/*from pinterest*/
10 of My Favourite Christmas Quotes

10 of My Favourite Christmas Quotes

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the weather office is suggesting a 40% chance of flurries late in the day. There’s still snow on the ground from previous storms, especially on the north side of buildings, but a new snowfall would be extra nice for a White Christmas.

This year, I am mostly ready for the celebration — turkey thawing in the fridge, all the groceries bought and stowed.

We don’t do a lot of presents but we have some token ones under the tree. And we have lots of Christmas cards. The best part, of course, is sitting down to dinner with family.

Here are 10 of my favourite Christmas quotes. 

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
— Charles Dickens, A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.
— Edna Ferber

Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?
— Clarence, in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

 “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!”

Do give books – religious or otherwise – for Christmas. They’re never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal.
—Lenore Hershey

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
— Garrison Keillor

I had rather have a fool to make me merry than experience to make me sad.
 — William Shakespeare

“It’s Christmas Eve! It’s… it’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we … we … we smile a little easier, we … w-w-we … we … we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be!
—Frank Cross, in SCROOGED

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
— Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin

Christmas Quotes

Do you have any favourites that sum up the season for you?

Image from bigstockphoto.com #53959294



“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

We all know that laughter is good for us. Now there are scientific studies that say the same thing. Dr. Mel Borins of the University of Toronto tells us: Laughing seems to help strengthen your immune system to fight off colds and sickness, and lowers activity in the “stress” areas of the brain. Read the full article:  A belly laugh will do you a world of good

And for a good laugh, you might like this—especially if you’re like most people and fall somewhere on the ADD continuum.  For the ADD version of The Night Before Christmas, go here.

In all the hustle and bustle of pre-Xmas, stop and laugh whenever possible. And remember what Robert Frost said:

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”

Image from istockphoto.com # 000017232698

Christmas in Connecticut

Christmas in Connecticut

Rolf found this movie at the library. He’d heard it was coming out in the Blu Ray version so he wanted to see if it was worth adding to his Christmas collection.

The movie was made in 1945, a time of rotary phones and lots of smoking. Patients even smoked in the hospital, but only the men. Funny how those things stand out now. And I wonder, does everyone even know what a rotary phone is? But let me tell you about the premise.

Elizabeth Lane is a writer with a housekeeping column for a prestigious magazine. In her column, she not only writes about her excellent recipes but she also tells about her idyllic life on the farm in Connecticut with her husband and baby.

Of course, it’s all fiction. She is supporting herself with the lies she writes about. As any fiction writer does. And she is doing well, well enough to afford a mink coat.

This Cinderella has a fairy godfather in the person of Uncle Felix – a chef from Budapest who now runs Felix’s Restaurant in America. Elizabeth gets her recipes from him, and he is very protective of her. He is also full of witticisms like “Nobody needs a mink coat but a mink.” He may have been an early proponent of the anti-fur movement.

As long as the public goes on thinking the Connecticut farm myth is true, all is well.

The film starts off with the sinking of a ship in WWII, and two survivors in a lifeboat. One of them dreams of eating wonderful food in a five-star restaurant. Finally, they are rescued, and the hero, Jefferson Jones, is put on a soft diet since he’s been starving for eighteen days. His sailor friend suggests he woo a nurse to get more substantial food. He goes so far as to propose to the nurse, who is the cliché dumb blonde.

At any rate, blondie decides it would be a good idea for Jeff to experience life in a real home, so that he will realize what a good thing a home is, and then he will marry her. So she writes to Mr. Yardley, the owner of Elizabeth’s magazine. The nurse had taken care of Mr. Yardley’s little granddaughter, nursing the child back to health after a bout of the measles.

Remember measles? And now we have the MMR vaccine.  I grew up without the vaccine and experienced measles in full force. But I digress.

The nurse asks Mr. Yardley to arrange for Jeff, the war hero, to spend Christmas at Elizabeth Lane’s farm.

Elizabeth’s editor Dudley is distressed. If the owner Yardley discovers she is a sham, not only will Elizabeth lose her job, but so will Dudley.

The gig is up. Elizabeth is at Uncle Felix’s restaurant, lamenting, “Where will I get a farm? I don’t even have a window box?”

Enter John Sloan, the architect, the man who owns the farm which provides the inspiration for the fictional Elizabeth, and the man who wants to marry her.

“You know you need someone to look after you,” he tells her. She always refuses since she does not love him. He says she will learn to love him, and since she will no longer have a job, now she can’t say her career is the reason. Out of excuses, she agrees to marry him.

Felix thinks this is a catastrophe.

Now Elizabeth must confess to Yardley that her column is fiction.

Yardley is overpowering and won’t let her get a word in. (Later, at the close of the story, she will make herself heard.)

For now, he tells her that her column is the only one he actually reads and that circulation will benefit if she entertains this American hero by inviting him to the perfect Christmas on the perfect farm. In fact, since Mr. Yardley’s daughter and granddaughter are busy elsewhere working for the war effort, he will attend himself. And the magazine will pay her a bonus.

