Christmas Greetings 2007

Written by  //  December 25, 2007  //  Nicholson musings and messages, People Meta, Salon News  //  Comments Off on Christmas Greetings 2007

HAPPY HANNUKAH Eid ul-Adha Bodhi Day

December 2007

With the massive snowfall that has enveloped us this month, we have every reason to be filled with Christmas cheer and yet this year, have been slower off the mark, possibly because none of our far-flung family will be with us, possibly because this has been such a remarkable year in many ways that the holiday season comes almost as an anticlimax, and possibly because we are increasingly depressed by humankind’s inability to get things right. Whether it is the prolongation of the human misery of Darfur, the morass of the Middle East or the obtuse positions of the Canadian and U.S. governments on environment issues, there is not much cause for shouting Hallelujah.
Nonetheless, we take great comfort and joy in the intellect, talent and success of our family and many friends around the world, who strive both publicly and quietly for excellence in numerous fields, political and societal: in education, health, human rights, the arts, the environment, the media and almost any other sector. We cheer them on and bask in their reflected glory.
A deepening sense of the value of love and friendship overcomes physical distance, time lapses and the forking of roads many years before. This year has brought some joyful unexpected encounters with old friends with whom we had lost contact, with hitherto unknown family members, some extraordinary coincidental meetings around the world, and some delightful new friends. For this we are truly grateful.
Sadly, each year good friends and dear family members die or become incapacitated. As each departs our circle, we inevitably feel not only a sense of loss, but a sense of missed opportunities – those things we should have done together, the conversations we never had, the feelings we never expressed. It is a painful, but valuable lesson that friendship, like a magnificent tree, must be deeply rooted in rich earth and carefully nurtured, with some trimming of twigs and branches, and grafting of new growth.
An artistic family friend used to design wonderful Christmas cards whose line drawings were made of the first names of all their friends. If we had her gift, the tree above would be the perfect illustration of the Tree of Friends in all its complex circuitry, – a symbol not only of the focus of this season, but of every day of the year.

The highlight of our year was the celebration on March 7 of 25 years of Wednesday Nights. Marvellously organized by what the UN would call “Friends of the Chair”, it was a glorious evening, made all the more special by the arrival of Marc and Fiona from Singapore and Alberta respectively. Although billed as a tribute to us, in reality it paid homage to the hundreds – thousands – of people who over thirteen hundred and five Wednesday evenings have shared their knowledge, wisdom, experiences and emotions, sometimes quietly assessing and sometimes hotly debating the issues of the day. We are immensely grateful to each and every one. We never set out to make Wednesday Night an institution, but the devotion of so many has made it so. It is hard to do that wonderful evening of March 7 justice, but we have shared the experience on our websites for all to see. Just look for Wednesday Night 1305.
Ah yes! We now have His and Hers websites; takes you to David’s incredibly complex oeuvre where there is something for everyone’s taste. is a more modest work in progress, striving for content on selected issues and indulging the owner/editor’s obsession with abstruse news sources. We are not in competition and freely link back and forth. You can see this message, much embellished, on his site
Although this isn’t the Year of the Dog in the Chinese calendar, the second most important event of the year was the arrival on July 8 of an unbelievable 5 lbs of black, self-possessed (we took him to a garden party the afternoon he arrived) puppy. Highland Fling is the product of an unauthorized alliance between a Westie and a very handsome caramel Scottish terrier. He could earn his keep as an industrial paper shredder (does well on aluminum cans too, not to mention leather), has all of the delightful characteristics of a terrier and is a total joy, except perhaps to our elderly Schnauzer, Tinker, who is often not amused. And, as we write, the Singapore family has just added a grandpuppy to the clan. “Chewie”, short for Chewbacca (for Star Wars fans), is a Maltese/ Shihtsu cross. He’s an adorable bundle of fluff, who sort-of came with the new house that Marc and Jean have just bought.
All is well with Fiona in Canmore, Alberta. She continues to travel the western provinces working as a corporate team-builder and leadership coach, and has had some fascinating experiences including three trips to the Diavik Diamond Mine, 300 km northeast of Yellowknife, while her partner, Heather, has become a very successful real estate agent.
Marc, Jean, Maya and Bo
Family Photo Shoot are all flourishing in Singapore. Marc’s little ad-agency-that- could, Rocket-X Media, is doing very well; Jean loves her job; and the kids are gorgeous, bright, funny and showing some interesting talents. They are all coming to Montreal next summer (July) and we can’t wait for what promises to be a gathering of the clan.

In closing, we send our fondest wishes to you and yours for the happiest of Christmases and a New Year filled with joy, success, health and, above all, many moments of shared warmth and laughter with friends.


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