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By Jocie Ferron

Helloooo winter!  We've had our first snowstorm of the year, followed by the kids' favourite kind of day, a snow day! And, as it always seems to happen, my husband was away with work (something that has been happening more frequently these days) and the driveway was full of snow.

The difference between this year and previous years (when I was stuck with piles of snow, a small snowblower and no husband) is that we decided to hire a snow plow company. I may have been jolted awake at 5.30 in the morning with what sounded like a jet plane landing in my yard, but that clean driveway was worth an hour's less sleep.  

When snow arrives, you realize that Christmas is coming, again, and soon. I am not sure how it happens that it comes around so quickly every year. I can still convince the kids to keep the Santa photo tradition, although I reckon that will be a lost battle in not too many years.  The Christmas tree is up and so far the cat has ignored it, although I am waiting for the day we come home and she has tried to get to the owl on top (yes it’s an owl, no star or angel tree topper in this house!)

It’s been almost a year since I have been back at work, and I have generally enjoyed getting back into the workforce.  It has been a challenge, but a good challenge and I work with some pretty fabulous people. Some take a bit more smiling and nodding to get through the shift – but I think we all have that one colleague (at least once in our career) who makes for an interestingly frustrating day! 

After the initial dislike of Mommy going back to work and having to go to after school care, the boys have settled in well and now get upset if I pick them up too early! Even with my crazy shift-work schedule, I am happy to have this Christmas off and being able to spend the day with the family. 

It’s also almost a year since we became cat people. That was a big leap for me, and now, having discovered I am not adverse to living with an animal, we are about to embark on the next crazy adventure: introducing a Labrador puppy into the house. We have been debating this for a couple of years, and we've always ended up talking ourselves out of it.  It wasn’t the time. We didn’t have the funds. We were planning on moving again. A dog sheds lots of hair. Maybe we are just cat people. Maybe we are just people people. And on it went.

We have heard the positive stories, the negative stories, the silly stories, the "oh my goodness what are we getting ourselves into" stories and we still decided we were ready to take on this new challenge and see where it takes us. 

When I say we are ready, let’s put this into perspective. My husband is pumped, as he imagines the hiking, camping, walking and playing with his "best buddy". I am slightly over anxious, having never had a dog before, let alone a puppy with all the puppy challenges. But I figure if I survived two babies and toddlers, how hard can a puppy be! Famous last words…

And the kids? A little scared, a little excited, a little nervous, a little pumped. So we shall see how it goes and, like everything else we do, just get in and enjoy it.

Christmas is definitely my favourite holiday (although it is also the time when I miss my family the most).  I am sure there are many families out there who will be missing family members in one way or another these holidays.

So as Christmas rolls around, take those extra moments to relax: have a coffee, or a relaxing glass of wine, and enjoy extra-long chats with family and friends far away … and those close as well.

 


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Australian nurse Jocie Ferron was volunteering in Mongolia when she met her French-Canadian husband, who was working in the mining industry. After a few years living in Australia they decided to settle in Canada with their two young children. They enjoyed a few years in a north Quebec mining town (where Jocie had daily adventures navigating life in French) and they've now settled in New Brunswick.