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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Searching for the spirit

BY Sonny Orr Dec 20, 2019

It’s nearing that time of the year again when you are filled with the spirit of giving and hoping for a bit of receiving. I know that Santa does exist – as a hybrid of parents, uncles and aunts, and grandparents all sharing to give to the offspring that fill our world with lifelong memories and treasures to fill the scrapbook of life. Yes, Christmas and the approaching holidays are the reasons for a lot of joy and the spirit of giving. I for one, always point out that it’s really the time for the not well-off to partake in the season of receiving from people who really don’t need anything more than the gift of appreciation.

As I look at how we celebrate this occasion it’s clear that the traditions we used to practice have changed dramatically. Last year, I suggested using socks for wrappers just to cut back on paper, but this year it seems that most of the wrapping comes in the same colours – Canada Post colours. Local stores are taking a beating from increased online shopping, but the real shopping in a store or large mall is getting harder for anyone like me who has to take a plane to get anywhere near a dollar store. Who can compete with Santa’s sled and his free transport? I have noticed that ordering online isn’t always the way to go for us up north because the shipping offered for free everywhere else usually costs more than the savings we thought we were making from that great online deal.

Arrgh, if soapstone carvings and simple necklaces were all the rage again, something that could be made by hand and guided by the heart would be great. But no, more things are better it seems. Oh well, might as well go with the flow and keep the kids happy for a few weeks while we wait for schools and daycares to open again. 

Aside from giving and receiving it’s also the time for the annual Christmas staff party. Hopefully, the drink-fueled idea to give your boss the annual gripes from the past year might not be such a good idea, since the bosses do pay your salary. But hey, free drinks might loosen the wallet of the boss or get you fired – it’s a tough call these days.

As for forecasts and all that, maybe the orange-haired leader to the south will remain unscathed and our prince in the north might end up enjoying his minority parliament. I know that being a politician is touch and go these days; one day you’re a gift for all the country, then the next day it’s back in the ruts where you find the people who try hard to make this country work. It’s like a Facebook situation, the relationship is complicated, and you are not sure who you are bedded with. Go figure, politics is not to be spoken of during these times. “Blame it on the guy in the red suit” is all it takes until the New Year rolls around.

I for one, will enjoy what holidays I have, which are very few and to be treasured. That’s my wish for this year, to have fun and spread good will to all mankind. Something Santa would say if he were the first man to land on the moon. Have yourselves a merry and cheery holiday! Signing off from near Santa’s igloo…

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Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.