Ghosts of Christmas Past

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Well Christmas has come and gone, and it's been an odd one this year. With Donna and the kids not here any more, the place was pretty quiet, and although I'd been hoping to experience a White Christmas, the snow has simply not arrived in Oakville, and so it was a Green Christmas instead - cold, but green. They keep predicting snow, but it never seems to come good on the prediction. It's reassuring to realise that while the experts can't agree on whether global warming is real or not, you can still rely on weather forecasting to be as inaccurate as ever.

However, I was well and truly looked after this Christmas and got to spend it with my surrogate Oakville families. On Christmas Eve, Beth and Grant had me over for a delicious Christmas lunch, and I got to meet Grant's mum and dad from Burlington. Grant's dad is an interesting guy, full of facts and trivia and stories, and an incredible memory for places he visited in Australia nearly 20 years ago. He does a pretty fair impression of Santa Claus too!

After leaving there, I popped into Dave and Claudia's place to share a Christmas meal with them and their family too. It was nice to meet Claudia's brother, sister, parents and the other guests. Dave said later that he thought I was a bit quiet and subdued, but I was really just pacing my eating and drinking! It was really nice to be invited to share a meal with all my Oakville friends, but even I can't have two full-size Christmas meals back to back!

After leaving there I went round to share a quiet evening drink with Dave and Linda, as well as Beth and Grant again and Linda's parents. It was a quiet relaxed affair, complete with delicious home-made Hungarian cakes, but again, I had to take it easy in the eating and drinking department.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, and really felt very special to think that I was being invited in to share such a special family time as Christmas.

The next day was Christmas Day. I have no idea where the morning went - it isn't quite as exciting without the kids there to be excited about Santa coming by - and I had the biggest Christmas day sleep-in ever. Later in the day I joined Kim, Sean, Laura and Megan for dinner at Kim's brother's place in Toronto. I hadn't met Chris before, or his two delightful kids Brady and Charlotte. Clint and Carol had also come up from Florida for Christmas, so it was extra good to see them again. We had another wonderful shared dinner with what was probably the biggest turkey I've ever seen in my life! This thing was huge! It was a lovely evening, a real family Christmas get-together, with pressie time and all. Thanks to the Smetchers for including me.

Next stop, New Year. Then back to school. Then back home. I'm not sure I'm ready for all this.

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