Tag Archives: Holidays

Christmas, Birthdays and all that new years jazz.

Yea it’s been a while, but that happens when a person goes into a deep winter slumber over the holidays.  I was off for an epic almost two weeks! GRAND INDEED.

I know you guys need my words but sometimes I just have to prime the proverbial pump and take a good few weeks off.  Apologies.

So what happened to Bob on his time off, well I did spend a great deal of it shuteye and comatose.  But another great deal of it was spent preparing for Christmas.  We had planned to spend it with Dar’s family in the country.  Meaning cooking for her mother who is a shift worker.  I have no trouble doing this having worked some mighty mixed up shifts in my day and the fact that I do really like her mom.   I also love to cook, trouble this year was my bad ankles again.  I took the splendid chance opportunity to roll my left ankle over on the ice on our driveway and put myself in a world of hurt .

No worries I limped through Christmas, with Dar’s 5-year-old nephew Eric who was so excited to have a some time with family.  He’s a bit high-strung but we all had a blast playing with him as he ran circles in the family room and talked the ears off of everyone in sight.  He’s a special handful but we love him dearly.

For his birthday on the 27th of Dec, Dar and I gathered for a special Asian treat. Eric is half Chinese and his parents bought an extra special cake.  Durain fruit cake.  The taste is a bit odd for a western palate but not as strong as it smells.  Durian fruit as many people know is a very strong-smelling fruit.  But I found the taste of the cake very mild and pleasing.

Our new year is finding us travailing, to southern exposures finding new cultures and new adventures.  I hope you all find health, wealth and happiness in the new year as well.

Much Love


Elven Villages and Wondrous Eyes: Christmas Eve in Winnipeg.

Since the new year is now fully upon us, I have finally had a chance to look at some of the hundreds of pictures that I took from my Christmas vacation.

I know that many of you may have expected a Dungeons and Dragons themed post today with a title like I have today, but before my memories of Christmas fade here is a look at Winnipeg in the heart of the season.

Bright lights and Snowy Streets:

The people of Winnipeg tend to embrace winter like no other place I have lived.  Let’s face facts when you live in a city that is covered in snow and ice for roughly a third of the year, it’s the only way to go.  Lights and decorations also play a big part in celebrating the holidays.  Families go all out so that Santa knows exactly where to land.

Driving down Polar Bear Lane Christmas Eve

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Feel Free to Wish Me a Merry Christmas…Again

I must admit that this post was originally a little rant that I wrote last year in an attempt to bring back some of the spirit of Christmas.  Note I said Christmas, not the holidays.  Holidays are something that come in the summer when I go to the beach or take a long well deserved trip.

This  is Christmas time.   Chanukah has long since been celebrated and the Feast of Eid al-Adha has been enjoyed by the faithful of Allah.  So let us say with pride and love Merry Christmas to one and all.


Please feel free to wish me a Merry Christmas, not a happy x-mas, or dreadful happy holiday.  Well I may be going a little hard on the happy holiday.  You may think Bob, why won’t a happy holiday suffice?

Well I would reply it is the Christmas season, the last time I checked the Chanukah candles have been long blown out.  Don’t get me wrong I have many friends of the Hebrew Faith, and wish them a proper greeting when it is their day.

The thing that gets me riled up is that there are so many forces at work that try to simplify and dumb things down, trying to homogenize our culture as North Americans.  Other forces plead that they don’t want to offend anyone.  Ohhhh there we go offending people with a celebration of family and peace.  Better watch out!  Give me a break.

This whole “War on Christmas” thing has gone on long enough, the only people who are “offended” are by in large other “Christians”. The politically correct few, afraid to say what they believe.  Except when they strive to dumb down what little culture we have left.

Show of hands, how many of you were offended when, someone walked up to you and said Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, Happy Chanukah?

