’Tis the season
by Dale Burgos
My body is about to burst because it’s that time of the year when I’m filled with good tidings and holiday cheer!
For me, Christmas is the best season! As a child, it would be normal to hear Andy Williams belting out It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year in my house. Thanks to my mom, dad and our record player (oh how I miss those vinyl LPs). Christmas songs would play to get us into the holiday mood. It wasn’t just during the holidays that songs would play. I still sing Volaré by Dean Martin (thanks Mom!). I truly believe that I was born in the wrong era or I was a singer in my past life. I really enjoy songs from the Rat Pack, Tom Jones, and Tony Bennett. This could be why I enjoy listening to Michael Bublé or Matt Dusk. I’m a crooner by heart.
Christmas has different meanings for all of us and like I said, for me, they are happy memories. Back when I was in my single digits (maybe 6 or 7) I remember waking up one Christmas morning and there under the tree was a giant box! (Everything was big in comparison to my diminutive stature.) “What could it be?” I thought. I’m sure I tore into the wrapping paper with the same force as Americans during Black Friday shopping. Inside was a train set – engine, storage cars and track! I remember putting it together in the basement and making CHOO CHOO sounds all day long. I still have that train set, some pieces still in its original packaging. It needs a tune up as the engine car stopped working a long time ago.
There was another Christmas where the Voltron: Legendary Defender toy was the big thing. For those who don’t know, Voltron was a Japanese Anime cartoon in which characters would fight the bad guy in their robot lions. When the going got tough and they needed to fight the bad guy, the lions would connect to make one giant super robot, called Voltron. I was lucky enough to have the whole set. I recently looked online to see how much collectors are paying for them, and it was not surprising to see they’re worth a decent amount. Sadly, my mom sold them at a garage sale or gave it away to an unknowing kid who most likely trashed them within minutes. No hard feelings, I know you meant well, mom. I stopped crying long time ago.
Fast-forward to my teen years, Christmas still held up pretty well. We would have family over, eat turkey, sing songs and, of course, open presents. Getting gifts as a teenager during the 80s was a difficult time. I didn’t have iPods or iPads to ask for. Cell phones weren’t around like they are today. So what did I get? Clothes – blech! Socks! Boring. Yet, I still remained thankful for having something to open.
Fast-forward to current day. I still get in the holiday mood, however, it’s my wife Elizabeth who has me beat. She loves Christmas. So much so, that she continually buys artificial trees and ornaments for said trees. This year, we only put up seven trees – each with its own theme. My favourite is the 10-foot monster that we put in our kitchen. We call this one the Birch Tree. My second fav is the slender one in our living room, adorned with homemade ornaments made of sea shells and sand dollars that we found on the beach. This one is aptly named the Beach Tree. We decided to keep two trees in the box this year, as that would have just been too much.
I give thanks to my family for giving me the opportunities to enjoy the holidays and to create some lasting memories.
Whether this is your season or not, I want to wish you all a joyous and safe holiday season. See you in the New Year!
Dale manages the communications department for a school district in BC.