Students from W.P. Bate School were among the choirs to perform last week at the 47th annual
Noon Festival of Carols at TCU Place. (Photo by Cam Hutchinson)
Lists, Trump and a yawning tortoise

I like lists.
One that catches my eye at this time of year is Yahoo!’s top searches in 2018 in Canada.
Guess who was the most searched overall in 2018? Yes, Donald Trump. (Is it rude to answer my own question?) Our prime minister finished fourth in his own country. Nos. 2 and 3 were the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. Rounding out the five was Meghan Markle.
The top five searches among people were Trump, Justin Trudeau, Markle, Doug Ford and Melania Trump. Why Melania Trump? That’s a head-scratcher. The rest of the list was also somewhat surprising: Kate Middleton, Stormy Daniels, Elon Musk, Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Zuckerberg. I confess I had to search Musk. How embarrassing, but how honest. He’s the CEO of SpaceX, CEO of Tesla Motors and chairman of SolarCity.


Home for the Holidays
Saskatoon SPCA has 200 animals up for adoption

Magic is a one-year-old Great Pyrenees.
He’s beautiful and friendly and loves to be petted.
Magic is a real charmer and is hanging out these days in the office area at the Saskatoon SPCA.
It’s a good place for socializing, and what a wonderful dog to greet a visitor at the entrance.
Life hasn’t been good to Magic. He came to the shelter earlier this month, along with his buddy, Aslan, also a Great Pyrenees. The two were found running stray.
Both Magic, who is in a photo on Page 4, and Aslan are up for adoption. In total, approximately 200 animals are ready to move out of the shelter as part of the month-long Home for the Holidays campaign.

The Dating Game: Baby, it’s a Christmas radio minefield

First, they killed Baby, It’s Cold Outside.
Radio stations around the continent, starting in Ohio and ending up at the CBC, got a few complaints and that song was outta there. Or offa there, I suppose.
Folks kind of thought that the whole song, which consists of a woman more or less resisting a man’s advances, was a bit offensive. Particularly worrisome, they thought, was the line where she asks him, “what’s in this drink?” Sounds like he may have slipped her something.
Well, maybe it does to our 2018 ears. However, back in the 1940s when Frank Loesser wrote it, they were unaware of Rohypnol and other nasty dope. Also at the time, this young lady being found in her suitor’s apartment would have been completely scandalous. She’s pretty worried about being discovered by her parents and siblings; less so about hanging around for “maybe one more cigarette,” while we’re discussing drugs.

Christmas with the kids:
Fun things to do with those five and under

I’ve always loved the arts. But the way I take in arts and entertainment events has certainly changed since becoming a parent more than five years ago.
Instead of late-night concerts, I now seek out afternoon and early evening events and tend to make more daytime trips to the city’s galleries and museums. And I’m constantly thinking about how I can incorporate arts, culture and entertainment into my sons’ lives.
Our kids are quite young — Jack is five and Samuel will turn three in January — and they are also energetic and curious. They gravitate toward activities that are interesting, visually stimulating, interactive and short (let’s face it — young kids don’t always have the longest attention spans).
With Christmas fast approaching, I’ve been seeking out local, festive family friendly activities. I put attending the holiday show offered by Wide Open Children’s Theatre at the top of our to-do list.

Rush weren’t thinking outside the box with song choice

I’ve never been to a Saskatoon Rush game.
Now I likely never will, and I’ll explain why.
For once, this year’s Christmas controversy (because there’s always at least one) doesn’t involve religion. It doesn’t involve the use of “Merry Christmas” over “Happy Holidays,” or Christmas concerts versus winter carnivals.
Christmas-time classic Baby It’s Cold Outside, recorded by legendary crooner Dean Martin back in 1959, has been on trial this year. Some radio stations have even banned the song, pointing to the heightened awareness of violence against and sexual harassment of women as a result of the #MeToo movement.
At issue are the song’s lyrics, which some feel imply that the female singer is making a concerted effort to leave a party, as the male singer is pressuring her aggressively to stay with him, including by giving her a laced drink.


Christmas a time for singing, decorating and grandchildren

‘Tis the season for fun, family, friends, frenzy and frustration.
The fun part is visiting with family and friends and enjoying the goodwill that seems infectious at this time of year. And while we embrace our old traditions, changing family dynamics blend in new-to-us traditions to celebrate.
I always thought when the kids grew up and left home that Christmas would lose some of its magic. Fortunately, they now have their own little munchkins to keep the magic alive for us. As grandparents, we can give that noisy drum set that we never wanted our own kids to receive, or toys that come with a million pieces and those that require an engineering degree to assemble.
We can feed these wee babes sugar plums and send them back to their parents to deal with the sugar high, while we enjoy peace and quiet and rejoice in being the best grandparents ever — at least according to the grandchildren!