Covid-19: Letters of Love for Seniors in Red Deer

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A letter of love from one of us here at Fortboxx.

Merry Christmas!

My name is Aaron. I am 37 have a beautiful wife Naomi and two boys Atlin (5) and Hudson (2). This year will be different for us at Christmas. With the world pandemic ongoing we will have little to no contact with our extended families. We of course had big plans to get together with all them and now have come to terms with a contactless Christmas.

I have to admit, at times I have had my Scroogy moments in the past. Sometime the whole month of December building up to this one big day! It just put a little extra pressure on a busy life. Now we are not able to gather. I find myself reflecting. I don’t think back to the extra hustle and bustle leading up to the day. More the slower moments during. That only come from the Christmas season.

When I was a young man my coworkers wife would make cookies for our crew of carpenters every day of the week 52 weeks a year. Christmas time was a particularly delicious time of year. I said thank you of course. Only now do I realize how truly kind that was. Growing up my mother would bake. Some of my favorite recipes we have made sure to capture and now
share making them with our boys. My Mother -in-law is from Australia. I soon learned of a whole new world of desert squares in the holiday season. Annually her and my wife would get together or a day and stock both freezers for the season Many of their Christmas deserts are frozen. Of course it is summer on December 25th in Australia. As you could imagine if they had a box of chocolates out for sampling in that heat they would just melt. So they are kept in the freezer. Then brought out after partially digesting the main course. I’m sure the cool treat is very refreshing in the heat. I assure you they are delicious! I will miss sampling other people’s desserts this year. We have decided to deliver some of ours to some neighbors to share this year! I hope some tasty treats reach you! When they do enjoy them a little extra this year.

Decorations at times seemed like just extra work to me. With the rest of life going on. My step father Jack would go all out on their acreage. I am talking 15’ tall teddy bear, life size Santa sleigh and reindeer. A 6’ star on top of the chimney with lights streaming off of it. Every tree and bush had lights! He ran extra power to the acreage. Only so he could put up decorations in all the places he thought should have them. As you approached the land from the east you came out of the river valley. You could see the glow on the horizon. It couldn’t help bring a smile to your face when you got to see what new addition to the display each year. He passed away a few years ago now. I sure do miss him. Every year he would make a Christmas tree ornament out of stained glass. Often they would reflect the year past. My wife and I got married in Costa Rica. That year he made a Toucan out of stained glass. Another year we went heli-skiing, that year he made a helicopter. When I was a teenager he did little sleds. I was helping him put them together and he asked me what I wanted mine to look like. I thought it would be cool to make one out of plain glass. So the Christmas lights would shine through. You could put it in front of a different colored light to change the color if you wanted. Great idea right! Well, I’ll tell you what it looks pretty silly next to all those beautiful stained glass ornaments. Ha Ha, he never said a thing, just helped me make it. Good memories attached to those too as we hang them each year. I have started to gain more enthusiasm for Christmas decorations. Urged on by my 5 year old. I have yet to reach my step fathers level, but at least I have something to strive for.

I also encourage myself with thoughts of the future. Our sacrifices this Christmas will allow us to be together next Christmas, or birthday or whatever occasion offers some deserts! I take comfort in my small family Christmas, and will take time enjoy the little moments we do get to have. As I have learned that these are the moments we will remember and wish for more when we cant have any. I hope my letter reminds you of some of your Christmas memories and makes you think “ I’d better take and extra dessert square. They only come around once a year.” Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. It has been therapeutic to me. It feels good to share.

Merry Christmas,
Aaron Kerchinsky

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