Rekindling the Christmas Spirit – Gillian FitzGibbon

Gillian and Nicko.jpg

Reflecting on Christmas past in my life has taken me on a journey filled with warm childhood memories, and missing those family moments. There are plenty of happy memories of Christmas in my life, but there is one in particular that I reach out to in order to rekindle the magic of Christmas, which takes me back to when my son Nicholas was 6 years old. We had moved in to  a rural setting  the Spring of that year and it was our first Christmas, which would be Christmas of 1991.


As a single parent, working and managing life at home had enough of life’s challenges. It was difficult finding the Christmas spirit in the midst of bills and the loneliness of a new life in a rural setting, where I can say we knew at least two people.


To this very day, I can still feel the selfishness of being tired and frustrated leave, when Nicholas’ big brown eyes searched into mine, asking if Santa knew where we had moved to, and if he could find us. While being a comforting Mom, together Nicholas and I managed to capture the magic of Santa Claus, and the spirit of Christmas was seen and felt in our home, with cookies and milk for Santa, carrots and sugar for Rudolf.  It was after midnight when Nicholas was fast asleep, and I went outside with cross-country skis to mark Santa’s  “sleigh tracks” in the light of the stars and moon. I remember the loneliness fading away, replaced with the excitement of seeing my son’s face when he discovers the “sleigh tracks” across the back yard. Santa found us!


When I quietly (ya right) reflect on the Christmas carol that has the most meaning to me,
it would Gloria in Excelsis. I think of my Mum, will be 86 in March. I remember as a little girl
going to church and never being able to follow the prayer/hymn books (no pictures maybe).
I used to stand on the kneeler so I could be a little taller beside mum, she would help me
navigate and follow the service and we would share the song books. Mum's once beautiful soprano
voice and the choir at Christ Church Catherdral in Ottawa, echoes in my mind/heart.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Gillian FitzGibbon