now almost done my shopping. And because most of my family is literate, I will not elaborate further. No one wants to learn what they’re getting for Christmas from a blog.

We got back in time to make pizza for dinner. So good. And then two games of Scrabble. With three tiles (one of them a blank), I scored 78 points. I wonder if Scrabble pride is a subset of the pride listed in the seven deadly sins.

And it started snowing.


Winter wonderland. My church in Toronto cancelled its service. As did many churches in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. But not my parents’ church. In fact, we went super-early. No weather would stop the Christmas play from premiering. After a continental breakfast (iced cinnamon cookies. Yum), we watched a rather delightful play starring my father (or semi-starring him. I’m pretty sure he had the most lines. Or pretty close). And since the play centered on people getting snowed in, the whole “weather outside is frightful” was actually quite appropriate.

I didn’t mind the snow today. It was beautiful. It felt like Christmas. I was nostalgic for an era before my time. I wanted to go for a sleigh ride. But the thought of busing it back to Toronto was a little daunting. I seriously considered staying in Waterloo until tomorrow morning. But I didn’t want to get on a 5 a.m. bus and lug my heavy bag to work with me.

At the bus station, I asked the woman how the weather was affecting the bus schedule. She said she didn’t know. She hadn’t been outside since earlier that morning. I love it when people don’t understand what I’m asking. Someone else told me that everything was delayed by an hour. But since the bus ran hourly, I caught the 1:30 bus at 2:30 instead of catching the 2:30 bus. No real delay for me, then. The Toronto-bound bus arrived. My brother Nathan got off it. He was coming home for Christmas from Peterborough, and I was heading back to Toronto. The people in line looked at me strangely as I hugged the guy getting off the bus, phoned my parents to tell them to pick him up, and then boarded that very same bus.

The guy beside me on the bus was reading Douglas Coupland. The girl ahead of me leaned back and squashed my legs. I slept. I started reading The Lovely Bones. It almost made me cry. Twice. Go read it.

Post-bus ride, I lopsidedly trekked through some deep snow on unshoveled sidewalks, lugging a massive bag, suffering through knee-high drifts behind my place. My soaked jeans are hanging in my shower.

I’m unpacked. I’m warm. I’m ready for bed.

It was a good weekend. I drank coffee three times. That’s a record for me. And I think I can handle another short week now.


Beth said...

i watched Sons of Mistletoe with my mom last night. all because of your blog.

nadine said...

I hope it rocked your Christmas-TV-movie world as it did mine :)