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Wishing everyone a safe drive home this Christmas

Discussing bookMy wife and I host a little pre-Christmas get-together every year to help get into the mood of the Season.

The evening “activity” has a crew sitting around the piano with me taking requests from the Reader’s Digest “Merry Christmas Songbook”.  Not being a church-goer, it is the one opportunity I have to sing songs of the Season with friends.  I cherish it every year.

One of the Seasonal favourites we enjoy singing is “We wish you a Merry Christmas”.  The full lyrics are not in the book, but we all grew up with them.  The beginning lines of each verse:

“We wish you a Merry Christmas….Oh, bring us some figgy pudding….We won’t go until we get some….”

It’s not just figgy pudding, though.  The historical carolers are also calling out for “…and a cup of good cheer”.

Please don’t mistake me for “one of those people” who want to strip away traditions to accord with our latest version of what’s “politically correct”.  Please also don’t mistake me for necessarily being opposed to the ideas of “those people”.

Our learning never stops, or at least mine never has.  One of the things I am more and more coming to learn as the years pass me by is something I remember my father trying to get across to me when I was a very young man: the impact of our choice and use of language.

The carolers who first sang “We wish you a Merry Christmas” were on foot; any wheeled transportation at the time likely pulled by horses.  Today, of course, we get place to place with a much more lethal mode of transportation, one without the benefit of sober horse-brains to keep us out of trouble.

There are “updated lyrics” available, though I feel too rooted in the traditional lyrics to see myself singing: “We want some milk and cookies…Please bring it right here”.

I wish each one of you a safe holiday season, even though the reality is that only Santa Claus could actually deliver on such an impractical wish.  Each of us can help improve our chances by making the right driving choices and strongly encouraging others to do the same.

Perhaps the best we can wish for is a progressive shift of driving attitudes that would result in my wish becoming a practical reality at some point in the near future.

Published December 20, 2012 in the Kelowna Capital News