Make this Christmas one of magic and memories

By MPP Bobbi Ann Brady

“At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year” – a phrase coined by 16th-century English poet and farmer Thomas Tusser.

While we pace our shopping based on our paycheques and the status of our bank accounts, we are all financially thankful Christmas comes, but once a year. And that very statement is a testament to how the Christmas season has changed over the years. For some, what was once a time of peace, love, and goodwill morphed into a time of spending, debt, and feeling ill! If a blessing comes out of this past year of high inflation rates and increased costs, we will come together at Christmas and rethink what the season of giving is truly about.

Money may be tight, but there is much to be grateful for and celebrate this Christmas. When I remember my childhood, I am hard-pressed to recall the gifts I opened, but I vividly recall time spent with my relatives around the Christmas table. There was always a dramatic scene of sorts that seemed less than perfect at the time, but today, it reminds us that life is far from perfect, and it is those moments, those times together, that create lasting memories.  

Each Christmas, I can’t help but think of my Grandma Georgette. She was an incredible cook, and her Christmas dinner was one I looked forward to weeks ahead of the big night. However, what ensued after the big dinner was something that, as a child, drove my brother, my cousins, and me crazy. To cut to the chase, a mountain of dishes stood between Santa’s presents and us!

You see, Grandma didn’t do the dishes as she went throughout the day of cooking; therefore, after the meal, we had to wait until every single dish was washed, dried, and put away before the grandkids could rip one piece of wrapping paper. It was torture, but thankfully, I had my cousins Lindsay and Lani to complain with and to find some trouble to pass the time.

I vowed I’d never allow the mountain of dishes to happen in my home, and it has not. I cook for days before Christmas, and my kitchen is always tidy. There are rarely dirty dishes on the counter or in the sink. 

No matter how old the story gets, Grandma Georgette remains a topic of conversation every year, and it’s now a story like an old heavy coat or a hot cup of cocoa – it warms our hearts. It makes us smile and chuckle and usually launches a period of reminiscing that starts with “Remember when.” 

Christmas around my place is akin to Chevy Chase in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My children Addison and Carter, when they have their own families, will likely impersonate Uncle Mike, who spends much time around the Christmas dinner table delivering lines like: “Grace? She died 30 years ago,” “Save the neck for me, Clark,” or, “Are you serious, Clark?”

Christmas comes once a year, so the magic is evident — it stands out from every other day.

In closing, thank you for your contributions to our beautiful riding of Haldimand-Norfolk over the past year, and I wish you a Merry Christmas. I hope you all have much time to reflect, reminisce, and enjoy the company of those you hold dear.

Bobbi Ann Brady is the MPP for Haldimand-Norfolk