Monday, December 19, 2005

First Christmas Away From Home

Stan Rogers' "First Christmas" is not the typical "dashing through the snow, Santa Claus, and Ho, Ho, Ho" sort of Christmas song, but nearly everyone can relate to at least one verse here. We have all experienced a "First Christmas", at some point in our lives and Stan Rogers has captured those feelings as if we each had written our own verse.

Stan Rogers - First Christmas

Remember those that may be experiencing a "First Christmas" this year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a good man for sharing Stan Roger's Christmas classic. Stan is one of those Canadians that makes us true, north, strong and free types proud we were born here or moved here.

As for me my first Christmas away from home was in England. I was still a teenager. It was both a sad and happy occasion. It was sad to be away from the traditions of home such as watching my uncle and dad battle it out on the table hockey game. It was happy because once we (me and the family I was staying with) had opened presents and had breakfast we headed to the pub. Back home the pubs were not even open Sundays nevermind Christmas Day.

Fortified by a pint or two in a fire-warmed public house we visited another family for the afternoon Christmas meal. Yet another tradition down the drain: mealtime was always in the evening at home. Just like at home plenty of wine was consumed with the tremendous meal.

At my adopted home later that evening I was introduced to Mr. Drambuie as we warmed ourselves by the coal fire. The English have a way with Christmas.

Much later in life, when my grand parents were getting on, I got to see the sadness that is Christmas in a senior's home. A tree obviously decorated for show, rather than spirit, in an old dear's home is as mournful a sight as any I have seen. Surely, only Christmas in a prison, a hospital or (dare I say it?) an army could be worse.

Amongst those I will celebrate Christmas with this year will be my father-in-law who we thought for sure was a goner in hospital many Christmas's ago. The good staff at the hospital and his own cowboy spirit brought him back from death several times and he will be shaking his cane at one and all with his usual good cheer this year.

Merry Christmas ya'll.

- Mr. Beer N. Hockey

December 19, 2005 9:46 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours, Mr. BNH. I knew this post would draw some stories, and I was especially awaiting yours, my friend. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for suggesting the song (and our dear friend Lucy, for seconding the proposal).

Many of Stan's songs speak to a common voice in all of us, but none so poignantly as "First Christmas". As you so well pointed out, we each have several First Christmas' at various stages of our lives.

December 19, 2005 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another good choice Ed.
I just want to say Merry Christmas to all the bus riders.
I have been blessed to be home for most Christmas's but my first one away from home and
family, Teresa and I were in San Luis Obispo Ca. she was a few months pregnant with our first child
and sick as a dog and I guess we were lucky because we did find room at the inn. We were living
in a motel because you couldn't find any other places to live at that time so that made it even
move special, but we did have some good freinds around to make things ok.


December 20, 2005 7:56 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Merry Christmas fellow riders, I figured it was time for me to chime in. So far I've not missed a Christmas at my mom's. I must agree with Mr. BNH, the saddest location I've been on Christmas was visiting my grandmother in a nursing home when she became too sick for my mother to care for her. Nana had lived with us since the early 70's; the hardest Christmas was the 1st one with out her. When I was married to my children's dad, Christmas day was on a tight schedule; 1st at our house, after I got to bed about 4am, my 3 cheribs would wake me up at 6am to open their gifts, then off to 10:00 mass, and to my mom's by noon only to rush through the celebration in time to hit the road about 4:00pm for Christmas with the in-laws in Deltaville and hope to get home by midnight. It was then I realized Christmas is not for parents, it's for grandparents and children.
All things considered, I've truly been blessed, and there's not much I'd change. Wishing my fellow bus travelers and their loved ones a safe and peaceful Christmas.

December 20, 2005 9:55 AM  
Anonymous nap said...

Again, good stuff here Ed! The Old Blue Bus has been one of the top rides that I've taken in some time (quite unlike the magic carpet rides of the past) if you know what I mean.

From my view in the back, the bus seems to be picking up a little more steam and a few more passengers along the way. I hope the wheels stay on and we can keep her (or him) rolling along the back roads of music

Good music, conversation and hot coffee royals in the morning, does it get any better!?

December 20, 2005 1:02 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

My first Christmas away from home was in Ghana when I was in the Peace Corps. During the day the harmattan winds would blow and at night the air, influenced by the desert, seemed cold. I was terribly lonely, and everything was just so different from the snowy Christmases of my New England. My mother sent a package with some of the ornaments from our tree, fireplace paper and cookie cutters. I decorated and baked and it began to feel like Christmas. One night while I was lying in bed, I heard a boy's voice through the still, cool air. He was singing We Three Kings.I realized that Christmas had come to me in this most beautiful way. I felt blessed.

December 20, 2005 2:27 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

What a wonderful exchange!

Mr. BNH, Joey, Lucy, Nap, and Kat - thanks for sharing your stories with the other travelers on the Bus.

I'm sure I join the other riders in welcoming Kat. All of the riders on the Bus are familiar with your wonderful daily thoughts and fine folk music at Keep The Coffee Coming

Christmas, more than any time of year, is a time for tradition, family, and friends. This year I am doubly blessed with a loving family at home and a great group of friends here on the Bus.

May you all have a very merry Christmas!

December 20, 2005 9:28 PM  

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