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Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Xmas cheer

BY Sonny Orr Dec 21, 2021

Rejoicing, I emerge from the latest storm of the season, a little colder and shakier thanks to the minus 20-degree temperatures. These early days of winter tend to lash out and grab your inner soul, chilling it to the core. That’s when the shivering sets in, and your body responds with chattering teeth and a sniffling nose. 

Yes, it’s flu season, a real reason to declare a natural sickness, one that’s expected but now rare, due to the constant disinfecting of the world. Finally, a simple flu seems to be common for those who are naturally healthy and whose immune systems kicks in with a sneeze. 

Despite the constant wiping of the nostrils, the ingestion of cold remedies is welcomed. It offers a change in medicinal applications, other than disinfecting everything repeatedly and getting chapped hands and dry skin. 

Perhaps a small hiccup from overeating at a recently reopened restaurant has induced a weight-gaining syndrome commonly related to storing of hefty fats to endure a long winter of hibernation, and Santa Classy at the same time. This dietary supplement season knows no boundaries as all kinds of cholesterol, fats, sugars and other sumptuous foods are consumed. For the kids, it’s a heavenly reality where anything goes, including screaming and throwing tantrums about your sibling’s better gift.

Meanwhile for the secret agents of Santa – known as parents and guardians of the greatest secret in the world – their happy smiles quickly change to snores and quiet rumblings of deep slumber, normal for parents at this stage of their lives. For me, it’s the smell of roasting turkeys and baking pies, and the taste of eggnog surprises, that keeps this secret agent alive during the holidays. Some call this time of the year blessed and family oriented and I agree. Not letting Scrooge and the Grinch take over helps with the blood pressure and keeping enough eggnog around to soothe those Christmas woes helps this elf in disguise.

But thanking all those people who live by the same motto, keeping up with the neighbours does add a little zing to the holiday cheer as power meters compete for the highest energy consumption within a two-week period and peak period winner goes to the Griswalds of the world. Let the global power magnates cheer and rejoice for the greatest energy abusers’ awards. I guess the only real abuse I can contend with is my stomach and all those foods and warm drinks smothering my delicate tummy lining.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot the reason behind this annual season of good tidings – the kids. For without them, who would believe in Santa Claus. Nope, not us wise older folks. We’ve known this secret since we were six years old when Santa fell on the floor and swore in pain. But keeping up pretences is all in keeping up the suspense of this great secret until you outgrow it along with your third tooth. Remember how the tooth-fairy legend came crashing down when you discover your parents have kept your tooth for 50 years and now use it as a conversation starter with other Elders.

Again, I support a break from all the commercial madness and to lean towards family events. Just a break from trudging along as a big elf nearing retirement or just wishing to retire with Santa for 364 days a year. Yeah, that imaginary guy has all the breaks, the glory and the attention and serves a purpose for the elves, and that is the great secret. Christmas comes once a year and Santa is the culprit. 

Leave it like that because if kids discover it’s actually the parents and guardians behind the secret, then Christmas would be in demand all year round and we can’t have that can we.

Ho Ho Ho to all and have some more of that tasty eggnog.

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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.