This is the last column of the year. I am writing it on Christmas day. By the time you read this, the Christmas will be over. And like me, you will be sitting and wondering where did the year go.

It wasn’t too long ago that we were spending millions of dollars to prepare for the impending disaster in year 2000. We are grateful that no disasters wrecked our lives. Now December is here and almost gone. But the month of December is probably the most exciting month of the year.

Month of December is a month to take stock of our lives and our deeds

Month of December is a month to be generous. Generous to our family, our friends, our co-workers, and ourselves. Generous to people who are not known to us but are not as better off as we are.

Month of December is also a month of happiness and celebrations. Millions of people all over the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. We also celebrate the end of the year and beginning of the New Year.

Month of December is also a month of physical stress. The weather – especially this year – has not helped. Some people have suffered broken bones due to slippery conditions. Some have been maimed or killed on the roads. Some have suffered ill health due to flu or pneumonia or other ailment.

Month of December is also a month of financial stress. Shopping for presents, travelling to meet family and friends, finding money to go on holidays. Cooking for friends and families. And thinking of January as a month to pay all the bills.

Month of December is also a month of “fighting the battle of the bulge” stress. The parties. All that food and alcohol. The guilt and anger that all that hard work to lose few pounds has gone down the drain.

Month of December is also a month of “time management” stress. At work, the month is pretty short. You have to finish a month’s work in two to three weeks. Then there are people who want things done before the holiday starts. Parents have to find time to attend children’s year-end activities – besides attending all those parties. It is a stressful time!

As a non-Christian, I do not have all the stresses mentioned here. But it is hard to escape the spirit and celebration of Christmas. We take part in many of the activities taking place around us. You don’t have to be a Christian to enjoy good parties and good food! Or take time off and have a good holiday with our family

This Christmas day, I am spending a day in Calgary in a hotel room with my family and writing this column. We are going to visit my mother and take her to my sister’s house for a Christmas dinner (turkey and all that!).

In couple of days, we will back in Medicine Hat. Then I will start thinking about the New Year and the New Year’s resolutions. The rat race will begin. Hopefully, I will be fresh again to fight the same old battles with renewed energy and enthusiasm although my body and mind will be one year older. And that sucks!

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