The traditional (?) Christmas Eve car washing

Washing the cars on Christmas EveMerry Christmas! I should have been hip-deep in snow on Christmas Eve, and getting out the snow blower. But 24 December 2015 broke the weather records for warmth in Ottawa and its environs. To prove some sort of point, when I got up to the country place I washed three cars that were in the driveway with my dad. Mom took the photo — with a flash, as it is winter by the calendar and it gets dark early. Christmas has to have snow, and so this year didn’t fit into the proper spirit of things, but you can see I made my own fun. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas on Union Square in San Francisco

Christmas on Union Square in San FranciscoIt is appropriate that my last business trip of the year was to San Francisco. I took 15 trips to SFO in 2015 … 15 whole weeks. I’ve been told I should get an apartment there, but who could afford that?

This is Union Square, with the skating rink, Dewey’s Column and the giant Christmas tree, and the St. Francis hotel in the background. As the Americans say (ever mindful of their constitution’s first amendment), “Happy Holidays!”

Getting the Christmas tree

Getting the Christmas treeInto the bush we went, my dad and me, to fetch the Christmas tree. We were led by fearless Finnegan, the parti poodle, even though the snow was over his head at times. If it weren’t for his dark jacket, I would have lost him with his mostly white fur. Finnegan even followed me down into the gully where we found the perfect tree, and I’m holding him up for this photo, so you can see him. He was an excellent task master later, as I huffed and puffed up the hill with our trophy, and he barked at me to hurry up. The whole family hung lights and decorations on the tree later in the day, and reminisced about the origins of this or that shiny bauble while doing that. It was a magical day.