On Wednesday evening, Evraz issued 500 layoff notices in the tubular division of their Regina pipe mill. That included every unionized worker from seniority number 500 down to 0. I think my husband Dan is around #92.
This news did not come as a shock. Evraz warned of an impending work shortage some time ago. Financially, we will manage but any extended time off will mess with Dan’s pension, so that isn’t great. But, it isn’t all bad for us, either. If Dan’s layoff is actually December 17th, we can spend the holidays together. 🌲⛄☃️🥳. We can hibernate in January. 🐻🐿️ And, I am pretty sure I can find some things on the honey-do list for Dan to work on. (That gym in the garage is not going to build itself – it hasn’t so far… 🙄)
Sadly, this news is devastating for many of Dan’s co-workers. That it has come to this, days before Christmas, makes it worse. I feel so sorry for the younger people out there – the ones with mortgages, loan payments and families to support. It doesn’t help that many of them have been off lately due to a Covid outbreak in that plant. I certainly hope for everyone’s sake that this lay-off is short term. There is not a lot of comparable employment around here – especially now.
The Evraz layoff made our news yesterday. Our politicians are running true to form. Ryan Meilli (our leader of the opposition) is taking the governing Saskatchewan Party to task for their failure to use Evraz pipe for local crown projects. Mopey Moe, our Premier, is blaming Prime Minister Trudeau for the Saskatchewan economy. And, Prime Minister Trudeau has promised to support Evraz and their employees through this difficult time. 🤔
Growing up in my family we kept to a fairly predictable schedule. (My mother was a drill Sargent in her previous life 🤣) Dinner was at 12 noon, supper was at 6 PM, laundry was done on Monday morning, and birthdays and holidays were celebrated on their appropriate dates.
When my family was young, our schedule was somewhat predictable. Meals were always at the table. Supper was 6ish, I did laundry once a week, and birthdays and holidays were celebrated on or close to appropriate dates.
Between Dan’s 24/7 shifts, kids growing up and having their own families, and various births and health crises, our schedule has become rather loosely goosey…. We eat, we do a load of laundry when one of us happens to go downstairs for whatever reason, and we celebrate birthdays and holidays.
Last night we had granddaughter Genie and her boyfriend Alex/Ben over. We enjoyed our Christmas turkey supper, topped off with a peanut butter cheesecake to celebrate Genie’s birthday (she will turn 17 on December 24th – and she doesn’t eat peanuts 🤦- I made her a mug cake and dressed it up for the occasion).
Dan is scheduled to work straight through December 22nd to 26th but we will be getting together with Genie and Alex/Ben on the 30th. But, we won’t be celebrating New Year’s 😂 – they are coming with us to son Dan’s wedding on the 31st. New Year’s will have to merge with Easter and Dan’s birthday sometime in the spring.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s – I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate the holidays with your loved ones!🌲☃️ And for our southern neighbours – Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃
I grew up in a French Catholic home. Religion was a part of our lives every day but even more so at Christmas. For weeks before Christmas, we were put into super drive preparing for the big day. We scrubbed our home from top to bottom, cooked and baked, shopped and wrapped, we prepared for our school Christmas concert (which centred around the Nativity story in those day), we decorated our home and of course we attended choir practice and church services six ways to Sunday. My older, married sisters would arrive with husbands and children and gifts.
By the big day, we were ready for the MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS🎁🎄🎆
And then, my mother would crash and burn. The exhaustion and the stress of weeks of preparation, topped off with a couple of hours at midnight mass, would finally get the best of her. By noon, Mother would be in full meltdown, babies would start to cry, men would start to drink, sisters would start to fight. No Christmas miracles in our home, just bitter disappointment and the obligatory Christmas pictures to prove that we had the happiest of times🙄. By supper, we had all thrown in the towel and spent the evening working at jigsaw puzzles and playing cards.
Once I had my own family, I pretty much carried on the same tradition with a few extra perks thrown in. Christmas in our home was never done until someone had the flu or a case of pneumonia. The epitome had to be the year Danny puked on the Christmas tree. That was a classic. The year my Dad died days before Christmas was memorable. I was almost ready to give up on the MIRACLE OF CHRISTMAS by 2003. That was the year our precious Genie was born. We left the hospital at 3:30pm on Christmas Eve with love and joy in our hearts. We were so close. We got home to find that my Mother had decided to place a box of chocolates under the Christmas tree, inspite of our asking her repeatedly not to do that, inspite of our moving them sixteen times. She had no idea our dog would eat them. Good grief! What dog wouldn’t eat them? Really hard to hold onto the Christmas spirit, when you are sitting in the vet’s office on Christmas Eve. 🤦
My family grew up, in spite of our annual Christmas debacles. They all have children of their own and their own Christmas stories to tell. For many years we have been going to my daughter’s for Christmas. I have powered through shopping for gifts and food, while my husband kept a running total of the cost. I went to Christmas concerts, which always seem to be held on December 17th 😢. My daughter would bake and clean. We were always ready for a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE that never quite made it. There was tears, disappointment, arguments, melt downs, way to much noise and just downright unChristmassy behaviour – but we kept powering through and I kept doing my damnedest to aim for a CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
This year my sons are with their in-laws, my husband is at work, my daughter is at her home with her family and we are not there because she has shut me out of her life and banned me from seeing my grandchildren. My father and mother are both gone. I am alone for Christmas Day. I went into this season with no expectations or hope of making this the year of the CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
Honestly, I am having the best Christmas ever. My sister and her husband were here for an overnight visit a few days ago. We sent out for pizza and had wine. So nice. My sons are coming with their families on the weekend. I have done a bit of baking – some good, some not so much, but whatever. It was Christmassy. Genie’s stepfather dropped her off for a quick visit on the 23rd. She brought us some gifts she had made for us. There were a lot of tears but it was all good. I cooked a ham last night, destroyed the scalloped potatoes but the broccoli was great. After supper, we opened presents. We cried over Genie’s. They were so special. She painted us a picture and wrote a book for Grandpa, telling him how much he meant to her. She gave me a sparkling elephant pin. Today I made myself Pillsbury cinnamon buns for breakfast. I have a turkey in the oven for when Dan gets home from work. I am relaxing by my new fireplace, ready to start doing a jigsaw puzzle. I am happy, at peace, and full of love and good wishes for my family – all of my family. I feel really good. This is is the year of my CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
The thing is, you can’t make miracles happen. You can’t force them or fake them. Miracles just happen when you let them🕊️
This year, for the first time in 42 years, my nest will be empty for Christmas. I somehow thought this would be a time to dread but to be honest, I am quite enjoying it.
I am sorry that my husband has to work all Christmas Day, but I will spend much of the day making us a beautiful turkey supper. We will have time together in the days before Christmas and over New Years. My sister and her husband will be here this weekend and my sons will be here with their families after Christmas.
I have done some baking and set out minimal decorations. I am picking up a couple of gifts for my husband. The kids are getting cards with enough cash to take their families on a special outting.
For the most part, this will just be a nice relaxing time off from work. This year I will have time to enjoy the winter wonderland outside our door – without actually going outside of our door. This year there will be no fussy babies, fighting siblings or arguing couples. There will be no whining, complaining, or crying. And there will definitely be nobody getting the flu and throwing up on the Christmas tree.
This year there will just be peace and goodwill! The way Christmas should be🕊️