Category Archives: Features

News, articles and opinion pieces

Deconstructing Canada (6-part series)

Deconstructing Canada

Justin Trudeau’s eight-year record

Robbing From Future Canadians

Trudeau’s perversion of justice

Trudeau’s degradation of Parliament

Sabotaging natural resources development

This nation is now “irrelevant” in world affairs

 

This six-part series originally ran in The Niagara Independent, November – December 2023.

Chris George is an advocate, government relations advisor, and writer/copy editor. As president of a public relations firm established in 1994, Chris provides discreet counsel, tactical advice and management skills to CEOs/Presidents, Boards of Directors and senior executive teams in executing public and government relations campaigns and managing issues. Prior to this PR/GR career, Chris spent seven years on Parliament Hill on staffs of Cabinet Ministers and MPs. He has served in senior campaign positions for electoral and advocacy campaigns at every level of government. Today, Chris resides in Almonte, Ontario where he and his wife manage www.cgacommunications.comContact Chris at chrisg.george@gmail.com.

The By George St Valentine’s Wish

This sweet menu is our St. Valentine’s gift to you….

May your cupid arrows find their marks!

Indulge. Enjoy. 

Lovely Quotes

By George’s Top-Ten Love Quotes

Some Lovely Thoughts on Love

Quips on Love

5 Top-10 Lists of Quotes on Love

Sir Anthony Hopkins on life and love

A Sweet Potpourri

Did you know these St. Valentine’s Day facts?

Here’s the impact of a brain “in love”

The Urban Dictionary defines: Love

How Love Works (from How Stuff Works)

A Kiss Quiz

The most famous love sonnet by the Bard

The #1 Love Song (ever) 

Canada’s Greatest Love Song

FAVs & LOL Memes

Our Ten Favourite Love Posts

A Dozen Humourous Memes on Love and Marriage

A Dozen Social Media Posts of Love

Justin Trudeau’s Valentines Wishes

Valentine’s Wishes – from the U.S. Prez himself

Valentine’s Wishes – from the Donald

And here are another 14 memes for February 14

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

Top 30 By George QOTDs

To commemorate CG&A Communications passing the 30-year milestone, we have selected the top 30 By George QOTDs from over the past dozen years. These are the very best of the best, counted down to the number one QOTD shared across the By George social media platforms.

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… and the # 1 By George QOTD for the past decade-plus is:

You can find the By George QOTDs posted daily on the By George Journal’s Facebook page and X page, as well as on Chris George’s LinkedIn posts.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com.

On passing the 30 year milestone

Our government affairs and public relations firm, CG&A Communications, is passing its 30-year milestone on January 4, 2024. Here are some reflections on this accomplishment.

Media Release: CG&A Communications Passes 30 Year Milestone

30 Facts You May Not Know About CG&A Communications

30 Significant Events of 1994

The Flashback Photo Gallery

CG&A COMM 1994-1998 (the first five years)

CG&A COMM 1999 – 2003 (the growth of the company)

CG&A COMM 2004-2008 (the move to Niagara Region)

CG&A COMM 2009 – 2013 (Niagara highlights)

CG&A COMM 2014-2018 (re-establishing in Ottawa)

CG&A COMM 2019-2023 (copyright, writing, and politics)

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor, news commentator, and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com.

 

CG&A Communications Passes 30 Year Milestone

January 4, 2024 – Today marks 30 years to the day since Chris George and business partner Lisa Hingley (now Lisa George) opened the doors of their government and public relations company. For three decades CG&A Communications has provided government affairs, issue management, and public relations services to a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors.

CG&A Communications is a full service firm, offering discreet, reliable counsel and communications services to support clients’ advocacy and public relations efforts, and to meet their government affairs objectives.

Two of the company’s longstanding national clients were the Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC) Copyright Consortium and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada. Chris George managed the government affairs and public relations for these organizations for more than 22 years and 14 years respectively.

In the Ottawa Region through the years CG&A Communications provided services to the Ottawa International Airport, Hydro Ottawa, Commissionaires, and the Perley Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre to name a few. Chris George also directed the communications efforts as lead counsel for the Ottawa Transition Board (responsible for amalgamating the City of Ottawa).

In the Niagara Region, CG&A Communications serviced West Lincoln Memorial Hospital, local Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Niagara Parks Commission among others in the decade that the Georges were residing in St. Catharines.

