Why wait for the Americans to polish off their airport and artery clogging Thanksgiving festivities to kick off the gluttonous, greedy glory that is Christmas. I'm kicking it off today.
What better timing, with the latest statistics showing Food Bank shopping is skyrocketing across Canada, making me feel like I really must get off my fat ass and do something aside from cracking open the "lite" egg nog and lacing it with a fifth of rum.
But first, let me get all maudlin for a moment when I say we lost one box when we moved to Toronto (and back) last year. Sadly, that one box contained our Christmas stockings and our much-loved, carved Santa (holding the holy mackerel) who sat on the mantle year after year. Fuck. The lovely man who carved the Santa as a gift has died and well, fuck again. Jack was due on Christmas Day and thank Jesus that selfish, son of a single mother didn't want to share his big birthday, because my little miracle popped out 5 days early, pushing 10 pounds and wearing skates, or at least that's what it felt like – but not before I had a local woman hand knit a stocking that said "BABY". Jack loved that stocking because it was huge. I loved it because, well, I am a sentimental old bitch who can't knit.
So, while I am entitled to be a tad bitter about Christmas right off the bat, because I loved those material possessions that signified a tradition in our little family – this year I am not going to let that stand in the way, because despite taking a bad recession hit, we really don't need anything. Okay, Jack needs new upper hockey gear, a new trapper apparently, his borrowed skates are falling apart – and I could use a new bra – but other than that, and compared to alot of others, we are doing okay. I have to watch my gag reflexes when I say, "we have our health and each other".
I never thought I would write a sentence like that. Fuck! Maybe it's because I've been up since 4am working on the Esso Cup booklet for Jack's hockey team as a volunteer. Sigh, my moment of glory as Canada's Most Creative person is all but a faded memory. That, and my once perky breasts seems to be touching the waist tie on this housecoat.
Anyway, a few years ago, when I had cash that actually flowed, Jack and I adopted a family from the Metro Food Bank. I asked for, and was given a single Mom and her child. I was handed a wish list that was so short and selfless, I went totally overboard in response. The Mom asked for; a toothbrush, pyjamas and a toy police car for her four-year old boy – likely because the little one saw Daddy whisked off in the backseat of a real one with sirens flashing. For herself, she asked nothing. Not one thing. By the time we were done, I think I spent over $500 dollars filling a box with toys, food and new clothes for both the Mother and child. The money didn't matter. It was the most fun shopping we did that year. Even Jack, normally a greedy little prick at Christmas, got into the spirit of giving.
So that's my cheery Christmas kick-off. Don't worry, this lapse into altruistic do-gooding won't last long. By the time the Packers and the Lions signal the official start of "shopping for things you cannot afford, for people you don't even like-season", I'll be back to spewing bile, all cranked up on the peppermint schnapps I bought as a little treat to slide in my Adopt-A-Family's gift box.
As for this recent Food Bank crisis, I say Mr. Ebenezer Harper, our own little Marie Antoinette, should stop worrying about his limp majority, shut up, man up, and cough up a fur ball in the form of canned goods and cash. Bad enough his beloved cats eat better than some Canadians. I may call him collect at home, right now while my claws are out.
Merry "C" word.
To participate in Adopt-a-Family, please call the Metro Food Bank at 902.457.1900 ext.234. If you are lucky enough not to live in Havenot, most major cities and towns have similar programs.