When I think of the word tradition, all I can think of the actors from this year’s production of Fiddler on the Roof screaming “TRADITION! Tradition.” The honest truth is that I’ve never been a stickler for tradition but I do make one very big exception during the holiday season. After all, what more is a tradition than something to look forward to, year after year, Christmas after Christmas!
Of course Christmas traditions vary the world round. While in some countries, knowing that each family is celebrating the same way is a tradition in itself, the beauty of Christmas in Canada lies in the understanding that each person has a unique way to ring in the holiday season. Moving away from its religious roots (to what is, I’m sure, the chagrin of church goers everywhere), these traditions are based primarily on memorable moments passed on from generation to generation and celebrated with friends, or family… or both!
As far as kids are concerned, once a year when December rolls around, the kitchen starts smelling of freshly baked Christmas cookies, lights suddenly decorate what they believe to be the most beautiful tree they’ve ever seen, and when they write a letter to Santa Claus, you can bet that the big guy will take the time to write them back (shout out to Canada Post, whose gracious volunteers reply to each and every letter addressed to the man in the big red suit).
As parents, you know that there is always someone behind the scenes making the magic happen; someone who buys the presents, someone who cooks the turkey, and someone taking cover behind the curly white beard (or if you grew up in our house, wearing white underwear and delivering a pillow case full of treats outside your door).
Coming in from my run outside yesterday, I promised myself that that would be the last outdoor run of the season; my ears were tingling, my toes were numb and I found myself gasping to let in another mouthful of air. Considering I opted in for a “light” run which meant 4-5 km through residential uptown and then into the trails before circling round, I was shocked at how weak I felt as I walked through the front door! It felt more like my first run back after a tropical holiday than a jog that followed shortly in the footsteps of my first time ever winning a race (I was the first female to cross the finish line of the 5 Km “Santa Shuffle” at the beginning of December) and runs of 10 km + during my visit to Vancouver just weeks before (read more about discovering Vancouver, step by step here).
Yet here I was – three weeks later, doubled over wondering why the hell anyone would ever run outside during winter in Canada? And then (after convincing from many a friend that winter is, in fact, the best season to run outdoors) it hit me. It’s not the weather that is the problem with running in the wintertime; it’s me. I have been guilty of the three cardinal sins of winter running: indulgence, sloth and stupidity… read on.