Showing posts from November, 2020

Published in The Great North Arrow, December 2019: Being Santa

 jim Young “Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.” - Janice Maeditere I am Santa Claus. I feel like I’m bragging when I say that and in a way I guess I am. It is a great privilege for me to be able to say “I am Santa” . In the movie “The Santa Clause” Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen took over the role of Santa Claus almost overnight. All he had to do was put on the coat of the previous Santa. After his first Christmas as Santa, Scott then had just one year to get his affairs in order to become the “real” Santa. But that was just a movie. In real life, the ascent to this position of privilege is a process of evolution that takes a much longer period of time. Like every other child, I adored Santa Claus and looked forward to his annual Christmas visits.  My mother was largely responsible for keeping Santa alive for us for so many years. She was the Spirit of Christmas in my world. Well into her 80s my mother continued to buy gifts for all of her c

Published in The Great North Arrow, November 2019: Wartime Bullies

- jim Young  “The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.” - Douglas MacArthur I remember as a young boy I would often prevent my father from taking an afternoon nap by laying beside him and barraging him with questions or begging him to tell me a story. My father never turned me away in favour of the nap he had been looking forward to. One such afternoon while he was relating some of his stories about his service in the RCAF during World War II, I asked my father why, when knowing he might be killed, he joined the air-force anyway. My father had a way of simplifying complicated issues and breaking them down to the core of the problem in a way that a young boy such as myself might better comprehend. “Hitler was a bully,” my father told me, “and he needed to be stopped.” That satisfied my curiosity for the time. Later I was proud to learn that my father had a history of standing up to the proverbial s