Category Archives: Christmas

Showing love at this special time of year

Christmas is not particularly my favourite time of year – I’ve had some not so great memories of the time, but I have also had some pretty good times too. I have found it has become very commercialized and that it’s all about gifts. Giving is showing love, but the expense of giving has become a bit ridiculous in my eyes. Seriously – what 10 year old needs a brand new iPhone? None.

I was recently reading Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (by Richard Carlson), and one of the chapters strikes me as relevant this time of year.

“Tell 3 people (today) how much you love them”. The beginning of this chapter asks the question “If you had an hour to live and could only make one phone call – who would you call, what would you say, and why are you waiting??”

Christmas, for some, is rather depressing, for many reasons. A lot of people have lost a family member and this is the time that they wish they were still around. Some people simply can’t afford Christmas (this was me as a single mom many years ago – I did without so that I could get my kids something for under the tree – not that I regret one minute of it, but that was just the way it was).

So today, instead of thinking and stressing over the Christmas rush, take a minute to call someone and tell them that you love them. It’s only a minute out of your day – surely we can all take a minute to tell someone we love them.

I hope we all can have a peaceful and loving holiday season, and I hope we can all remember the true meaning of Christmas – whatever that may be for each of us.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, Feliz Navidad, Veselé Vánoce, Joyeux Noël, (I think you get the picture).

Love to all this holiday season. And remember, be kind.

A little girl with a doll made me cry…

This past Christmas day, I did something I have never done before – I volunteered at my church to serve Christmas dinner to the less fortunate in my hometown.  It was definitely the most heartwarming day I have had in a very long time.


I signed up to volunteer over a month before Christmas, and I had thought I would be helping with serving the dinner.  Instead, when the orientation came up for it, I was assigned the gift table with another woman.  I really wasn’t sure what was expected of me but I was excited to volunteer and be part of my community on Christmas Day.


I arrived to the church with seeing a big line up of people waiting to come in and be served Christmas dinner.  I arrived at the gift table and the other lady and I started organizing the gifts into women’s, men’s and children.  I had my dinner there and then we proceeded to hand out the gifts.


Everyone was very appreciative of the gifts we gave – some were hygiene items with something extra in them, the kids received toys, there were scarves and various items.  Well, this one little girl was there with her mother, and she was very quietly playing with her doll she brought.  I was talking to everyone to make sure they were enjoying their meal and day, so I went over and had a chat with this little girl and her mom.  She very excitedly told me her name and her doll’s name.  She was very sweet and her mother looked so happy that I had taken the time to come and say hello.


Well, the gift she received was another doll from the church donations, and her mom had received a lovely gift of bath oils and lotions.  They were very happy and made sure to stop me to thank me numerous times.  We had excess gifts (due to the very generous nature of companies here), so we were handing out extra gifts.  I saw two matching scarves so I took them over to the mom and daughter.  The little girl’s eyes lit up and put it around her neck right away.  She hugged her mom and said that we have matching scarves now!  She then looked at me and said thank you – this is the best Christmas ever!  Her mom looked at me with tears in her eyes and said thank you so much – and we will definitely be back next year.  You made my daughter’s day with so much attention and the generosity of everyone.


I turned away and tears ran down my face, and my heart grew.   It was the most rewarding Christmas day ever for me, to be able to make one little girl so happy with such a simple thing as a scarf and a doll.  This is what Christmas is about – having the ability to make a little girl happy with a doll and a scarf.


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas day !!

Writing incentives

Well, I didn’t expect that my blogging would take such a back seat when I returned to Canada, but it apparently has.  At least at the moment.


My work life is very busy – working part-time but at full-time hours – and now the Christmas season is here.  I have been busy baking and shopping and working – my down time is spent watching Christmas shows and spending time with my family.  But I really miss my blogging.


I have already made my New Year’s Resolutions – one is to be writing at least weekly blogs, another is to improve my writing skills by writing daily, and the other is to start to travel in Canada to see cities I have not seen in my life.  Ottawa is the first city on my list!


So to get my writing back up to speed, I ventured into a book store last week and invested in me!  I purchased three books – 500 Writing Prompts, The Book of Me and 52 Lists of Happiness.  I am excited about these books and the Book of Me has taken over my quiet time!  I have already finished about a third of it – it’s a book literally about me.  It asks me questions about my life and it’s a history of everything about me.  It has been eye-opening to see my responses.  It has me delving into memories I thought were long gone.  It feels good to be writing.  And now I need to start blogging again!


The 500 Writing Prompts is a book with different ideas of what to write about.  I really like the first one, so this is the one I will start with here.


Name the Top Ten Things on your bucket list.

  1.  To write a book.
  2.  To teach kids how to invest in their future.
  3.  To teach adults how they can travel without credit.
  4.  To inspire my children and grandchildren to follow in my footsteps and make their life an incredible adventure.
  5. To volunteer at a children’s village in Nicaragua as a teacher.
  6.  To put my feet in the Indian Ocean.
  7.  To visit my friends in the Czech Republic.
  8. To travel to Switzerland.  (this has been on my bucket list since my 30’s!)
  9.  To see the Northern Lights in Iceland.
  10.  To go on an African Safari.

I know I will accomplish all of this and  more!!!    What will you do?



Merry Christmas 2016 and a look back on this year

This is my final blog for 2016! I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!

This has been an incredible year for me. I started 2016 in Ostrava, Czech Republic with new friends, I traveled to London, Berlin, Paris, back to Canada for 5 weeks and now I’m in China. Every city I went to made me realize that I am just one small person in this world. But I know I can make a difference to some and I am determined to do that!

I am so grateful that I have had such amazing adventures in 2016, and 2017 is going to be just as exciting because I am going to make it as exciting as I can! 

I have made so many friends across this big beautiful world and I cannot wait to meet more amazing people.

I wish everyone a truly happy new year. Here’s to 2017!! Make it as exciting as you can!!

Its just under a month away but I am already thinking about Christmas.

The cold weather has put me in the spirit of Christmas ~ Europe was not that cold or snowy when I was there these past two Christmases. I am very excited that it will be cold here!

My students all know about Christmas, and so its already become part of my lessons. I like sharing stories about Canada, so I will tell them how I celebrated when I was their age.

Of course this year will be different and perhaps a bit tougher for me. With no oven, it means no baking. Or roasting a chicken. I am unsure what I will do, but there is no time off so I will not be wallowing away.

I still can’t believe that this will be my third Christmas away from Canada.