Column: My Christmas traditions, old and new

Opinion Dec 23, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

When I was a kid, my Christmas morning alarm clock was always the sound of my brother’s running feet, bursting excitedly from his room to run down the hall to peek into our parents’ room where Santa was kind enough to bring our stockings. He’d then run back and get me out of bed so we could both hurry to get our sister before descending on our exhausted parents like a pack of crazed dogs.

This year, while my brother may be the first up again, it won’t be his footsteps that rouses me from my slumber in the room where I’ve woken up for the past 34 Christmases.

Christmas is a time for tradition, but while some traditions (such as me waking up in my childhood bed) seem like they’ll go on forever, others (like my brother’s tiny footsteps echoing throughout the hall) are destined to live on only in memory.

As a member of the Burlington Teen Tour Band my November and December were taken up by a seemingly endless string of Santa Claus parades. These often meant long days and early morning bus rides, but you also got to spend two whole days with some of your best friends spreading Christmas cheer throughout southern Ontario.

I also used to bring seasonal joy to the community with my theatre friends by going out caroling. We weren’t asking for money or a donation of any kind. We did it for the love of performing and to see the reactions on the faces of those we sang for.

While those traditions are long gone new ones have taken their place.

I still get my performing fix playing with the Burlington Concert Band, where instead of over a dozen parades, often in the bitter cold, we play our concert in a nice warm theatre. I’ve also had fun lending my announcing talents to MC the Dundas Concert Band’s Christmas concerts for the past two years.

As you may recall from last year, I run a charity Christmas Tree lot which, in spite of the occasional worry and headache, is a wonderful way to get into the seasonal mood.  Almost everyone who comes onto the lot is cheerful and bright and even those who leave without finding their tree buoy my seasonal spirit.

I’ve also been privileged to be a judge in the Mountain News’ Christmas Light contest. It’s hard to harbour any Grinchy thoughts after spending a few hours driving around looking at colourful displays and the creativity of Mountain residents.

Of course one long-standing tradition that I couldn’t live without is my mother’s cherry cake. It’s labour intensive to make having to peel all those red and green cherries, but more than anything else to me, it’s the taste of Christmas. I plan to eat a whole lot of it because cherry cake, just like Christmas, comes but once a year.

Whatever your holiday traditions, be they secular or religious, I hope that they make your season merry and bright.

Happy Christmas everyone, from our family at Hamilton Community News to yours.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.

Column: My Christmas traditions, old and new

Opinion Dec 23, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

When I was a kid, my Christmas morning alarm clock was always the sound of my brother’s running feet, bursting excitedly from his room to run down the hall to peek into our parents’ room where Santa was kind enough to bring our stockings. He’d then run back and get me out of bed so we could both hurry to get our sister before descending on our exhausted parents like a pack of crazed dogs.

This year, while my brother may be the first up again, it won’t be his footsteps that rouses me from my slumber in the room where I’ve woken up for the past 34 Christmases.

Christmas is a time for tradition, but while some traditions (such as me waking up in my childhood bed) seem like they’ll go on forever, others (like my brother’s tiny footsteps echoing throughout the hall) are destined to live on only in memory.

As a member of the Burlington Teen Tour Band my November and December were taken up by a seemingly endless string of Santa Claus parades. These often meant long days and early morning bus rides, but you also got to spend two whole days with some of your best friends spreading Christmas cheer throughout southern Ontario.

I also used to bring seasonal joy to the community with my theatre friends by going out caroling. We weren’t asking for money or a donation of any kind. We did it for the love of performing and to see the reactions on the faces of those we sang for.

While those traditions are long gone new ones have taken their place.

I still get my performing fix playing with the Burlington Concert Band, where instead of over a dozen parades, often in the bitter cold, we play our concert in a nice warm theatre. I’ve also had fun lending my announcing talents to MC the Dundas Concert Band’s Christmas concerts for the past two years.

As you may recall from last year, I run a charity Christmas Tree lot which, in spite of the occasional worry and headache, is a wonderful way to get into the seasonal mood.  Almost everyone who comes onto the lot is cheerful and bright and even those who leave without finding their tree buoy my seasonal spirit.

I’ve also been privileged to be a judge in the Mountain News’ Christmas Light contest. It’s hard to harbour any Grinchy thoughts after spending a few hours driving around looking at colourful displays and the creativity of Mountain residents.

Of course one long-standing tradition that I couldn’t live without is my mother’s cherry cake. It’s labour intensive to make having to peel all those red and green cherries, but more than anything else to me, it’s the taste of Christmas. I plan to eat a whole lot of it because cherry cake, just like Christmas, comes but once a year.

Whatever your holiday traditions, be they secular or religious, I hope that they make your season merry and bright.

Happy Christmas everyone, from our family at Hamilton Community News to yours.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.

Column: My Christmas traditions, old and new

Opinion Dec 23, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

When I was a kid, my Christmas morning alarm clock was always the sound of my brother’s running feet, bursting excitedly from his room to run down the hall to peek into our parents’ room where Santa was kind enough to bring our stockings. He’d then run back and get me out of bed so we could both hurry to get our sister before descending on our exhausted parents like a pack of crazed dogs.

This year, while my brother may be the first up again, it won’t be his footsteps that rouses me from my slumber in the room where I’ve woken up for the past 34 Christmases.

Christmas is a time for tradition, but while some traditions (such as me waking up in my childhood bed) seem like they’ll go on forever, others (like my brother’s tiny footsteps echoing throughout the hall) are destined to live on only in memory.

As a member of the Burlington Teen Tour Band my November and December were taken up by a seemingly endless string of Santa Claus parades. These often meant long days and early morning bus rides, but you also got to spend two whole days with some of your best friends spreading Christmas cheer throughout southern Ontario.

I also used to bring seasonal joy to the community with my theatre friends by going out caroling. We weren’t asking for money or a donation of any kind. We did it for the love of performing and to see the reactions on the faces of those we sang for.

While those traditions are long gone new ones have taken their place.

I still get my performing fix playing with the Burlington Concert Band, where instead of over a dozen parades, often in the bitter cold, we play our concert in a nice warm theatre. I’ve also had fun lending my announcing talents to MC the Dundas Concert Band’s Christmas concerts for the past two years.

As you may recall from last year, I run a charity Christmas Tree lot which, in spite of the occasional worry and headache, is a wonderful way to get into the seasonal mood.  Almost everyone who comes onto the lot is cheerful and bright and even those who leave without finding their tree buoy my seasonal spirit.

I’ve also been privileged to be a judge in the Mountain News’ Christmas Light contest. It’s hard to harbour any Grinchy thoughts after spending a few hours driving around looking at colourful displays and the creativity of Mountain residents.

Of course one long-standing tradition that I couldn’t live without is my mother’s cherry cake. It’s labour intensive to make having to peel all those red and green cherries, but more than anything else to me, it’s the taste of Christmas. I plan to eat a whole lot of it because cherry cake, just like Christmas, comes but once a year.

Whatever your holiday traditions, be they secular or religious, I hope that they make your season merry and bright.

Happy Christmas everyone, from our family at Hamilton Community News to yours.

— Gordon Cameron is Group Managing Editor for Hamilton Community News.