Christmas in the Castle


It took eight days and a crap load of frustration but my right ear finally came unplugged yesterday. Not being able to hear out of one side of your head is not all bad. If you choose the proper place to sit you only hear half the insults!

Christmas isn’t what it used to be around Chin’s castle. Back when the princesses were young and didn’t sleep until the middle of the day, Christmas morning started around 5am, if I managed to sleep that long. I was always the first one out of bed, and that hasn’t changed, I would make coffee, phone my Mom and my brother and they would get here before I eagerly awakened the ladies. Then the mountain of presents would be excitedly turned into a mountain of paper and boxes, ready for the recycle, followed by the Chinster creating a huge breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon and whatever else anyone wanted to eat. A little downtime during the midday and it was out to Cold Springs for dinner at the sister’s house. Since those days things have changed, the girls are older, my Mom has passed on, and Christmas is a much quieter day now.

This year I was again the first one up and I immediately headed for the coffee maker. Thanks to Lakefront Utilities and the ever convenient two and half hour power outage Christmas morning, I had to be content with one cup of coffee and the thrill of watching neighbors take their turkeys to their cars in the hopes of finding a working oven. By 9am the poultry parade had ended and I decided to go see my best friend and check out what Santa had brought him.

The relationship I share with this friend is very special to me for many reasons. He is the type of person that can bring a smile to my face no matter what mood I’m in, or in spite of how down I’m feeling or how frustrated I am. He has the ability to make me realize that no matter what, it’s the little things in life that count. There is no special speech or comment that he makes, he just has a love of life that is infectious and can spread to anyone lucky enough to be near him. I went to visit him the day after I got home last week and the moment he saw me he screamed “CHIN” then gave me a huge hug and started to cry because he was so happy to see me. All that after being away for one month? Who can honestly tell me they don’t want that in their life? After the big hug he immediately started making plans to go to see a movie because that’s what we like to do occasionally, or we cruise around town while he yells at pretty girls from the window of my van! The happiness my buddy exudes would bring a smile to anybody’s face in the blink of an eye. Now before anybody starts thinking that my best friend is perhaps an unemployed pervert who likes coming on to girls from the safety of a passing vehicle let me tell you a bit about him. He is 24 years old, has Down’s Syndrome and was the first child with Down’s to ever have a heart transplant. Shortly after he was born, the doctors at Sick Kids Hospital said he wouldn’t live past the age of 10, at the most! He has spent more time in Sick Kids than most of the staff there and has endured more pain than anybody I know. His mother died several years ago after being diagnosed with a brain tumor one week after her wedding. His stepfather, who by the way is one of my very truest and closest friends, has raised him along with his grandmother for most of his life. Despite all of these hurdles being constantly thrown in front of him the smiles and cheerfulness go on.

So, Christmas morning comes and I go to my buddy’s house. As usual he greets me with a hug and excitement to see me. I’m shown all the presents under the tree for him and this immediately makes my day. After spending about an hour with him and his family I return home to the castle and decide it’s about time to wake the princesses from their slumber. As they wipe the sleep from their eyes I sit nervously, hoping they are pleased with the personally engraved iPads I got them. Luckily, they were.

The rest of the day was spent in Cold Springs with the family and a terrific dinner and the usual jabs of sarcasm and insults shared between siblings during every family occasion.

On another note, as I comfortably lay dozing on the couch last night my cell phone rang. A welcome phone call from Dean in Newfoundland just to say Merry Christmas and ask how my holidays are going. We went over our schedules to make sure we touch base when we are back in BC and hope to work together again. That was nice.

I’m not sure how this post looks since the Bird gave me access to post without him editing first, and because it’s a different format that I have to get used to, so if it’s kinda screwy, my apologies. The Bird sent me a message yesterday telling me that he got a few emails asking when I was going to post again. I think it’s a ploy just to get me to write again but that’s ok. If it’s true, let me know who you are people. I’m interested to know who finds the mundane life of the Chin to be so interesting.

Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid all together!

Love always and Merry Christmas

Chin and the Princesses

PS. Whenever life gets you down, just think of my buddy and how he can smile everyday!

11 thoughts on “Christmas in the Castle

  1. What a great story. You surprise me every day buddy, and make me proud to know you. Keep it up, and I wasn’t lying when I said people were asking about you. I was told that you have a really good blogging style.

    • Just for you, I gave it a sympathy read. To my surprise, it was me that ended up feeling sympathetic. Good one, Chin! Thanks for sharing, buddy!

  2. Lovely post. I was right there with you Christmas morning with the power outage, I’m very happy Santa had the foresight to give the kids flashlights in their stockings, lol. At least LUSI is consistant, the west end wouldn’t be the same without random sunday morning power outages.

    • Thanks Stacey, luckily Santa is a smart dude and can illuminate the morning for the young ones. In my case the princesses slept late enough that they were oblivious to the old time Christmas provided by our wonderful utility provider!

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