Monday Morning Musings

Posted on December 14, 2020 under Monday Morning Musings with no comments yet

I hope Violet is enjoying her time in Wakem Bay.


Fasten your seatbelts.

We are hurtling towards Christmas at breakneck speed, a Christmas that will be unlike any other. I want all you old farts like me to wind the clock back 60 years, give or take. Do you remember what the last week of school before Christmas was like? Sure you do. You did very little of anything resembling actual schoolwork. You wondered if your teacher would ever run out of art projects. Your energy and excitement indexes were off the chart thinking about the dizzying array of presents under the tree. Of course, you realized that they weren’t all for you but in an era of very large families due to the baby boom, the sheer volume of presents on the living room floor on Christmas morning was awe inspiring.

In a normal year, this final week at school would be a virtual blizzard of indoor and outdoor activities here in Kangiqsujuaq. The crown jewels would be a community bazaar held in our gym, a Christmas dinner for our students and, of course, the Christmas concert. These have all been scrapped this year. Please nod if you are a music teacher or a retired music teacher. Yes. The Christmas concert is a very big deal for the children and their parents but for a music teacher, or whomever has the privilege (!) of organizing this event, it may be one of the most stressful things you will do in your life. We don’t have the luxury of a music teacher in our school, so a group of teachers is tasked with this activity. I helped out last year. Honestly, I haven’t heard too many teachers complaining about the cancellation of the Christmas concert! We’re not a bunch of Scrooges but most of you will understand this sentiment.

Tomorrow, instead of serving a nice hot turkey dinner, the entire school will trek out to the large inukshuk outside the village for a wiener roast. I’m sure it will be a lot of fun unless the temperature stays around -30 which it has been for the past few days.

We will take the children sledding and skating and I’m sure a few Christmas movies will be shown in our classrooms. We will make the best of it. I can guarantee one thing. The school will begin to pulsate today as we head into the final week of school before Christmas.

I plan to prepare a turkey dinner for my class sometime during the Christmas holidays.

And speaking of Christmas dinners (a nifty segue to my next topic), the fundraiser for the Christmas Dinner in the village is going well. We have raised $2,000 of the $3,000 we need to deliver a Christmas Dinner to families who might not otherwise have one. You can send me an e-transfer at, drop into the Credit Union back home in Antigonish and make a deposit there or you can send me a cheque at Len MacDonald C/O Arsaniq School, C.P.160, Kangiqsujuaq, Quebec, J0M 1K0.

I want to thank everyone who has sent cards, letters and gifts to my students. A special thank you to a couple who sent a large box of gifts including hockey jerseys, knitted products, crafts and Christmas candy. In this box, very carefully wrapped (!) was a bottle of Steinhart strawberry vodka. Normally the mere mention of vodka causes revulsion because of an unpleasant encounter with a large bottle of vodka during my university years. I had heard many reports about this international award- winning spirit but was never brave enough to try it. Because I received it as a gift, I felt duty bound to have a sip. I can tell you one thing for certain. I will not be sharing this with Santa. It is delicious when sipped judiciously. I might leave Santa a can of Labatt’s Blue beer! Thanks so much, D&J for your kindness.

Some of you might remember Flat Stanley. Quite honestly, I don’t. Look it up if you don’t. Last week, I received a delightful letter from one of my granddaughters. She sent me a cut out character named Violet. I was asked to share some adventures with Violet and return her along with a letter and some pictures. This is a version of pen pals and a wonderful project. Speaking of pen pals, my students have been very excited receiving letters from new friends across this country. Thanks to all of you who have embraced this initiative. Violet has been making the rounds. I hope she enjoys her adventures in the north.

I attended my second sewing class yesterday. It is great fun, but I fear it will be spring or summer by the time I finish my pualuks!

Have a great week.


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