Hockey is important to many Canadians. We throw on our hockey sweater and tune in weekly to watch our favourite teams whether they delight or disappoint us. I have always found the holidays are a great time to experience our national sport, while spending time with family.
When I was growing up my entire family would come together in the common room of the Legion Manor, where my grandparents lived in Prince Edward County. The men would eat cashews and talk shop, the women would prepare a giant meal, and the kids would run wildly without consequence, having been allowed to eat more treats in one afternoon than they had all year.
After dinner we would all end up watching hockey together. Sometimes it was the last regular season games of the year, sometimes it was preliminary rounds of the World Juniors, but they all brought us together. It was a time of rest for the weary, a source of entertainment for the socially awkward, and a trial of anticipation for the die-hard fans – especially those with Pro-Line tickets.
We would often exchange gifts while watching the game as well, where memorabilia such a hockey sweater, t-shirt, gloves, coffee mug, hat and scarf where given, which were exclusively branded with the Toronto Maple Leafs logo. If you were given something with the Montreal Canadiens on it, you knew you were the butt of a joke.
You can wear your NHL Ugly Christmas gear while watching the rest of the
World Junior Championships, or the Winter Classic on New Years Day, and for the rest of the regular season.
Since Santa cannot bring the Stanley Cup to the Toronto Maple Leafs, no matter how good they’ve been, it’s best to take comfort in the fact that hockey is a wonderful holiday tradition we can all enjoy!