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Northern Christmas

December 25, 2008
The Dmytrenko backyard, overlooking the frozen-over Ottawa River and Quebec’s Laurentian mountains.
Few of the S+L hosts and writers remain in Toronto for Christmas. Among others, one is in Vancouver, a few are with relatives in New York State, and I'm in the northern Ontario town of Deep River.
The pace here is a little slower, allowing a little more time to get reacquainted with old friends after church.  Rather than speed-reading the Vatican news releases as I would on a busy workday, I instead watched the Pope's Midnight Mass homily and Ubi et Orbi address in front of a real fireplace.  (For real, that's how my family's house is still heated--just a few logs separating us from winter's hypothermic grip.)
I hope you also do things more slowly this season, whether it's driving safer on icy roads or deepening the conversations in your customary phone calls to relatives.
Though I'd like to stay in Deep River longer, I must return to Toronto for an upcoming shoot. S+L will be on location at Rise Up, the national conference of Catholic Christian Outreach. Encouraged by the presence of Archbishop Thomas Collins, over 500 university students will gather to learn who Jesus is for "Yesterday, Today and Forever". Check the blog in the coming days for our report on the conference, plus more Christmas-season biblical reflections from Father Thomas Rosica.