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Holiday Joy!

December 23, 2018
Mary Jane Copps

While it’s certainly exciting to find presents under a tree, there are hundreds of other ways to embrace the joy of this season. It will come as no surprise that one of mine includes phone conversations, while the other … well … it can be phone-related too.

One of the things I enjoy the most about this season is reaching friends and family on the phone. During the rush, rush, rush of my everyday life, I don’t often take the time, but in the coming weeks I know I’ll sit in my favourite chair and share stories, laughter and love with some of my very favourite people in many parts of the world.

Growing up in Northern Ontario, with family spread across the country and into the U.S., phone calls were definitely a part of every childhood Christmas. Here’s a fun two-minute video reminder of the costs of those calls over the years:

And a video that includes one of the phrases that powers The Phone Lady: “The next best thing to being there.”

Another tradition I’ve kept up since childhood, which I know many of you share, is finding ways to give beyond family, friends and colleagues. Because I believe that everyone deserves the ability to communicate, be heard and access support, I’ve chosen to make donations to:

Red Bear Healing Home is a non-profit society registered with the Province of Nova Scotia (June 23, 2011) that assists people who are experiencing social and/or economic disadvantages in Nova Scotia. The Phone Lady supports the society’s Connect Voice Mail program, which provides a free phone number and voicemail to those experiencing poverty or homelessness. Participants can then be left messages for jobs, housing, health care, and so on.

Kids Help Phone provides anonymous and confidential professional counselling, referrals and information to Canadian youth aged 5 to 20. In 1992, Kids Help Phone chose to open its second regional office in Atlantic Canada. Today, as a community-based charity with a strong local presence, Kids Help Phone has a team of dedicated staff, volunteers, donors, and partners in Atlantic Canada who work tirelessly to support kids in the province as they develop resilience and reach their potential — creating stronger, healthier communities for everyone. Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 professional counselling and information service supporting young people’s mental health and well-being.

What are your favourite holiday traditions? Do take a moment to share in the comment section below.

I wish you and your loved ones a very peaceful, happy, fun holiday season filled with both rest and delight. I’ll be enjoying some extra sleep, reading great fiction and spending time preparing for a fabulous 2019 (more on this next week).

#InspireConversation

2 COMMENTS

  1. Sara says:

    I remember once as a child my Uncle Roger calling my mom and getting other brothers on the phone for a ”conference” call on a holiday. It was quite memorable. The old black rotary dial, without a speaker phone, required people to share the handset. We passed it along, saying hello to the uncles who then took turns sending greetings from Montana, Nevada, Vermont, Virginia and Connecticut.
    As our phones morph into cameras and calls can be made over internet connections, we can touch base frequently with loved ones. Daily connectivity removes the novelty of the annual group call. Or does it?
    Often when I talk to a family member I am doing two things at once- laundry or supper or walking the dog. The conversation is companionship. So what makes that holiday phone call special?
    This year my daughter came for breakfast before heading to work. Her sister was in another time zone and would be up at the same time. It is their first Christmas apart. A call was made using the ap “snap chat” . The camera panned around the table and to the collection of dogs romping about.
    The call was planned. We paid rapt attention. Even though I had chatted to my younger daughter the previous night, and even though the older daughter lives close by, this was special.
    The novelty of a holiday phone call has not worn off. There will be more later today – one to Europe on “what’s ap” and another to the US as a regular cell phone call, maybe even FaceTime. We exchange seasonal cheer and relax, no chores or projects to pull us away. The only distractions a cat climbing an ornamented evergreen tree or a dog gleening scraps off the table.
    This morning my daughter picked up the phone and made a call. Merry Christmas Mary Jane

    • The Phone Lady says:

      Thank you, Sara, so much for sharing this. Phone conversations are an important part of our culture and how we maintain close relationships with both family and friends.

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