“We never imagined back in 1994 that our business would span decades and we would enjoy a career driving our own enterprise,” says Chris in reflecting on the milestone accomplishment. “I believe our work ethic has carried us the distance. Our competitive advantage has always been our personalized counsel and our reliable and consistent attention to the details. Year after year we’ve had wonderful clients, great working relationships, and rewarding work.”

Lisa adds, “Looking back we have to express our deep gratitude not only to our clients, but also to our network of talented consultants, and to our supportive friends and family. I don’t want to start naming names for fear of missing someone… but we have been very fortunate to have a great group of people involved with CG&A Communications through the years.”

To mark the milestone for their supporters, the Georges compiled a few lists of interesting facts and a photo gallery:

30 Facts You May Not Know About CG&A Communications

30 Significant Events of 1994

The Flashback Photo Gallery

To read more about the history of the company, follow this link: On passing the 30 year milestone.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor, news commentator and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com.

30 Facts You May Not Know About CG&A Communications

  1. Always a Virtual Corporation – Since inception CG&A Communications has been a virtual corporation – a network of writers, graphic designers, web developers, translators – all working from their own home offices. When the company launched 30 years ago this business model was an oddity that had to be explained… now it’s the norm.
  2. The Business Name – We started as Chris George and Associates and a year later changed the firm’s name to CG&A Communications. Our distinctive “box” logo was first unveiled in 1995.
  3. First Office Space – The first CG&A office was a second bedroom in a two-bedroom Ottawa apartment overlooking the canal. It was a total of 120 square feet, featuring a blue shag rug. There was a single desk top computer, printer and fax machine, a wall of bookshelves, filing cabinet and a futon for seating.
  4. Internet was in its infancy – When we started the business, Internet browsers were non-existent and we searched on-line via list indexes. The first browser, the Netscape Navigator, was introduced in summer of 1994 and it was only after that when websites became easily accessible.
  5. No Email to Start – In the beginning the primary mode of office-to-office document transmission was the fax machine. Email had just been introduced — we were early adopters connecting our freelance subcontractors to collaborate via email.
  6. Office Expenses – Through the years the company’s office expenses have changed. In the beginning, the biggest expenses were cross-city bicycle couriers, thermal-rolled fax paper, and postage for mailouts. Today, the biggest expense is cell phones!
  7. First Client – Gus Zygoumis, owner of Dustmoon Maintenance, gave CG&A their first contract in early 1994 to help with communications and administrative support.
  8. 85-Plus Clients – CG&A has worked for more than 85 clients in 30 years — corporations, small businesses, individual interest, national associations and small volunteer-run organizations, public institutions, government agencies and political initiatives.
  9. North American Service Area – Many CG&A clients are located in Ottawa and Toronto. However, through the 30 years CG&A has served clients in places like Niagara Falls, Hagersville, and Halifax — companies from New Liskeard in northern Ontario through to San Mateo, California.
  10. Landing the Ottawa Airport – CG&A really took off in 1997 when the company defeated more than 120 PR firms in a RFP process for the newly privatized Ottawa International Airport. CG&A served as the public relations agency of record through the formative years of the airport’s growth, helping with its formal opening ceremony, the opening of the first US Preclearance Facility, and supporting the airport authority’s business networking in the National Capital Region.
  11. Long Work Hours – Chris and Lisa George and their network provide personalized service that, at times, goes around the clock to meet deadlines. Often, at 9 a.m., they have already put in half-a-day preparing for their clients’ offices to open. On many occasions through the 90’s, Chris and Lisa have fallen asleep beside their computers and printers as they worked through nights to meet imposing deadlines.
  12. Long Commutes – In the early days, when it was important to be physically present in clients’ offices, Chris would regularly drive from Ottawa to Toronto for a day of meetings and then get in the car to return, all within a 20-hour period.
  13. Licked Lots of Envelopes – In promoting clients and positioning their interests, Chris and Lisa have managed countless mailouts. They have stuffed well over 30,000 envelopes for one client alone over a course of 8 years. Today, they manage even more mailouts, however, it is much easier emailing to lists rather than stuffing envelopes.
  14. Lasting Loyalties – Within CG&A’s core group of consultants is the same graphic artist and the same web developer for over 25 years ago. These talented individuals are not only good at what they do, they are great people.
  15. Most demanding client: Ottawa Transition Board – Chris George served as the lead counsel to the Ottawa Transition Board and managed the communications office team through the pivotal year of transition activities for the 13 municipalities in the National Capital Region. Results of the 14-months of tireless efforts was the amalgamation on January 1, 2001 of the region’s councils and administrations into the new City of Ottawa.
