The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Toronto Life and bits and pieces of other things.
What I should be doing instead:
Writing, getting things ready for the play I am casting in January, getting ready for the holidays.
Necessary procrastination i.e. my top priorities of the moment:
Holiday social events. Writing and posting Christmas cards.
This year I also made an email greeting with a collage of photos and sent it to friends and family. I used to think photocopied Christmas newsletters were tacky, but who minds getting email pictures?
’Tis the season for crazy errands, making treats and happy anticipation.
It is also a dark time of year when many people are sick or dying. Is there any wonder we need so many winter celebrations and get-togethers with our dear ones?
This is something the Swedes understand. Swedish winter nights are longer than those in Toronto. Naturally, there are many Swedish customs surrounding ‘living light,’ such as candles in the home.
Another nice custom is a courtesy call. The day after attending a party, one is expected to phone the host and thank them. I wonder if this custom also protects the guest from getting lost in a blizzard -- permanently:
Hans: Sven still hasn’t called after the party last night. I wonder if he's still mad I swiped his pepparkakor...
Wilma: I wonder if he found his way home in the storm. He drank all the aquavit.
Hans: We'd better start searching
Wilma: I'll call the dogs.
(With apologies to my dear, sweet, patient, Swedish husband)
This weekend I attended a bilingual (Swedish-English) service in honour of Saint Lucia. In the Swedish tradition, a pretty teen dresses in a white gown with a red sash. On her head she wears a band of burning candles. Surrounded by a choir of white-robed children carrying lit candles, she leads the procession up the church aisle. These Lucia girls and Star boys make up a special Lucia-day choir. My mother-in-law, who used to live in Sweden, says that not just churches but schools and businesses have their own Lucia choirs and processions.