Christmas is on full fledged and bring on the Christmas Angels.

Christmas is on full fledged and bring on the Christmas Angels.

HodgePodge, By Charlie Hodge

Once again Christmas has delightfully burst on the scene at the House of Hodge.

A merry maze of mayhem meets me the moment I manage to manipulate my way up the basement stairs into the kitchen. One literally has to tunnel through boxes of festive decorations to get from kitchen to dining room – even though the Christmas clutter seems miniscule compared to the plethora of boxes and lights downstairs ‘waiting’ to be brought up.

It’s perfect.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I love Christmas chaos. Anything out of sort, or non-Libra like balance drives Tez nuts, but I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas, lights, decorations and … Ironically and thankfully the only person I know perhaps crazier about Christmas is Tez. Her joy of the season allows her to overcome her angst of the chaos – especially since she creates much of it.

Fortunately my festive fixation has not diminished since childhood, in fact it has flourished. It seems as each year passes celebrating Christmas means more to me. Perhaps that is a sense of my mortality or the need to find fun and frivolity in an often woeful world.

Regardless I relish in every aspect of the holiday season from decorating and Christmas shopping to cooking the turkey, visiting friends and family, Christmas Carols, sappy seasonal movies …

Tez and I start the celebration as early as possible, barely out waiting Halloween and Remembrance Day  before digging out our mounds of Christmas collection.

It’s probably my sweet tooth which kick-starts the month or two of seasonal silliness.

Even better than the ultimate and climatic Christmas dinner is the ever-emerging and expanding array of delectable’s for mouth and stomach several weeks prior. Chocolates, shortbread, butter tarts, mincemeat, fruitcake, gingerbread men, Christmas candies, candy-canes, and for good health – mandarin oranges. Mid-January to mid-February is generally spent in stomach rehab and sugar withdrawal therapy.

Special times with family and friends always add to the celebration including the sharing and consuming of the above mention gourmet.

I love getting presents, make no bones about that, yet truly do find a special pleasure in giving gifts.

I try to view Christmas shopping as an adventure and a hoot rather than a chore or frustration. In fact I generally try to accept all the crowds, stress, line-ups and other negative distractions as merely part of the traditional ritual. I basically ignore the nasty and seek the nice.

What I enjoy most about Christmas time however is the kindness in others. Those special moments when strangers merrily exchange greetings and smiles with strangers.

It’s that annual spirit of sharing display which inspired my original Charlie’s Angels list column many years ago.

People may get tired of me writing it – but I never get tired of recognizing I have a blessed life. I attribute that largely because of the multitude of good, kind people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. Some for most of my life, others but for fleeting moments.

I am blessed for hearing or seeing kind, caring actions by others making the world a brighter, happier, safer place to be.

Literally hundreds of times in my younger life, friends, casual acquaintances, and sometimes total strangers simply showed up at the right moment and did or said something meaningful that meant a lot. Sometimes it was a small gesture or kind word, other times it was life-saving or life-altering actions.

Regardless, all those amazing and kind folks inspired my writing the first Charlie’s Christmas Angels List. I invited a few fellow newsroom staff to submit some names and the annual tradition was began. The next year readers began submitting names and have continued to do so for more than 30 years of writing. What fun.

So it’s that time of year when I ask you to take part and share in the caring. Tell Kelowna about your Angels.

The criteria to be an Angel is easy – a kind person who willingly does something nice for others. Angels are people who make a difference in some way, shape, or form in your world. Simply folks who have gone above and beyond to assist or others.

Our community is blessed with an amazing amount of caring folks. I would like you to tell me about them briefly.

If you know of someone or even a few special folks who deserve to be recognized for their kindness and big heart then please send me a note about them as soon as possible and I will included them in Charlie’s Christmas Angels List over the next few weeks. Send your names and a short explanation (if you want) to now.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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