Day 13 - Dashing Through The Snow

When I was six, I spent most of that winter living with my grandmother in Quebec City - just around the corner from the Château Frontenac in a very old townhouse where the door opened directly onto the sidewalk.

On school days I would walk several blocks through the snow to the L'École des Ursulines where the nuns taught me in their great white wimples and black robes.

This was in the post war mid-50's but in this little corner of the world, it seemed like another, older place. And that year, Christmas too seemed to inhabit an older, more magical time.

On Christmas morning my father, grandmother and I arose and in my good woollen dress with a green velvet snood in my hair and my Mary Jane shoes, I was ready. We bundled up against the cold and the snow --  my father in his big raccoon fur coat and beret, grandmother in her fur coat and me in my dark plaid coat with a green velvet collar and green velvet leggings.  When we opened the door: there was a sleigh! Complete with horses and bells!

I clambered into the open sleigh and we wrapped the buffalo robes all around us - warm but quite smelly. And then "clop, clop" and "jingle, jingle" we trotted through the narrow, little streets and out through the old stone gate in the city wall. And then we were off -- racing over the snow across the Plains of Abraham where the famous Battle of the Plains of Abraham was fought -- the wind whipping our faces pink. I thought we were flying.

Then we went down a small street to my uncle's big white house enveloped by a porch and big white columns decorated for Christmas. The food and presents that followed, while lovely, couldn't compare with such an adventure on a sleigh."

Alies Maybee, Principal at Sideren Inc.

Precious memories are worth celebrating. Let us not forget those with Alzheimer's or other dementias who suffer from a loss of memory. For more information, visit the Alzheimer Society of Toronto.

Do you have nostalgia for Christmas in the olden times? Let us know by commenting below!

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