I tend to get very sentimental at this time of year. íTis the season, I guess.
I love Christmas and everything that comes with it ó the outdoor light displays, the Christmas tree, shopping for presents, carolling in the mall, the food, candy and sweets and, most important, sharing the joy of the season with family and friends.
Christmas with the Jacques clan is a full-out celebration, which lasts pretty well the whole month of December. And itís a wonderful time.
This year was the first year that I have not been on hand for the traditional holiday light extravaganza at my parentsí house. I was off in Regina celebrating an historic Grey Cup win for my beloved Riders, so my brother-in-law DíArcy and my brother Kevin had to pick up the slack with my dad decorating the outside of the house in his true Grisewold-like fashion. (Donít worry boys, Iím on tap for take down day on Jan. 4).
I must say that this yearís display is one of my dadís best. Lights everywhere, cool critters from Santa Snoopy to reindeer pulling a sleigh ó it is a sight to behold and certainly is the best looking house on their street. Iím sorry I missed out on the fun.
Inside the house my mom has done us proud again with a beautiful tree, decorations on the fireplace mantels and mini trees in the family room. The house is inviting, and full of love ó exactly the way it should be this time of year.
Most of our shopping is done, the annual family letter and Christmas cards are in the mail, Mom has been baking up a storm, and the final touches are just about complete. Add to that various Christmas parties and social functions that we all have been attending ó†this month is all about Christmas and the holiday season ó and I love it all.
I have so much to be thankful for this year.
Itís been another good year in my personal life. I love my job, love working in this community, have great co-workers and, I dare say, we produce a pretty darn good newspaper every week. You, our loyal readers, play a big role in that, and for that, I thank you.
I have a great network of friends who love and support me and are there when I need them. I have a wonderful and loving family, and we have an additional reason to celebrate this year as my sister gave birth to her second child, a boy. Declan was born in late November. Alongside sister Payton, born a year ago August, Christmas morning at my sisterís house this year will be a wonderful time with two little ones experiencing Christmas for only the first and second time.
As I reflect on this year, I think it is a time for us all to sit back and consider, to count our blessings and share love and joy with the ones who are near and dear to us.
From my desk to your holiday home, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and peace and joy for the holiday season.
See you all in 2014!