Merry Christmas.

I’m still very much an Atheist, but I nonetheless thoroughly enjoy celebrating Christmas, in the thoroughly modern Québecois fashion my family has evolved in to.

It is my combined family’s longest lasting tradition – my Dad’s side Christmas morning for brunch and my Mom’s side for dinner; in the last few years, as my elderly grandfather’s internal clock dictates, the supper has unfortunately become shorter, but is balanced by the brunch’s evolution into a late afternoon lunch followed by a ‘second-phase’ after we drop my grandpa off at his residence in a top-notch West Island round-the-clock care facility. Despite mild Parkinsons, hearing loss and a variety of other ailments, he was glowing tonight – happy, reminiscent – he told us stories, as is his custom, of his boyhood in Algeria. Tonight he told us of his experiences as a Scout meeting an old Bedouin clan-chief, who regaled his troop with stories of the desert, of Islam, of the Arab World in Antiquity, and offered them ancient butter cookies that stank terribly of naphtha, to which they couldn’t refuse on account of the old man’s generosity of time and experience! I’m often left adoringly speechless just thinking of how much living this man had accomplished before his life was irrevocably (and positively) changed by the Second World War.

He’s 92 and I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do!

But I digress, this year was like so many past and as such feels like an accomplishment; we’re all here, together, enjoying each other’s company and sharing considerate gifts. Who could ask for anything more?

I know I’m not alone, and as such we all share in something special, something real we can be truly grateful for.

This is what Christmas means to me, and it has nothing to do with my thoughts on gods or Jesus Christ.

I can imagine this is true for a lot of other people as well.

So here’s to us and everyone else too for that matter – we got through another day on Earth together, and hopefully it was a good day for you as well.

What more can we ask for?

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