By Mira Krahn
It’s only the beginning of the school year, and I’m already starting to think of Christmas holidays. Not that I’m ready for a break already; I want to plan ahead. I’m going to enjoy my almost-two-weeks off. I mean, who doesn’t love Christmas? Well, actually, I don’t. I like Christmas, but what I really love is Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve has always been my favourite day of winter. When I was small, my sister and I were each allowed to open one gift the night before Christmas—the first gift of the holiday. That only whet our appetites for the other gifts we knew we’d open the following morning. Christmas Eve was also a mad dash to finish wrapping all the other presents that needed to be under the tree before everyone woke up.
I’ve told this to others before, that I like Christmas Eve more than Christmas, and most have been surprised. I’ve explained, “It’s the anticipation of what’s to come! Christmas Eve is always happy, but once you get to Christmas Day, you find it’s usually disappointing. The morning is fun, but the afternoon isn’t: nobody goes out, you’re not supposed to visit friends, and Mom wants me to clean the house while she cooks the turkey dinner.” By the time Christmas is nearly over, you’re starting to gear up for Boxing Day the next morning. It’s always about what’s coming next.
Just recently, I’ve become engaged. (Applause, congratulations, fireworks, cake, … thank you very much!). And it’s an exciting time. After nearly four years of getting to know one another, Wilson and I have decided that we absolutely want to marry. Time, money, love, and convenience all dictate that we should cut to the chase and tie the knot right away, but we want to wait. We want to wait just a little while. This next year, we are going to enjoy this in-between phase.
We were up north of Prince Albert with my aunt and uncle when Wilson asked me. We didn’t have any cellphone reception where we were hiking so the secret was kept tightly among the four of us. After the hike, Wilson and I went canoeing. I tied my ring to my hand with a thick, black hairband to avoid any unfortunate remineralization of the Hanging Heart Lakes. We had a two-hour rental and lots of exploring to do, and we made up our route as we paddled along. The feeling of having a happy secret and no choice to tell is exhilarating. I was singing Disney songs as we ventured “just beyond the river bend”.
I began a new school year, became engaged, and celebrated my 30th birthday all in a 2-week span. (I don’t have to count birthdays for another five years!) I think I’m finally coming back down to earth. And I’ve got the whole year ahead of me. This is my New Year. I’m looking forward to Christmas, because what teacher doesn’t, I’m looking forward to Chinese New Year, when my sister may bring her new baby home to visit, I’m looking forward to getting my house and yard in order for my—ahem—in-laws to stay next summer, and I’m looking forward to planning a very happy wedding. But I’m not rushing any of that either. I’m going to enjoy this in-between phase. Still, I can’t wait to see what’s beyond the river bend for me.