In discussing the need for a Christmassy type blog for Christmas Eve with Snake and the Corporal, they took a very mellow attitude. “It’s a happy time,” urged the Corporal, “You want to tell people how much you appreciate them.”
Snake was not as generous but still thought the tone throughout should be warm and forgiving. “After all, Gramps, you’re an experienced businessman. You know how people can screw up. By being forgiving, you are showing the rest of them how they should be generous and caring at this time of year,” he said.
I looked at them with a steely eye. Sure, I knew they were right. They usually are. I could not help my response though, I said the two awful words with an expression as though I was taking vile medicine: “Stephen Harper.
“How do we forgive that guy? He went to the climate conference in Copenhagen and embarrassed us. He had his minions tell the conference that we would do whatever the United States of America would do. People around the world used to respect Canada and look to us for leadership in creating a better world. All they could do at the conference was make jokes about us and hold our country up for ridicule.
“And for that matter, what can I say about Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff? He’s a nice guy. He’s bright and he’s caring and what’s he doing?” I let that tail off. What is the point?
“Guys, you’re absolutely right. We have to come up with some positive thoughts for Christmas 2009. You first Corporal, tell me something good.”
The Corporal screwed up his face in concentration. “I think I have the prettiest Mommy in the whole world,” he finally said.
You have to love that little charmer. He got no argument from me or his brother.
“Okay Snake, you’re under the gun.” I said, pointing at him.
Snake, who by the way is 12, did not seem flustered. He first looked thoughtful as he framed his response. And then he looked determined as he replied: “Gramps, I think you are looking at this through the wrong end of the telescope. You are looking at individual Canadians when what you really need to look at is all Canadians.
“Canadians had a heck of a scare coming into this year. The world economy was in a shambles. We had elected a government that refused to recognize the economic problems throughout a nasty and unhappy election process. When the opposition tried to take action a year ago, the Prime Minister forced the Governor General to shut down the House of Commons until his minority government could rethink where it was going. And even then, they proved themselves inadequate for the job.
“Despite the constant growth of unemployment, it was Canadians from every walk of life, from every town and city and farm, who stared down this recession and helped keep our economy moving. They have done it with a positive attitude, hard work and a strong belief in their country.
“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he concluded. “The Corporal and I will be looking for productive, well-paying jobs by the time we finish university. We will want to see our country back in its leadership position—as a peacekeeper, as a leader in saving the environment, in developing renewable energy, and as a leader to the world in showing how democracy can work for people.”
“What are you going to add to that?” I asked the Corporal.
“I’d just say ‘Merry Christmas’ to all,” was his response.
– 30 –
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