I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.
Doug and I aren't really materialistic type folks. We each own one pair of skis, one pair of mountaineering boots, one backpack, etc. In other words, we try to keep our possessions to what we need to recreate with a reasonable degree of safety while having a reasonable degree of fun. After all, you can only wear one pair of skis or boots at a time, and I challenge anyone to have fun while carrying two backpacks.
More and more, Christmas seems to be about what people can buy, rather than what people can do for the planet, their communities or each other, so, we usually escape the crass commercialism of Christmas by skiing into a small cabin somewhere.
This year, we went back to the Caribou Cabin in Mount Revelstoke National Park. Our last visit was in 2004 (I think, although it could have been 2005) when a group of six of us booked the entire cabin. This time it was just Doug and I, and we booked two spots, but had the cabin to ourselves.
We spent a delightful Christmas up there, skiing every day, and enjoying quiet evenings reading and stretching. Not at all a typical North American Christmas, we may be among the few healthy people in the country who dropped a few pounds over the holiday period - but trail-breaking will do that for you.
Here's wishing you found yourself some real Christmas spirit in 2011, avoided bloating your waist-line or your credit card debt, and remembered that life is about experiences not possessions.