All anyone is saying when they say Merry Christmas is Peace.  Let’s face it most of the Christ is long gone from Christmas these days anyways. Long ago replaced by that fat bastard Santa Claus, in trying to deliver dollars to the corporations that re-imagined Old Saint Nick, we can blame Coke for that one.

The Modern Face of Christmas

Also organized religions keep getting their hands slapped for stealing from the poor or doing other far worse things than I care to mention here today.

But we all regardless of creed or belief can do our part to keep the core of the holiday intact.  Remembering what the true meaning of Christmas is, PEACE.  If we can all keep that in our hearts our world, even for a day, could be a better place.

To all of my friends out there, Feliz Navidad, Mele Kalikimaka, Hyvaa Joulua, Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova, Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah, Joyeux Noel, Merry Christmas……. PEACE

Giving Back

I like to think that I am a very blessed individual.  I make enough money to have a good roof over my head.   I drive a newer vehicle and can afford to pick up most everyone a little something for Christmas this year.  However I don’t think that I will be taking any spur of the moment trips anywhere warm though.

I have to work hard for every dollar that I earn.  Getting up at 5 each and every day to be at the plant for 6:30 can be a grind, but it makes me appreciate each and every dollar that much more.  It also puts into sharp perspective the situations that many in our society are in.  With the economy in the crapper, times are tough for a lot of people.  Even those that may still have a job are relying more and more on the charity of others.

So with that in mind I and a group of like-minded people got together last night to give a little time and hopefully take a bit of the worry out of the Christmas season.  Every year in Winnipeg the Christmas Cheer Board takes donations from across the city and compiles thousands of hampers for the less fortunate.  Ranging from single moms, to low-income families these donations bring a little joy to what could otherwise be a bleak time of year.

With that in mind our little group met up and we broke into pairs to play Santa Claus for some down on their luck families.  My co-pilot Eric and I had never done this before and we were quickly sorted out by one of the helpful volunteers who work in the warehouse.   Picking an area that was fairly close to home gave me a familiarity with the streets but also a slight apprehension that we were heading into one of the rougher parts of town.

After receiving our care packages, GPS co-ordinates were plugged in and we set course for the heart of deepest Elmwood.  For those that are familiar with Winnipeg, Elmwood is one of those rough and tumble neighbourhoods that always seems to make the newscast for the wrong reasons.  Gang activity is on the rise as are incidents of violent crime.  Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the people who live in that area are necessarily bad but there are some nasty elements that come with living in a low rent part of town.

Pulling up to the first set of apartment buildings I noticed that the streetlights seemed to be out on this particular block but undaunted we soldiered on.  A phone call was made and an eager young woman met us at the front door to the complex.  As boxes changed hands I noticed a pair of little eyeballs peaking around the corner.  Eyes filled with childhood wonder at the brightly wrapped package that sat atop the box of holiday food.

The mom seeing her young son peering out from behind the corner waved him forward to meet Eric and myself.  Sheepish hesitation was quickly replaced by curiosity as the boy quickly ran to his mother’s side.  His eyes never strayed far from the present that was obviously meant for him.

A Child's Christmas Wonder

We exchanged heartfelt Merry Christmas greetings and were on our way into the cold night to continue our rounds.  The rest of our deliveries went in pretty much the same fashion.  Young children hiding behind their moms and slightly older ones helping to carry what they were about to receive.  Everyone seemed thankful and if only for a moment the parents, Eric and I shared in the wonder of watching children’s excitement at the coming of Christmas.

Doesn't Every Child Deserve a Happy Christmas?

Now I could go off on a rant about how these parents should be ashamed of themselves and get out and find better work.  But speaking as one who has been in similar circumstances a time or two, I know now is not the time to judge.

This is the season for forgiveness and of family, of wonder in children’s eyes, and of giving.  Christmas time should be about sharing what we have. Digging deep into those pockets and supporting a charity or cause.  If my driving some presents and turkeys to help cheer up a deserving family is all it takes to put a smile on a child’s face then it’s time and money very well spent.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone!