For Metro Calgary

This Christmas, I’ll be doing something that I’ve never done before: Spending it in Calgary. Yes, due to a variety of reasons, most of them involving airlines gauging passengers around this time of year, I’ve decided to save the equivalent of four months of rent and stay here for Christmas. Since moving to Calgary six years ago, this will be the first time that I miss opening gifts with my family. It is definitely going to be surreal, but after much thought, I sincerely think I’m going to be okay with it.

The obvious advantage is that I’ll be able to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol by myself and not have to explain to naysayers why Rizzo The Rat is the most underrated Muppet of all time. It will also allow me to explore the city in a way that I never have before. The C-train is free on Christmas Day, so I plan on taking a long-needed tour of all the stations. Most importantly, I’ll finally be able to find a parking spot downtown. Nothing will be open, but it’s the finding of a spot that is the Christmas gift.

Since I’m staying in Calgary over the holidays, I decided to do all of my shopping online. I know that many of you are resistant to the idea, but it was the best decision that I’ve ever made. (Well, at least, since I decided to cut my loses and start shaving my head.) I didn’t have to fight with Canada Post or deal with tween cashiers. Some sites even wrapped the gifts for me! I haven’t been to a mall in weeks and I couldn’t be happier.

Will I miss my family? Absolutely. My mom does this amazing thing, where, whenever she gets stressed out, she screams “Fa la la la la, la la la la.” No amount of boxed wine will replace that hilarity. I’ll also miss watching the kids in my family open their presents, because there’s something about seeing children who still believe in the magic of Christmas, that watching Netflix on your couch, will never be able to replace.

Over the past few days, as more and more of my friends have left the city, the realization that this Christmas will be spent without my family began to set in. I know that I will inevitably be at least a little sad on Christmas Day, but when I call home and hear my siblings fighting over doing the dishes, I will know that I made the right decision. And, to me, that’s what Christmas is really about.


Mike Morrison

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