  16. Most rewarding client: MADD Canada – Through the 1990s and into the 2000s, CG&A worked with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada managing their national public relations and government affairs programs. This service was very rewarding – helping the families of victims of impaired driving, promoting the organization and its awareness efforts, and launching a multifaceted advocacy program to advance new laws in Ottawa and in numerous provinces.
  17. “A Career Accomplishment” with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada – For more than two decades CG&A was the communications company of record to support the federal advocacy activities of provincial and territorial education ministers within the CMEC Copyright Consortium. In 2012, the copyright landscape for the Canadian education sector shifted positively with the passage of a new copyright law and a Supreme Court decision, both validating the ministers’ copyright policy position.
  18. Pandemic Years – During the shutdowns and mandates of the COVID pandemic, CG&A experienced no disruption of service, given the company’s established mobile work model. In fact, CG&A public relations business actually increased through 2020 and 2021 with many companies and associations forced to make adjustments to their communications.
  19. Lengthy Client Relations – Chris George is proud of the duration of the contracts with two of its largest clients. CG&A provided government affairs and public relations for the CMEC Copyright Consortium for 22 years and for MADD Canada for over 14 years.
  20. Favourite Meeting Place: Parliament Hill – It is difficult to tire of making the trek to a Member of Parliament’s office for a meeting.  There is something very special about being in a Hill office – something, because of the Centre Block’s renovations, will not happen again for until sometime in the 2030s!
  21. Political Involvement – Through the years, Chris George has managed electoral campaigns at every level of government – for mayoralty, provincial, and federal candidates. Lisa George is no stranger to politics either as she has worked on projects in the offices of every level of government. Fortunately, since walking away from their Parliament Hill offices in 1993, neither have ever had to depend on politics for a livelihood.
  22. Political News Commentary – Chris George is a regular contributor to a weekly political news column in The Niagara Independent. The column is known for its fact-based critiques of the Ottawa scene and has a readership from across Canada
  23. The By George Journal – Since 1994, the company published a print newsletter that featured quotes, jokes, and political and wordsmith articles. In 2008, CG&A began producing the online By George Journal – and today it is supplemented with Facebook and X posts.
  24. Published Works – The company has produced a dozen publications through the years, including a popular e-book Epic Political Jokes and Quotes as well as two By George Treasury compilations of the best of the By George Journal. There are plans to re-issue a few publications as e-books in the coming year.
  25. Two Cross-Province Moves – Over a glass of wine with good friends, Chris and Lisa made the decision in 2002 to pack up home and business and move across the province to the Niagara Region. Eleven years later, over a glass of wine with good friends, they made the decision to move back across the province to the Ottawa area. (They are pleased to note that GG&A lost no clients as a result of the moves.)
  26. Office Location – CG&A currently operates from an addition in Chris and Lisa’s century home in Almonte, Ontario – a small Ottawa Valley town that is 40 minutes from Parliament Hill. Point of interest: the house was built in 1875 for the first school master of Almonte High School, and rumour has it that the inventor of basketball, James Naismith, was tutored on the front porch.
  27. Volunteering – Chris George has been involved in numerous volunteer initiatives through the years, but the most memorable ones are the Niagara Child Advocacy Centre where he served as Board Chair, and the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative, where he was a founding director. Most recently, CG&A supported a relief fund effort to support Ontario hospitality establishments survive the COVID pandemic shutdowns and disruptions.
  28. Healthy Living – Lisa George has always been interested in healthy living and a healthy diet. In 2015, she spent a year studying holistic nutrition at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and now has her Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) designation.
  29. Cycling – Chris George is pursuing his interests in cycling by volunteering in the development of local cycle tourism. CG&A is currently contributing to the establishment and promotion of an exciting cycle loop connecting Ottawa to the Ottawa Valley – the Mississippi Ottawa Rivers Experience (cycle MORE).
  30. Love Persists – Chris and Lisa are proud to say that after 30 years of working together, living together, and raising kids together their love persists. The two planned their business in Fall 1993 and it was less than two years later that they married. It was another five years before the birth of their first son. (In many ways, one could say, CG&A Communications has been a labour of love.)

