Every Christmas Holiday season, I notice that the Cree world speeds up a notch or two. Everyone has a destination to get to and a store or mall to hang around, wishing that their bank account was like Santa’s bag of tricks, never-ending and magically full of gifts and presents.

Although the season seems to be about giving gifts, it seems more like overextending one’s ability to give. Giving is good, but if you just can’t afford it, that’s okay, too. After all, back in the day, there was no Christmas, just a time for people who were glad to make it to January with their stomachs full, ready to settle in for a long, cold winter, sort of like the bears we so admire and respect.

The big fat guy in the red suit is clearly and visibly marketing happiness and joy, while a strong resurgence of the newborn babe in the manger is also clearly more evident with our great passions for worship and prayer. Children, of course, anxiously call out every few hours the Christmas version of “Are we there yet?” or how many days left ’til the night before becomes reality?

The night before Christmas and all through the neighbourhood, the restless sleep of a child’s waiting for the top 10 in wish fulfillment creates an environment only a mouse could appreciate, as parents are quietly wrapping gifts and sipping eggnog.

Putting together a wish list for those you love can be difficult sometimes, and your relationship with the retailer becomes closer than you know, because I think I know Barbie personally by now, just because I’ve bought nearly all her clothing lines and vehicles, as

dolls top the wish list in the little girl department. Buying things for boys are easy, as all good boys tend to like the same things -anything that goes pop, everything with wheels, and all things that make noise.

When little girls grow into big girls, things get complicated. Dolls or makeup, clothes or jewellery, cash or credit (the last item becomes a year-round Christmas wish). Boys, however, as they turn older, need funny-looking clothing and indiscernible music; powerfully odorous sprays that limit the amount of oxygen in the immediate area and of course, anything that uses gasoline. As for some hockey players I know, the two front teef are an immediate priority.

Families aside, I’d like to look into the future to see what Santa has in store for us at Christmas as a Nation… a new 500-year deal for Eeyou… gold and diamond mines in every back yard… nonalcoholic bars… jobs for everyone, even for those who don’t want to work… daycares for every 20 kids or one in each cluster or neighbourhood… the same for the elderly… a 100 per cent graduation rate… a skidoo in the back and a car in the front… a few NHLers … and other gluttonous items. Perhaps if we set our sights on the future, maybe we can overcome the ghosts of the past Christmases and create a new future based on who we are.

Yes, Christmas is a time for sharing, so let’s get into receiving mode and hope to be disappointed only by bad weather or if the sun doesn’t shine.

Merry Christmas fans and friends!