My childhood memories of Christmas remain very clear – everything from the taste of tourtiere after Midnight Mass, the smell of the tree in the den, the sight of presents delivered by Santa Claus – and the sound of relatives sharing stories, filling our house with laughter throughout the season. But living as we did in Northern Ontario, not all of our cheerful relatives were able to come to our home for the holiday.
Yet we managed to spend Christmas together every year and create a lot of joyful memories. I bet you can guess how.
Part of the Christmas tradition was the long distance phone call. My mom’s brothers and sisters (seven in total) would all end up in conversation at some point during the day. That black kitchen wall phone with the loooong cord would get passed around for everyone to participate, connecting us with Montreal, Windsor and numerous small towns throughout Ontario. And my dad’s four brothers would also call, from Thunder Bay, Toronto, Hamilton and, the most exciting, my Uncle Ed calling from New York! These were precious moments.
We all still have the ability to create such moments for someone else this Christmas. I’m guessing each of us has someone we love or care about deeply that we haven’t spoken to, in real time, for quite awhile. Let’s use this holiday season to pick up the phone and call them, hear the sound of their voice and let them hear our’s. Let’s have a conversation filled with stories and laughter, create the human connection that memories are made of and that no amount of texts, emails, or even letters can replace.
I’m thinking I’ll track down Cindy Thomas. A Newfoundlander near to my heart, she was an office manager at my first company and I haven’t spoken to her in years. If we do connect, I know there will definitely be a LOT of laughter.
So, who will you call? Choose one person; give them the gift of conversation.
I send you my very best wishes for a joyful holiday season. For over 10 years my gift-giving tradition has been homemade Cranberry Almond Biscotti. While I’d love to have the time and logistics to deliver some to each of you, instead I’ll share the recipe. You can find it here, complete with photos: http://thephonelady.com/yup-a-baker/