To read more about the history of the company, click: On passing the 30 year milestone.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor, news commentator, and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com.

The Flashback Photo Gallery

In celebration of CG&A Communications passing the 30 year milestone, here is a series of photos that record a few of the firm’s activities. Enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Lisa Hingley in her first office (1994). 

Chris George – already with greying hair (1994).

Airport President Paul Benoit (far right) helps to unveil the new Ottawa Airport logo. CG&A COMM managed all public relations for the transition to the Ottawa Airport Authority – including the development of the new logo (1996-97).  

Federal Minister John Manley officially hands over the airport terminal keys to the Ottawa Airport Authority in a public ceremony February 1, 1997.

Chris & Lisa are all smiles having received their first cheque from the Ottawa Airport Authority (1997). No more watering down the soup! CG&A Communications would be the airport’s public relations company of record for more than three years.

Chris was the campaign manager for Jim Watson’s first mayoralty race in 1997. Here the Mayor-Elect is with Lisa, Chris, and Maureen Murphy — all smiles on the victorious election night. 

Chris speaks with MADD Canada President Susan MacAskill and National Board Chair Tony Carvalho at a MADD Canada National Conference in mid 1990’s. 

Chris and Lisa with MADD Canada Executive Director Andrew Murie at a Ottawa press conference launching a study on youth impaired driving fatalities (circa early-2000s). 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended a MADD Canada press conference in 2006 to introduce the then toughest federal impaired driving laws in Canada. 

The management of MADD’s federal and provincial government affairs program — helping the families of victims of impaired driving — was the most rewarding work of our company’s history. 

Lisa and her mother, Daisy, organizing a MADD Canada mailing – circa late-1990’s. (All family members have been part of the CG&A COMM story at sometime in its history.) 

The Ottawa Transition Board’s 14-month mission was to establish a new council and city management team, design new delivery models for municipal services, re-organize the municipal 14,000-plus employees, and present budgetary recommendations to save taxpayers over $80 million annually. Led by Chairman Claude Bennett, the seven member Board worked tirelessly to meet its objectives and ensure an orderly amalgamation.

Claude Bennett, seen here speaking at a Ottawa Transition Board press conference (1999). It was a pleasure to serve Claude, one of Ottawa’s most distinguished community leaders.

Claude Bennett served as Ottawa South MPP and was a minister in the governments of Premier Bill Davis. Claude also served as Chairman of the Royal Canadian Mint, Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation, and the Ottawa International Airport — among many other federal, provincial and municipal responsibilities.

For more than 22 years Chris served the CMEC Copyright Consortium in managing the advocacy initiatives for the country’s education ministers and their efforts in Ottawa to advance teachers’ and students’ users rights within Canadian copyright law.  

In May 2013, Members of Parliament unanimously passed a motion put forward by MP Dean Allison to raise awareness of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening medical condition brought on by severe allergies. Volunteers and family members of the Canadian Anaphylaxis Initiative (CAI) worked with the Niagara-based MP Allison to achieve this significant initiative for people with life-threatening allergies.

Chris is honoured to have worked with Dr. Merrilee Fullerton during her political journey through the past near eight years – providing communications counsel through the nomination process and 2018 provincial election, and serving as campaign manager for Merrilee’s victorious 2022 campaign.

A recent photo of Chris and Lisa at a client’s event (2022) .

It has been a heck of a ride…. 30 years! (photo circa 1998)

To read more about the history of the company, click: On passing the 30 year milestone.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor, news commentator and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com.

 

30 Significant Events of 1994

Here are thirty significant world events of 1994, the year CG&A Communications opened its doors.

