Christmas traditions: Craig & Wes

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Craig Murray

Consultant, Sport Nova Scotia

New Glasgow

At the Murray household there is one holiday tradition that you can count on every year, watching Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Tournament. Ever since I was a little kid my favorite thing about Christmas time started on Boxing Day eagerly waiting for Team Canada’s first game. Over the years with different host locations Team Canada has played at varying hours of the day but that hasn’t hindered our tradition, if anything it’s made it stronger.

Sport has the special capability of creating lasting memories and looking back at some of my greatest holiday memories, they are all attached to observing World Junior moments with friends and loved ones. Whether it was the memorable 2007 tournament in Sweden which was when the world was introduced to Jonathon Toews and his shootout performance vs the Americans or 2009 in Ottawa and Jordan Eberle’s heroics in the dying seconds against the Russians in the Semi-Finals or receiving 7am pre-recorded phone calls from TSN’s Jay and Dan telling you to wake up for Canada’s games being played in Ufa, Russia.

However, with the good memories there is also heartbreaks. I can also remember my friends and I missing school only to see Marc-Andre Fleury shoot the winning goal off his defenseman’s shin pads and in our net. Or in 2011 watching a young Russian team storm back to steal gold medal away from Canada.

Everyone of those memories were experienced with family and friends and for that, I am forever grateful, Merry Christmas Everyone.

Wes Surrett

General Manager

Pictou Lodge Beach Resort

When I think back to Christmas as a child, I think of what a handful my three brothers and I must have been. I remember our yearly expedition into the woods to find that perfect tree. I remember following Grammy’s instructions of just how to perfectly decorate that tree, even with all of that silver tinsel. Remember all of that silver tinsel? I remember gathering around the television to watch those Christmas classics on CBC. “Don’t mess with the rabbit ears antenna, we have a great picture tonight.” I have fond memories of my three brothers and I packing into the family vehicle and heading to church on Christmas Eve. We’d always have the NORAD Santa Tracker on the car radio. I remember the overwhelming sense of anticipation of what may be under that tree come Christmas morning.

I find myself duplicating these same experiences now with our kids. There is an expedition to find that tree. We watch those same Christmas classics, of course now on demand with no rabbit ear antenna. The kids keep track of NORAD, but of course NORAD is on the laptop now. And now after church on Christmas Eve our kids like to prep the food for Santa, and of course sprinkle oatmeal and sparkles on the lawn for the reindeer to give them a safe landing area. After a reading of our traditional “The Night Before Christmas” story book we are quickly off to bed! Because the one thing I do appreciate now, more than I did as a child, is the amount of work Santa has to do that night!