Greetings From The Frozen North — Merry Christmas!

A group of Santa Clauses walks through snowy w...
Image by AFP/Getty Images via Daylife

We’re home with my Dad in Toronto, staying as warm as possible. You know it’s a Canadian Christmas when:

Your friend  wants the cold to be so bitter that her front lawn will freeze so the moving truck can pull right up to her front door.

Her sister is marrying on Boxing Day, but because they are Sikhs, it’s a three-day affair.

You eat the traditional French-Canadian Christmas meal of tourtiere, a meat pie, sort of hamburger in pastry. The cook, my old friend Marcia, is the grand-daughter of Nellie McClung, who is featured on the $50 bill for helping to win Canadian women the vote.

You try to prepare the turkey and — like so many in Canada — it keeps leaning to the left.

Your Dad buys the oysters for Christmas dinner unshucked. Talk about an ER visit waiting to happen. That’s what free healthcare will do — give you that delicious sense of abandon.

You buy Chinese food from a dive-y joint in a shady neighborhood, called Yummy Food, and it’s some of the best Chinese we’ve ever eaten anywhere.

You lie awake, barely able to sleep with anticipation. No, not Santa Claus — Boxing Day sales! The Canuck equivalent of Black Friday, but even more so, because there are many fewer stores and their profit margins typically higher than in the U.S. You think a hockey scrum is fierce? Hah!

You find out the secret to getting someone helpful when dealing with voicemail hell. When they ask if you want English or French, hit the button for “French” — because operators in Montreal speak English, but those in Bangalore don’t speak French.

You can re-stock the most essential of supplies: Big Turk, Crispy Crunch, Crunchie and all the Canadian candy bars unavailable south of the border.

Hoping your holiday is filled with warmth and fun.

5 thoughts on “Greetings From The Frozen North — Merry Christmas!

  1. datajunkie

    Ms. Kelly,

    Glad to hear your holidays are merry. As part of my new year, I’m considering a project for which I think I need the input of a writer, if only to tell me that it’s not as wonderful an idea as I think it is. Would you be willing to grant me the privilege of corresponding with you more privately? I am at burrATcooperDOTedu

    I have enjoyed reading your posts, and look forward to more in 2010.

  2. Well, that would make my holidays merry, hearing from a reader who wants your input on a project! It’s been sunny and cold in San Francisco, a fine Boxing Day for walking by the bay with friends and buying next year’s Christmas cards at the 50% sales, and now the much-needed rain is here just in time to rejoice over not having a ticket to the Whatever Bowl currently on TV. Happy Holidays to you all up there.

  3. Caitlin Kelly

    Datajunkie, flattered to be asked. You can also email at this site. Happy to discuss your needs; I’ve done a lot of coaching writers.

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