For Elizabeth, the deciding factor is that her editor will not lose his job, and his children will be able to have presents this Christmas.

At the first turning point, thirty minutes into the film, Elizabeth has decided to get married and the Judge will perform the ceremony as soon as they arrive at the farm. Elizabeth has also convinced Sloan to continue the masquerade with Mr. Yardley and the sailor in order to save her editor’s job.

Now she has a farm and a “husband” and he, as a man with an eye for detail, has even provided the “baby”. His Irish housekeeper Nora watches the baby for a woman who works at the factory. (This is wartime and women worked at the factories.)

It’s apparent this will not be a match made in heaven. Sloan is more interested in his architectural design and loves to talk about it. At any time.

“When you’re kissing me don’t talk about plumbing,” Elizabeth tells him, hopefully. He asks what he should talk about. She suggests maybe he shouldn’t talk.

Felix accompanies Elizabeth to the farm. A bit of rivalry sets up in the kitchen. Nora the housekeeper is quite happy with her Irish Stew. Felix adds paprika. Now it is goulash.

Sloan is anxious to get the ceremony over with. Felix stalls, claiming they need music. And sure enough the sailor shows up two hours early.

The ceremony keeps getting interrupted as Elizabeth and Jeff get to know each other. He tells her she is “the swellest person I ever met”.  I love these out-of-date lines.

And of course, Jeff is our hero so he would never kiss a married woman.

The movie is full of clichés, but they seem to work in this 1945 setting. Perhaps this is where the clichés originally came from. Regardless, this is a movie of traditional Christmas charm right down to the horse drawn sleighs.

Felix is delightful. Elizabeth is a woman ahead of her time, although after finding true love, it seems she will quit her job. I will pretend that after the credits roll that does not happen and she still gets to write.

Have you watched this movie? What did you think? Have you ever had the measles?

Image from blu-ray package

O Christmas Tree!

O Christmas Tree!

Last Saturday, after a pizza lunch, we decorated the big spruce tree in front of the house. We bought 800 lights at Costco, and then our son Ryan brought over his crane.

Zoom Boom

Our other son Kyle went up in the basket along with one of their friends. Way up.

way up!

Ryan positioned the basket . . .


. . . and Makita supervised on the ground.


Liz helped with untangling the lights and attaching the next strands.

up in the basket

We had sunny weather for this, with the temperature hovering between 5 and 0 Celsius. A good thing, since the operation took several hours.

in the basket

And finally, we ended up with this:

O Christmas Tree!

When we finished, we celebrated by going out for Chinese Smorgasbord. Snow is predicted for tomorrow. I think our tree will look pretty.



Last June, Calgary experienced the worst flood in its history. The Calgary Zoo, located on St. George’s Island in the Bow River, suffered major damage. Owing to the dedication of the Zoo’s vets, volunteers and staff, the animals were protected. At one point, there was talk of moving the big cats to the jails in the Court House but that contingency plan didn’t need to be carried out.

After the floodwaters receded, the grounds needed a lot of recovery work. Much of that recovery is still happening and it will take years to fully restore the buildings.
But on November 28 of this year, the Zoo reopened completely. And the next day, ZooLights opened up for another season of winter wonderland.

This year, I visited ZooLights with my husband, my son and his fiancée.

One and a half million sparkly lights decorated buildings, twisted around trees and outlined various animal shapes. Volunteers attended to fire pits. Hot chocolate was served. Calgary has a lot of snow this year, and cold temperatures.

Calgary ZooLightsBundled in warm coats, thick mitts, cozy scarves and boots, we strolled the grounds for a couple hours and took in the magic.

Does your city have ZooLights? Do you like drinking hot chocolate by an outdoor fire?

It’s Christmas Eve. I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!




WestJet is a Canadian Airline that was founded in 1996. It started off with service to Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Later that year, service was added to Victoria, Regina and Saskatoon. Today, WestJet flies to 18 countries and has become Canada’s favourite airline. And my favourite airline too! There’s just something about those WestJet staff.

One time I was flying from Calgary to London, Ontario. Just prior to takeoff, I took out my reading glasses and the lid on the case went “flying”. I mentioned this to the flight attendant as she was making rounds, checking our seat belts and carryon. Next thing I know, she’s holding up the case and asking the nearby passengers to be on the lookout for the missing lid. The guy behind me found it.

Another time, we were nearing the end of the flight to Calgary. The TVs weren’t working so the attendant decided we should have a game—called Toilet Paper Races. On this Boeing, there are 3 seats on either side of the aisle. The idea is you roll the toilet paper from the front of the plane to the back. If it breaks, you tie it together. Then you roll it back up to the front. The first side of the plane to finish wins.

I don’t remember what the prize was, but we all had fun. You only need one person in a row of 3 to participate, but it seemed like everyone was helping to get the roll unrolled and rerolled. Soon we were at the end of the flight and preparing for landing and we’d all had a chance to get to know our neighbour.

There’s a YouTube about WestJet that has recently gone viral. In case you haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

photo from WestJet.com