The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “christmas

A December Like No Other

Posted on January 6, 2018

Signs that Christmas 2017 were going to be different began in September when we had three remarkable exploratory meetings. CBC Radio London confirmed for us that they wished to organize a “Sounds of the Season” for December as a way of generating community support for the London Food Bank as well as exploring the issue of poverty in the city. Business Cares – a city-wide initiative that has been running for over years and brings London businesses together in a coordinated effort to raise funds and food for the London Food Bank – held preparation meetings, appointed a working committee, and began working out how the hectic holiday season would look when it came to donation time. The London Food Bank was invited to…

Rudolph – More Than Just a Jingle

Posted on December 23, 2017

A man named Robert L. May, depressed and broken-hearted, stared out his drafty apartment window into the chilling December night.  His 4-year-old daughter Barbara sat on his lap quietly sobbing.  Bob’s wife, Evelyn, was dying of cancer.   Little Barbara couldn’t understand why her mommy could never come home. Barbara looked up into her dad’s eyes and asked, “Why isn’t Mommy just like everybody else’s Mommy?” Bob’s jaw tightened and his eyes welled with tears.  Her question brought waves of grief, but also of anger. It had been the story of Bob’s life. Life always had to be different for Bob.  When he was a kid, Bob was often bullied by other boys.  He was too little at the time to compete in sports. He…

The Christmas Story Was Written For the Sorrowful

Posted on December 16, 2017

We go about wishing each other happy holidays and a merry Christmas, but sometimes the holiday season can be cruel. For some people, it’s a reminder of ones we deeply loved who are no longer with us. The holidays will arrive without them this year, and it’s likely the coming weeks will feel more like a survival course than a season of celebration. As London follows its seasonal narrative of gift-shopping, celebrations, lights, music, family gatherings, sumptuous dinners and endless snacks, among us will be many moving like shadows through it all, struggling in their sense of loss yet attempting to live up to the expectations of others. Along with the joy we share together, any good city recognizes the pain of others. The…

A Village State of Mind

Posted on December 3, 2017

There’s no denying it – Christmas and a village just go together. There’s the original Santa’s Village, where the famous bearded man and his wife lived and toiled with the elves. There are replicate Santa’s Villages in over 40 countries, including our own province. Even Bethlehem, in the time of Jesus, is referred to by some commentators as a village. And the Whos from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’s famous How the Grinch Stole Christmas, lived in village that was ingeniously located on a snowflake. Every year around this time families begin digging out the boxes with the little figurines, which, when compiled together, become ornate or rustic villages placed on tabletops or on a piano. So, yes, “Christmas and the village” go comfortably together…

Christmas Prep – Hope

Posted on December 23, 2016

SO MUCH OF THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON is predicated on things from other eras. Gifts, trees, carols, decorations, sentimentalizing snow, turkey, Santa, Bethlehem, trying to fill the kids with a sense of wonder, religious services, and community celebrations with lights – none of these were created by us but by our ancestors and we personalize them each December to fit our own holiday circumstances. In all of this the past can give meaning to the present. Yet occasionally it becomes instead a mindless following of cultural expectations, or as Todd Stocker would write of it, “Sometimes we get so enamoured with the tradition of something that we forget the intent of it.” We can modernize the Christmas season all we want, but with each passing…

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