Odd Thoughts: Perfect Christmas not easy to plan

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” And so it was this Christmas.

Although, the outcome was not nearly as disturbing as that of the incident that prompted Robbie Burns to apologize to the mouse he had turned up with his plough 230 years ago.

For the first time in years, Donna and I had the time and circumstance to plan a perfect Christmas with the immediate family. Kids and grandkids would all be here.

With my retirement having unburdened me of the ceaseless deadlines that piled up and threatened to overwhelm me through the approach of Christmas each year, we would have the time and energy to provide a perfect Christmas with all the iconic Christmas meals, from breakfast through dinner perfectly planned and laid out.

The outdoor lights went up in time to turn them on Dec. 1 – a feat I had dreamed of in years past, but had never accomplished.

And Donna notes I managed it with fewer than three dozen swear words – a feat that shattered the previous record.

The tree and accompanying indoor decor went up a day behind schedule. But that wasn’t bad, especially considering that only some of the lighting and none of the air was blue by the time I was done.

And it was still weeks to Christmas, so our version of Robbie’s mouse was not put out in the least.

Gifts were all purchased with weeks to spare, instead of days… or hours (or sometimes only minutes).

It was while hunting the turkey that we got our first real hint of what was to come. I went out to our preferred hunting ground on the designated Turkey Day and… there was only one left! And it was on the edge of not big enough. Arrgghhhhh!

I potted the sucker anyway.

The old stress started to creep in, masking the fact that we still had a good week and a half left to bag a more suitable candidate for the Christmas oven.

And of course, we found another. A perfect bird, indeed. Which left us with a spare – and still no apologies for the mouse.

’Twas three nights before Christmas when all through our home, an ominous sound arrived through our phone. The Lad had pulled an all-nighter programming computers, and had caught “whatever is going around.” He was still going to try to make it for dinner, but…

Then on Christmas Eve, with a visit to extended family looming on the agenda, one of the dogs wouldn’t stop puking all over the house. His uncharacteristically quiet demeanour, coupled with his refusal to eat – and he had refused liquid sustenance for two full days now – meant a trip (an unscheduled trip!) to the vet.

And the kids, flying back from Mexico to join us for Christmas, reported they were snowed-in in Calgary.

Our scheduled oysters-and-kippers breakfast turned to brunch, and eventually became a catch-as-catch-can afternoon snack, an oyster here, a kipper here, as the clan slowly – but inexorably – gathered. Other than everyone’s healthy albeit haphazard arrival, not a single plan panned out in the end. And wouldn’t you know it? It was the best Christmas ever!

Chaos is just a natural part of Christmas at our house. No amount of “best laid schemes” will get us around that.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.The mouse be damned.

The only really scary part is… New Year’s is usually even worse!

 

 

Just Posted

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

First-time Langley mayor’s gala raises $856,000

Final numbers are in for last month’s gala – $856,000 raised, $600,000 of which goes to hospital.

Young Giants make Worlds

Two forwards from the Langley-based WHL team were picked today to represent Canada.

Langley Rams look for repeat victory Saturday, heading into semifinals

Finishing second in the regular season, Langley hosts its first playoff game in four years.

Foursome unites in Fort Langley show

A new exhibition of art opened Wednesday at the Fort Gallery.

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

UPDATE: B.C. man who swam naked with sharks arrested

David Weaver, of Nelson, will face mischief and assault charges

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Most Read