Gifts money can’t buy

It took my dad far too long to set up his B&H movie camera and light rack, before allowing us near the Christmas tree.

It was a time before cell-phone selfies and video. Heck, it was even before video. Each Dec. 15 morning, our parents wouldn’t allow us into the living room where the tree sat until the time was right. My sister and I had to wait until Dad wound up his Bell & Howell movie camera, and turned on the powerful electrical lights so that the camera would register an image on his 8-millimetre motion picture film.

“OK, I’m rolling,” he would say finally. “You can come in now!”

Whereupon, my sister Kate and I, blinded by the movie lights and unable to see a thing until our eyes adjusted to the bright lights, would stumble into the living room.

Fighting humbug

No one owns Christmas
"...Christmas has done me good."

It’s been hard this year. Teaching and marking at the college – with a particularly challenging crop of journalism and broadcasting students – have nearly swamped me. Close friends have battled health problems, so I’ve spent what little time I had left trying to help. On top of that, I’ve found myself shouting at the radio in anger because the “the holiday season is here” advertisements began right after Halloween – they didn’t even wait for Remembrance Day to pass. Finding the Christmas spirit, this year, has proved tougher than usual.

I expect all that to change this Sunday, however, when I go to church.