Christmas 2010 Reflections

Written by  //  December 23, 2010  //  Nicholson musings and messages  //  10 Comments

If there is one thing we have learned during the past tumultuous year, it is that friends are the ornaments on our Tree of Life.
They come in all shapes and sizes, are of many hues; some are sparkling, some transparent and others opaque.
Some are fragile, others apparently indestructible.
Some are glamorous; the beauty of others is in their spirit.
All embellish our lives and we are grateful to them.

Each year, as we bring out the boxes of ornaments in anticipation of the decoration of the tree, we admire their variety – in color, origin, uniqueness, and age – and are reminded of the circumstances under which they have come into our lives.  So, too, with friends (we are not talking Facebook). Sometimes, sadly, ornaments have disappeared, been damaged, or broken beyond repair. So, too, with friends. Sometimes, we have a happy surprise, as we discover, hidden away, an ornament that we had forgotten, or thought was lost. So, too, with friends.

As we grow older (more mature?), the Christmas season is one of reflection. Along with those beloved decorations, we unwrap memories of the past years, of  past gatherings and the friends who were a part of them. Or rejoice in a new acquisition. Or a reconnection to a long-lost friend. This year is no exception.

Each year, some special ornaments are lost to us. This year, there were several, and while for us the greatest loss – the Star at the top of our tree – was the death of our beloved friend and genesis of Wednesday Night, Carl Beigie, he is joined at the Great Wednesday Night in the Sky by the irrepressible Gnome from Brome, Heward Grafftey; Jamie Tiller; “Uncle Hughie” Anderson; Germaine Gibara, Jean Bourbonnais, Eva Prager and Stanley Baker – each a force to be reckoned with. We can only imagine the debates they are enjoying. Even as they have left us, we have been drawn closer to – in some cases, have rediscovered – some of those who share our sense of loss.

Our Tree also sparkles with new and rediscovered ornaments, some physically present, others through the magic of the Internet , thus adding to the complex intertwining connecting one bough to another. All give us joy, support, and welcome challenge of our vision of the world and in turn affect one another. And many have been incredibly supportive throughout our recent change of life.

In 2008, we spoke in our Christmas Letter of Change. Little did we understand the impact that change would soon have on us.

After 39 years in our beloved house at 33 Rosemount, and urged on by our children, we took the very difficult and emotion-laden decision to sell it, streamline our lives, and move on before being forced by poor health or other unpleasant events to leave involuntarily. Anyone who has taken the step knows that it was not an easy decision — so many memories were embedded in the walls.

Having put the house on the market, we began to look for our next home which had to meet three criteria: dog-friendly; high ceilings with enough space for our cherished antiques; and comfortable accommodation of Wednesday Nights. We  finally opted for the first apartment we saw – at Haddon Hall – only six blocks from Rosemount.

As reality sank in – we had to get organized and moved by November 1 – our wonderful friends, near and far rallied to the cause, offering moral support and help in concrete, often creative ways … sometimes exhibiting talents hitherto unsuspected from their formal résumés. Those too remote, or not able to give physical help, cheered us on – occasionally with depressing reminders that moving is probably the second-most-stressful event after divorce, but often with enthusiastic endorsement of our decision.

Now we are settling in; smaller space, but still surrounded by familiar belongings. Christmas is in the air. Outside, snow is on the ground; Christmas lights sparkle each evening, hiding any defects in the cityscape. Inside, we are creating our new nest where we will continue to share our lives with and take comfort from those who ornament it so gracefully, brilliantly and colorfully.

Like the one pictured below, our Tree has an abundance of ornaments of friendship. They sparkle, shine and reflect off one another. We wish the same blessing for each and every one of you.

With heartfelt thanks for your friendship that continues to be a precious ornament for us, we wish you the happiest of holidays, whether celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Eid Ul-Adha,  Bohdi Day or another festival of your choice.

10 Comments on "Christmas 2010 Reflections"

  1. George Bowser December 19, 2010 at 4:45 pm · Reply

    Thank you so much for the lovely thoughts, Diana and David. Congratulations also on your brave decision to move, it can’t have been easy.
    Wishing you all the very best for 2011
    George & Beryl

  2. Edythe December 19, 2010 at 4:54 pm · Reply

    I loved your Christmas Greetings and those special comments on friendship. You express yourself in the most elegant and charming fashion.I hope 2011 will be a happy, healthy and stress free year. I haven’t forgotten Daisy. I am off to Tampa but will communicate on my return. L&K’s EDie

  3. herb December 19, 2010 at 6:40 pm · Reply

    What an extraordinarily beautiful letter!
    Those friends whom you have mentioned that have passed were my friends too, mostly thanks to you and as you know, I too am currently experiencing a difficult traumatic period. I believe that we will survive and overcome and that we will be able to look back on this year as the end of an era and 2011 as the beginning of a changed but exciting life. The greatest gift in the world is friendship and we have both had the good fortune to have been blessed with many true friends.

    herb

  4. Sam Totah December 19, 2010 at 9:20 pm · Reply

    Dear David & Diana– while my best wishes for the holiday season preceded yours –mine was the “classical one” and yours carried some souvenirs & emotions for the past three decades I have known both you & your institution! The sadness in it — that I did learn also of the passing away of Stanley Baker with whom I shared a special friendship.
    I was always intrigued at “where & how” you did find the strength to make the stressy decision to move/sell and find a new lodging — Now I know the answer “the many friends” you have around the globe sustain one’s being, Voila! I wish you all the health & happy new year 2011. Amities, Sam Totah.

  5. Karl Moore December 20, 2010 at 5:23 am · Reply

    Diana and David, a wonderful Christmas letter, moving and thought provoking, rather like Wednesday Night. Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in your new digs!

  6. Ron Meisels December 20, 2010 at 3:11 pm · Reply

    A really beautiful and moving message. You two are the beautiful ornaments in OUR life.

    Best for the holidays and have a bit of nog, but [not] too much.

    Ron and Nancy

  7. Doug Lightfoot December 20, 2010 at 2:01 pm · Reply

    Thank you for your Christmas greetings. Having only attended WN relatively recently, it is good to know of its remarkable past and the people who made it so. It is courageous of you and David to continue WN 2.0 in your new and delightful home. May you enjoy the Christmas Season and look forward to a bountiful New Year. Best wishes, Doug Lightfoot.

  8. misha December 22, 2010 at 11:33 pm · Reply

    Dear Diana and David,
    I was VERY impressed with you letter, which was far more than just a simple Christmas card. From 7000 km away I wish you good health, good cheer and success in your endeavors.
    Misha

  9. Guy Lalonde December 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm · Reply

    I was very touched by your beautiful text, Diana. About friends and about what we sometimes have to leave behind. Very well written and straight to the heart. I wish the both of you the very best and hope to see you more often in 2011.
    Guy.

  10. Lyda December 30, 2010 at 7:38 am · Reply

    Type your comment here.
    Touchante et jolie lettre, exprimée par les émotions et les sentiments que nous partageons avec vous. Je suis heureuse que vous ayez retrouvé un foyer chaleureux où les idées, opinions et rires ne manqueront pas de jaillir, c’est la tradition! Je vous embrasse tous les deux et bonne année!
    Lyda

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