  1. The world population reaches 5,670,000,000 (today it is 2 billion more)
  2. TV series ER and Friends debut
  3. OJ Simpson’s white Bronco is chased by police LIVE on international news
  4. Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa President
  5. Rwandan genocide begins in Kigali, Rwanda
  6. The Channel Tunnel is opened to connect Britain with France
  7. Amazon is founded with a goal to change the way we shop
  8. Yahoo is founded and Netscape launches Navigator, the first Internet browser
  9. Sony PlayStation is introduced and first smartphone, the IBM Simon is introduced
  10. The computer Zip Drive is introduced
  11. The Whitehouse launches its website
  12. Bill Clinton is US President; former President Ronald Reagan announces he has Alzheimer’s
  13. Jean Chretien is Prime Minister of Canada and Bob Rae Premier of Ontario
  14. Lucien Bouchard is infected with flesh-eating disease and loses a leg
  15. Former US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies of cancer at age 64
  16. Time Magazine’s Man of the Year is Pope John Paul II
  17. The Lion King movie is released, the biggest hit of the Disney Renaissance era
  18. The blockbuster movie of ‘94 is Forrest Gump
  19. Schindler’s List wins a number of Oscars
  20. Whitney Houston has album and record of the year with “I Will Always Love You”
  21. Song of the Year is “A Whole New World” (theme From Aladdin)
  22. Singer/Songwriter Kurt Cobain commits suicide at age 27
  23. Michael Jackson and Lisa Maria Presley are briefly married
  24. Canadian singer/songwriter Justin Bieber is born and comedian John Candy dies of a heart attack at age 43
  25. Canadian comedian TV show Kids in the Hall ends after five seasons
  26. For the first time in history, chain bookstores outsell independent stores
  27. American Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan has her knee clubbed in an attack
  28. The George Foreman Grill is released
  29. Canada hosts the Commonwealth Games in Victoria BC winning 129 medals (40 gold)
  30. Brazil wins the World Cup, BC Lions win the Grey Cup, Dallas Cowboys win the Super Bowl, and NY Rangers win the Stanley Cup

To read more about the history of the company, click: On passing the 30 year milestone.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor, news commentator, and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com.

 

CG&A COMM 2019-2023

CG&A Communications celebrates 30 years. To commemorate the occasion Chris George reflects on the company’s development. This is part six of a six-part series, 10 selected highlights from 2019 – 2023 when the company experienced adventures with copyright, politics, and writing.

  1. In operating out of quaint Almonte, CG&A Comm has had a successful period growing its business in Ottawa and expanding its corporate, association, and political networks. This period featured challenges through a worldwide health pandemic, which led to mandates and business lockdowns in Canada. Fortunately, the company actually grew its book of business during the 2020-22 pandemic years.
  2. After more than 22 years, in spring 2023 Chris George notified CMEC that he was moving on. The country’s education ministers of the copyright consortium were CG&A Comm’s longest-held clients. Through the years, CG&A Comm experienced many highs with CMEC including succeeding in the passage of new users’ rights for education in the 2012 copyright legislation.
  3. Through this period CG&A Comm provided communications support services for the constituency office of Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, MPP for Kanata-Carleton. Chris George served as Merrilee’s campaign manager for her successful re-election in the 2022 provincial election.
  4. CG&A Comm continued to support business clients, the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association and Gotskill? games, with both government affairs and public relations support services. Both clients overcame challenges through the pandemic years.
  5. With great sorrow we had to say goodbye to two very dear friends in the last few years: Claude Bennett and Shaun McLaughlin. Fine men who served their respective communities with great honour.  They are greatly missed.
  6. Over the course of the last five years, Chris has been a regular contributor to The Niagara Independent, writing a weekly news column on federal politics. With more than 250 columns, Chris has an active readership from across the country. An archive of his columns can be found here and within the By George Journal.
  7. Chris volunteered with a group of businessmen to establish a relief fund for Ontario’s food and beverage hospitality businesses, which were struggling to reopen and recover from the financial setbacks of the COVID pandemic and government shutdowns and mandates through 2020 and 2021.
  8. CG&A Comm continued to expand the By George Journal’s on-line presence on the By George Facebook page and on X (formerly known as Twitter). Followers of By George enjoy daily posts and a daily morning “By George QOTD”
  9. In fall 2023 everything came full circle for Chris and Lisa George as their younger son, David, accompanied CG&A Comm on a video shoot session for a client. David is currently completing a co-op program in digital interactive media at Ottawa’s Algonquin College – and he has been very helpful producing media content for CG&A Comm through the past few years.
  10. 2024 may mark 30 years -– a lifetime for a company that predates Internet browsers!  However, there are go-forward plans for this 31st year to focus more on counseling on government affairs initiatives and also on the writing and publishing of more political news articles. Onward.

