Christmas 2006

Christmas 2006

This has been one of my busiest Christmases ever.  And it has also been one of the best Christmases.

Here are some of my highlights:

December 15th, Friday: 
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team social – movie and eats at the Bacchus Lounge

December 16th, Saturday:
Gung Haggis Fat Choy dragon boat team activity – skiing on Grouse Mountain, snow boarding and sleigh ride:  check our article
Gung Haggis Fat Choy paddlers enjoy the winter

December 17th, Sunday:
I play my accordion during social hour for my Church group, Centre for Spiritual Living.
Christmas carols and Christmas songs – with my friend Bob on his accoustic guitar.  This is our gift of song for others to enjoy.

December 19th Tuesday:
Holly Cole concert with Vancouver Symphony Orchesta.  I treat my girlfriend, and we are joined by two good friends who had never attended a Holly Cole concert before – they love it!

December 21st, Thursday:
Kogawa House committee Christmas Party
What could be better than hanging with incredible people that you admire and like – and who admire and like you back!
Joy Kogawa returns to Vancouver.  Committee organizers Ann-Marie Metten and David Kogawa rent Baldwin House on Deer Lake for the dinner party.  Bill Turner, executive director of The Land Conservancy of BC attends. Me and my accordion lead Christmas singalongs.

December 22nd, Friday:
Winter Solstice at the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens.
The gardens and park are transformed into a wonderland of light and magic.  Very cool.  members of GHFC dragon boat team come out to join Deb and me for a traditional walkabout celebrating Chinese Dong Zhi (winter solstice). check our article
Gung Haggis Fat Choy paddlers enjoy the winter

December 24th, Sunday:
Jean Downey of the Kyoto Journal wants to write a piece about me and Gung Haggis Fat Choy for her column  Ten Thousand Things: Multicultural Webfinds.  She says that she really likes my humanitarian perspective on interculturalism and multiculturalism.

December 24th, Sunday:
Meet friends for drinks and appetizers at The Sandbar Restaurant on Granville Island.  Judy Maxwell returns to Vancouver from Australia where she is working on her PhD on Chinese migration.  She has done research on the Chinese Canadian veterans.

December 24th, Sunday:
Attend Christmas Eve service for Centre for Spiritual Living.
Play more Christmas songs and carols on my accordion with Bob and his guitar.  I sing so much, I loose my voice the next day.

December 25th, Monday:
Open presents with my family.  I have a new two month old niece.  My 3 1/2 year old nephew is excited with every gift – whether receiving or giving.

My girlfriend gives me a wonderful red vest, made with a Chinese gold dragon pattern.  Perfect for Gung Haggis Fat Choy events!  pictures to come soon!

December 26th, Tuesday:
Drive to Vernon with girlfriend and friend to visit her parents.  It starts snowing as we arrive at Kalamalka Lake by 4:30pm.  Wonderful to see everybody.  I get to carve the ham.  We watch Polar Express dvd.  It snows all evening – light powdery stuff.

December 27th, Wednesday:
We wake up to 4 inches of snow,  a real winter wonderland.  We open stockings and presents.  It's Christmas morning all over again!  Christmas dinner with turkey.  Zsuzsanna Luckas and I play Christmas songs for dinner guests, on piano and accordion.

And throughout this Christmas season, whether rich or poor, yellow or white, red or black, happy or sad….  there is intercultural grace whether we see it or not.  It lives and breathes within our lives, sometimes so subtley that we do not recognize it.  Sometimes it is blatantly proud, and thunders it's arrival.

But here I am on the outskirts of Vernon.  I haven't seen another Asian person since I waved goodbye to my father yesterday morning.  Yet, tonight with friends of my girlfriend's parents I could talk to them about our differing views about Chinese head tax redress, First Nations land claims, Gung Haggis Fat Choy, history revisionism…. and still lead them in games of poker and Christmas carol singing.  Life is only as wonderful as you choose to make it.

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