They must have been ordered from a catalogue - Avon probably - in the 1950's or 60's. Photo Andrea DeMeer 2020

There is no such thing as the perfect Christmas

Look for the joy in disastrous dinners and melted wax figures

My mother’s candles remind me there is no such thing as a perfect Christmas.

It’s like there is no perfect summer, no perfect wedding and no perfect person.

It rains at the beach, you trip on your way up the aisle (yeah, that happened) and even the humans you love the best are – perfectly – flawed.

Hard to argue that Christmas 2020 could be anticipated with ideas of perfection. With COVID rules in place forbidding ‘out of the bubble’ gatherings in private homes, restricting travel, cancelling parades and concerts and so many other traditions we’ve come to rely on to define the holidays, it could be regarded as downright grim.

So it’s not going to be perfect. But it’s still going to be Christmas.

Look back on your most vivid Christmas memories – the ones that make you laugh when you share them over a glass of eggnog, beside the fire.

The time the kitchen sink got plugged, and you had to wash the dinner dishes in a claw-foot tub.

The Christmas Eve a parishioner sitting next to you in church stormed out when he realized you were multi-tasking – kneeling, praying and breastfeeding all at the same time.

The year there were no potatoes.

The year the tree fell over and injured the cat.

The year when there were potatoes, but an overindulging guest passed out into a plate of them. Gravy was involved.

Yeah, it all happened and none of it would work in a Hallmark movie. Possibly it’s material for National Lampoon.

It’s life and it’s Christmas. And neither will ever be perfect.

So these candles, they’ve been present at every Christmas of my life, so they are at least 53 years old.

Mom, who strove for perfection in everything (I was…erm…something of a disappointment) must have ordered them from a catalogue – Avon probably – in the late 1950s or early ‘60s.

The first wicked candles were crafted by Egyptians, in about 3,000 BC.

However it’s only been recently that candles were adopted for purely decorative purposes.

Today, you can buy a scented votive at any gas station. But up until men walked on the moon most western households stocked candles only for practical reasons – whenever a squirrel got caught in the hydro wires.

Mom’s Christmas candles must have been special to her.

There are three, so probably bought as a boxed set. They are each the size of a diner salt shaker and represent a snowperson, Santa going down a chimney, and a tree.

They are not, however, perfect.

Someone lit them. Bet that was Dad.

Santa’s face collapsed, for one thing.

There would have been frantic snuffing, and likely a heck of a row.

Oddly out of character, Mom kept them.

They were never displayed in the front rooms, where they could offend a visitor.

Every holiday they were placed on a shelf above the kitchen sink, where she could look at them when she cooked and baked, cleaned up, wrote Christmas cards and wrapped presents.

Somehow those candles made it into the bottom of a box that travelled from Ontario to B.C. six years ago.

And I put them on the shelf above my kitchen sink.

I’m not comparing the stress of a disfigured wax Santa Claus or a disastrous holiday meal to the struggles so many are facing with this COVID Christmas.

It’s just a reminder that it’s Christmas nonetheless, with a hope that all will find a little joy, despite its imperfections.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:mailto:andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com


 
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues hot start to 2021

Sales in February were up more than 100 per cent over last year, reports the Association of Interior Realtors

The restart of the program means seniors can receive affordable meals delivered five days a week. Photo by Scott Suchman for The Washington Post.
Princeton Meals on Wheels one year trial will cost $92k

Program restarts, and volunteer drivers are needed

The images are of Bald Eagles feeding.
Birds of prey

Princeton photographer captures compelling photos of a Bald Eagle breakfast

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anti-pipeline protests continue in Greater Vancouver, with the latest happening Thursday, March 4 at a Trans Mountain construction site in Burnaby. (Facebook/Laurel Dykstra)
A dozen faith-based protestors blockade Burnaby Trans Mountain site in prayer

The group arrived early Thursday, planning to ‘block any further work’

Mid day at the Vancouver Port Intersection blockade on March 3, organized by the Braided Warriors. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
Anti-pipeline blockade at Vancouver intersection broken up by police

Demonstraters were demanding the release of a fellow anti-TMX protester

The man currently being sought by Oliver RCMP in connection to an assault and robbery at the BC Cannabis Store in Oliver. If you know the identity of the man, the RCMP would like to know. (RCMP)
South Okanagan police looking for man accused in robbery and assault at pot shop

The man allegedly assaulted an employee at the BC Cannabis Store

(Government of B.C.)
Protesters stood outside the Vernon Courts Thursday, March 4, 2021, as a Curtis Wayne Sagmoen matter came before the courts once again. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
UPDATE: Sagmoen to make plea in two weeks for cop assault charge

The offence allegedly took place on Oct. 29 in Spallumcheen

School bus fees are being charged to all riders in the Vernon School District. (Courtesy photo)
Parents pressure Vernon school board to curb bus fee hike

More than 1,200 signatures on petition against $200 rider fees, to be discussed at board meeting

(Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at two Kelowna schools

Pearson Road Elementary, Rutland Senior Secondary confirm one case of the virus at each school

The Brooke Drive interchange is part of the Chase Four-Laning Project currently being worked on by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure image)
Second phase of Highway 1 four-laning in Chase expected to be tendered soon

Work already underway for Chase West phase of project

Most Read