I didn’t wake up Christmas morning and run down the stairs in anticipation for what Santa brought this year;
I didn’t help my grandfather make the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve, either.
I didn’t spend this Christmas unwrapping presents;
I didn’t spend this Christmas catching up with cousins and creating new memories that build on tradition.
Left the country.
I wandered the streets of a city I’d never visited that speaks a language I don’t understand;
I wandered through many ‘Marche de Noël’ while the lightest snow fell around me;
I stared up at a Charlie Brown Tree; and
I ate maple syrup pulled on ice, vin chaud, St. Viteaur bagels, poutine and smoked meat from Schwartz’s Deli;
I spent hours in a 200-year-old coffee shop sipping London Fogs, people watching and writing postcards.
I didn’t go home for Christmas this year;
Instead I –
Found myself able to breathe in frigid, frostbitten Montréal.