Almost two weeks since New Years has past.
Okay, actually just a little over a week. But that’s how slow the past nine days has been, it’s actually felt like two weeks. In autumn, there seems to always be some urgency, something to anticipate, something to expect with wonder and awe. It actually begins once the school year starts in September. There’s Thanksgiving for us Canadians in October, followed closely by Halloween. For the adventurous, there’s also Talk Like A Pirate Day in September. November rolls around and for the extremely adventurous, the entire month is one long attempt to get in 50,000 words or more. Of course, let’s not forget things like Remembrance Day, or even Thanksgiving for those south of the border. Then comes December, and like a switch the talk is all about decorations, carols and shopping. Mostly focusing on ‘have you finished yours yet’. Then the big day hits, Christmas Day arrives, sandwiched neatly between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day. The celebrations seem to die down but not entirely as there’s a New Year to celebrate in there as well.
Maybe it’s time we started recognizing and learning the cultures of others. Not for appropriation, but just something to break up doldrums of this time of year. After all, we’re currently in the midst of the Ukrainian Christmas season. Ukrainian Christmas was just yesterday, after all, and Ukrainian New Years isn’t that far away.
I remember the first time I was exposed to Ukrainian Christmas. I lived in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, which was part of the Parkland Region and held a high concentration of Ukrainians that stretched from Yorkton, Melville and Invermay all the way east into Manitoba to what is known as the Canadian Ukrainian capital. People in that region take pride in their Ukrainian heritage, though, it should be dubbed Saskrainian, due to the fact many of these people are second and third generation living in Saskatchewan. Still, I remember the first time working at CJGX Radio in Yorkton, on Ukrainian Christmas day, and trying to go shopping and finding everything but convenience stores closed. For those who celebrate this time of year, it’s probably a wonderful time. But for someone like me, I was bored stiff and left without milk, peanut butter and cigarettes. Though, I did learn for the next year, and made certain to stock up appropriately.
Around here, where I live now, there’s not really much of a celebration that sort of breaks things up. No mid winter festival to talk about. We have a hockey team, but I doubt they’ll make it to the playoffs, or rather deep into the playoffs this year. Sure there’s things like the February long weekend, which I personally think is a government plot in Canada to sell more beer. Honestly. Canadians don’t need a long weekend to go out and buy beer. We even have Valentine’s Day, which is rather dull and quite lonely for some of us, myself included in that. Yes, there’s a trade show in March and Easter long weekend as well, but by the time those two events hit, the thing we’ve been trying to get past, the thing we’ve been living through, is soon gone.
Winter can sometimes be the hardest time of year.