Uncategorized, Writing Life

Hunting for a Sleigh

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I don’t think any activity says Christmas in Canada better than hunting for a sleigh.

That’s what me and PJ spent our Sunday doing. We weren’t the only ones looking for a special gift. We drove bumper to bumper down the highway. Shopping on the second last weekend before the big day is crazy, but we had our hearts set on finding the perfect sleigh for our youngest grandson, who will soon be living in a part of the country where the temperature drops to forty degrees below Celsius and it snows for several months of the year.

We live in a on an island with a temperate climate. Our snow for the most part, stays on the top of the mountains in the distance looking quite lovely. We get one to four days of the white stuff if we’re lucky, so sleighs, other than Santa’s are rarely seen here. But we’ve both lived in Ontario and have a treasure trove of memories of playing in the snow as children. Anyone who’s grown up with snow, knows what I mean. We had to find a sleigh.

Crawling through crowds, and standing in long lines for information side by side, we kept giving each other the look. You know the one couples give each other.  The ‘What are we doing?’ look.  But we wouldn’t give up. What started out as a simple mission of going out and buying one present, became a journey.

We learned that Costco carries  a deluxe one that lights up, but they were sold out (go figure). Next we tried a big box store I won’t name. After long walks up and down the aisles we decided to stand in line at the customer service desk. When our turn came, the desk lady’s eyes narrowed to pins and her mouth scrunched up.To make a long story short, we had stood in line for twenty minutes to find out that not only do the people on the desk not know anything about what’s in the store, they also don’t know how to find out anything. So we decided to try Canadian Tire.

We parked in the third mall and got out of the car with slightly slumped shoulders and wilting willpower. After all, what were the chances that another big-box store would have it, when the other two giants didn’t. I don’t know about you, but shopping exhausts me. Canned music, fluorescent lights and agitated masses of humanity sap my energy. But I wanted a sleigh. I wanted my grandson to have his fun in the snow.

Shutterstock Photo
Shutterstock Photo

Inside the big front doors we spied ten shiny snow blowers. Snow blowers! Who needs a snow blower here?  We exchanged the other look.  The ‘It’s possible’ look. It took us a few minutes, but we found the mother-lode of sleighs. Short, long, fat, skinny, backed, not backed, circular, rectangular, plastic, and wood. My heart sang.

We left the store with a little red sleigh. Christmas came early for me.

What about you? Have you finished Christmas shopping? Any tales to tell?

***

pic from Shutterstock

20 thoughts on “Hunting for a Sleigh

  1. Aaaaawwwwww!!! I loved this post. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy. I already know L will cherish his little red sleigh from his oma and opa. What a treat! I can’t wait to watch him open his gift, and then later play with it (I’ll be inside with hot cocoa).

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    1. Hi J.C.
      I have to say shopping for this present made my eyes well up with tears. It was like a rite of passage, deeply meaningful and precious. I love being an Oma.
      xo

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  2. Aww Jo

    As someone who spent part of my youth in snowier climes I too remember the fun of snow! The long lines and perseverance will pay off when you see your grandson’s eyes light up this Christmas. And long after the lines are forgotten the joy and good memories made with this sled will remain in yours and your grandson’s heart.

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    1. Pat
      You do understand …the wonder, and the joy of playing in the snow as a child. The passing on of a tradition. Thank you for such a heartwarming comment. It touches me deeply.
      Hugs
      Jo-Ann

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  3. Jo-Ann, we liked you before, we luv ya now!! What an awesome Grandma you are & your hubby an awesome grandpa. All that work to make sure your grandson has a sleigh to make his own memories. That’s dedication & love my dear! As for the stores, I’m shocked they could even tell you where the bathrooms are. I worked retail when my daughter was in college to help her with the expenses & this much I can tell you. If you have one to three employees that know what they’re doing your ahead of the game. lol. But as I’m writing this I peer up at your comment to Pat and see what you wrote, (reading it back to my daughter) “The passing on of a tradition” perfect Christmas spirit my dear you win our Winter Wonderland Christmas spirit award!!! Only wish we had an award to give you. 🙂

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    1. Inion N. Mathair
      Awwwww. Thank you ladies for the award and touching comment. (And awesome Tweets)
      It truly was a special day.
      I think you’ve got your stats right for retail. My post was originally twice as long. I started out detailing the ridiculous conversations I had looking for the sleigh, but when I read it, I found the wasted words took away from what was important: my grandson and the sleigh. Funny how writing can sometimes be like a kick in the head. lol.
      Wishing you all the best of the season
      Jo-Ann

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  4. Love your blog….!! Tomorrow’s my turn to experience the delights of Christmas shopping. I have a list…. boy do I have a list…. gulp!!

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    1. Mimi
      I hope you end up feeling as joyful as we did, then all the parking lot madness fades away.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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    1. Hi Emma
      You know I really really wanted to, but it seemed wrong to reveal it before the big day. Not that my 18 month old grandson follows my blog lol. I’ll post a pic of him with it. Unfortunately there won’t be snow, but I think it will intrigue him all the same.
      Thanks for stopping by and for your suggestion.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

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  5. As always a delightful post, Jo-Ann. I’m so surprised you don’t get lots of snow where you are. I mean it’s Canada, right? LOL Just shows my ignorance. I only have a couple of memories of snow, but that makes them all the more special and makes me a nut whenever we get a touch here in Texas. I’ve been known to go out at midnight if that’s when the white stuff falls to make sure I don’t miss the experience. Of course, now we’ve been shut in for four days with ice! Ice is not nice like snow. We’ve been warm, have food, everything works, and no one had to go out. But the poor souls who did! My goodness.
    I’ve finished shopping for the grands and most others will get alternative gifts from online charities. I miss the hustle and bustle, but nobody needs a new bowl or handkerchiefs (a gift one of our uncles always asked for). We are blessed with riches in so many ways. Foremost is that our kids are healthy, near, and share their lives with us daily. That’s what Christmas is all about. That and little red sleighs! 🙂

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    1. Hi Marsha
      …and I’m surprised you get ice in Texas! lol. While you may have been thinking I have friends in igloos, I’ve been imagining you sitting outside writing in a bathing suit around a pool with a drink garnished with an umbrella and a gallon of sunscreen.
      I’m glad to hear you’ve stayed warm in the horrible weather you’ve been having. The pictures on your blog amaze me.
      I agree, we are blessed with family and friends.
      Thanks for stopping by and adding to my Christmas story.
      You rock
      Jo-Ann

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  6. Hi Jo-Ann, loved this blog, almost made me miss Alberta, lol. We’re spending our first Christmas here and while I miss the beauty of the white stuff, I sure don’t miss the cold and the endless shoveling! Your grandson’s going to love his gift, that was always the highlight of winter for us kids, pulling our sleighs to the park and meeting all the other families, it’s not cold when your surrounded by laughing children 🙂

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    1. Hi Jacquie
      Alberta? I bet you had lots of fun in the snow. I love the image you draw of the community gathering on the snow hill. The laughter. The warmth despite the cold. The good side of winter, eh.
      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      Best Wishes
      Jo-Ann

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  7. Thanks for sharing! For me growing up, it was all about receiving figure skates. Sparkling white, brand new, and that oh so special pristine leather. Your story brought back memories. And with the purchase of the sleigh, you’re creating memories too.

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    1. Hi Jodie
      I can remember getting my first skates at Christmas. I was five. After the obligatory breakfast, I ran out and skated with my brother in the pond in a nearby field, my heart filled with joy. Memories…
      Thanks so much for stopping by and adding yours to the conversation. I hope you’re enjoying your sunny holiday.
      Best
      Jo-Ann

      Like

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