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Christmas tales to warm the heart

Pique writers offer up a selection of stories to enjoy over the holidays.


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Turns out that Cajun turkey is delicious. I'm not used to having a mild sweat appear on my brow as I fan the flames of spice in my mouth at Christmas dinner, but it was good.

So here's the thing. You can lament about all the things you're going to miss or embrace all that there is to offer about a Christmas in Whistler though it may be a little different from Christmases of yore.

As for me, the only thing I'm going to lament is the much-needed extra six hours a day, something even Santa can't deliver.



I'll be Home for Christmas

By GD Maxwell

'So this is Christmas, and what have you done...."

"Nice song," mumbled the sleepy voice in the back seat.

"I thought so too... the first 30 times I heard it during this trip," said the bleary-eyed, perpetually hungover driver. Me.

We were 36 hours into a roadtrip that, under excellent conditions, would normally take 24. We weren't moving.

It's about 1,400 hundred miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico to a little bedroom community just north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I'd made the trek once in late spring but never post winter solstice. What an idiot.

"Sure, mom, I'll be home for Christmas," I'd promised days earlier. There were at least two problems with that vow. For starters, the place my parents were living had never been my home and was barely theirs, it being more in the nature of a temporary bivouac. And as little affinity as I had for the place, I was certain it was absolutely dreadful in winter, not to mention you had to be completely senseless to travel 1,400 miles in a Gremlin at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas.

The Gremlin — one of the worst cars ever produced in the USA, which puts it at the top of a very long list — wasn't mine. It was my girlfriend's. Travelling half way across the country on the eve of Christmas Eve was her idea too.

The somnambulant passenger in the crowded backseat was her girlfriend, a woman for whom the word ditzy was coined. She'd brought a suitcase that wouldn't fit in what passed for a trunk in a Gremlin — really just the space behind the backseat — and, oh joy, her cat. The cat, a mutant, wall-eyed calico with a bobbed tail and, as we discovered, perpetual gastric distress, turned out to be a better conversationalist than the girl. Made more sense; howled louder. Slept not at all.