We’re back with a new and hopefully much improved and less fattening Rez Notes. I trust much merry-making ensued over your holidays and our old pagan friend brought you all that you wished for. I don’t mean to be ungrateful but he wasn’t very generous to me this year. No batteries-not-included-type gifts this year. But there’s always next year, right? I just have to be a better boy, I guess. If I work at it and not tick off the wrong people I just might be able to make it to the top of that famous list he’s always checking twice. That anal-retentive old geezer. I know what you’re thinking. Me, me, me, all the time! Ok, I’ll stop.

I was the subject of a very minor search and rescue operation on the Waskaganish winter road a few days before Christmas. I had promised friends that I would be on the road but changed my mind at the last minute and stupidly failed to inform them of my change of plans. My heartfelt apologies to all involved.

Our Nemaska “Eye” tells us much fun was had during the holidays. Dances were held nightly, snow was sculpted, games played, free bingo was played with neat prizes, Barney heralded Santa’s visit and all feasted. Even a moose appeared near the airport and Sam went after it but had to turn back when he almost fell into a creek. Like most of us, many had to readjust their sleeping habits after it was all over. All of this in temperatures that dipped to minus 46. Celsius or fahrenheit, I can never remember.

The Waskaganish arm of Rez Notes says that in an effort to “promote healthier lifestyles and proper eating habits”, the Cree School Board and Band Council staffers will be in hot competition over who can lose the most weight starting on the 16th of this month until July the 16th. Plans are already under way at the council office to plant two boxes of chocolates at the CSB offices every day till the end of the race. They play dirty those people. Will the CSB succumb to chocolate’s charms? Time will tell. Wisely, the CSB team’s keeping their strategy top secret. The prize for the winners and losers is to be the biggest low-cal feast ever held in the community. One competitor spies a massive salad bar on the horizon. Results will be announced when, hopefully, according to our calculations, several tons will have been shed. My money’s on the CSB.

This little gem from our man in Chisasibi: A young boy received a new snowmobile from Kris Kringle for Christmas. On the 26th, he had an accident and totalled it. The Gods were kind though. He escaped with only a bruised ego.

If you know of a couple with an unusual story of how they met, please send them in for our Valentine’s issue. Also send in any stories of older couples whose marriages were arranged and have against odds managed to stay together. They don’t have to be mushy like a Danielle Steele novel or Harlequin books. This little poem was included in the memo I was handed: “Roses are red, violets are blue, send us your love poems, well print them for you.” Seriously.

If you’re one of those who read the classifieds first you will know that you now have the opportuniy to vote for “The Cutest Guy In The Cree Nation”. Send in your votes by fax, mail or whatever suits your fancy before February 1 st. The “cutest” guy will be judged on the basis of, as if ripped from the very pages of Cosmopolitan, sexiness, kindheartedness, looks, brains and, I would guess, a clear complexion. The winner will be featured in our special Valentine’s issue. If he so wishes. Fret not gentlemen. We are lobbying for a similar contest.And a centerfold.