To read more about the history of the company, click: On passing the 30 year milestone.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor, news commentator, and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com.

New Year’s Toasts, Quotes and Verse

From the By George scribes at CG&A COMMUNICATIONS here’s to a healthy and happier 2024! Cheers!

Our bons mots to cheer in the New Year.

NEW YEAR TOASTS

– Here’s to a bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; here’s to things that are yet to come and to the memories that we hold.
– As we start the New Year, let’s get down on our knees to thank God we’re on our feet.
– May all your troubles in the coming year be as short as your New Year’s resolutions.
– May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
– May the road rise up before you, and the wind be always at your back, and the good Lord hold you in the hollow of his hands.
– May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.
– Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live every day as if it were your last.
– Welcome are those that are here; welcome all, and make good cheer; welcome all, another year.

NEW YEAR QUOTES

– No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. – Charles Lamb
– Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.
– A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.
– The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.– George William Curtis
– New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday. – Charles Lamb
– Each age has deemed the new-born year, the fittest time for festal cheer — Sir Walter Scott
– The merry year is born, like the bright berry from the naked thorn. — Hartley Coleridge
– Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. — Brooks Atkinson
– Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. — Thomas Mann
– An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in; a pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. – Bill Vaughan
– Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve – middle age is when you’re forced to. – Bill Vaughn

OOOny02

NEW YEAR VERSE

– We meet today
To thank Thee for the era done,
And Thee for the opening one.
– John Greenleaf Whittier

– Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer,
With never a thought of sorrow;
The old goes out, but the glad young year
Comes merrily in tomorrow.
– Emily Miller

– New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. – Hamilton Wright Mabie

– Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past. – Henry Ward Beecher

– Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true
– Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

 

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The By George Virtual Eggnog Bowl

As is the tradition around our workshop, throughout the Christmas season the By George elves will be provided merry quotes, seasonal facts, and interesting trivia to add frothy cheer to your days.  Enjoy diving into our virtual eggnog bowl.  Take up a glass and join the party through December. Cheers!

With Eggnog, you know the holiday season is upon us! 

Eggnog has a rather rich history

Tips for conversing over the eggnog bowl

Conversations over the (virtual) eggnog bowl

A FAV:  The Folded Napkin

A Christmas Story: A Slice of Life

40 interesting Christmas facts

The American history of modern day Christmas

15 Christmas Quotes (shareable images)

The hustle & bustle of Christmas shopping 

Top 10 Christmas Record Breakers

Christmas facts from around the world (1) 

Christmas facts from around the world (2) 

3 Most-Popular Symbols of a Traditional Christmas 

Greek Kourambiedes – “The” Christmas Cookie 

O Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree- quotes for the season

5 Must-Knows about It’s a Wonderful Life

10 Favourite Lines from It’s a Wonderful Life 

Facts about “The Real” Bedford Falls 

The iconic “It’s a Wonderful Life”

Our top 10 Christmas movie list

10 facts about “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

“Beware Revelers” the season of memes

BGJ’s Christmas Memes

Canadian Christmas Memes

Elf-on-the-Shelf (Ho-Oh-No) Memes

A Dozen 2020 Christmas Memes

Christmas Memes for 2021

Some of the funniest Christmas memes!

Top Dozen 2022 Christmas Ads on TV

Gift-receiving – the pessimist and the optimist

A Chess History Lesson for Christmas

Humourous Christmas Quotes

10 Guffaws to start the Christmas Partying

Holiday Cookie Rules

25 Favourite Christmas Puns

Our Dozen FAV Funny Christmas Quotes

Top-10 Things to Say about a Christmas Gift You Don’t Like

Some Christmas Humour

This just in… Christmas is to be Downsized

#FakeChristmasSongFacts

“I’d rather be cycling.” – Santa

A Canadian Christmas Carol (published December 25, 2020)

With its holiday deceptions, Trudeau government is Canada’s “Grinch”  (published December 24, 2021)

Johnny Canuck’s requests of Santa Claus (published December 23, 2022)

#1 Christmas Movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life” 

Christmas Toasts

Thoughts to infuse the spirit of Christmas

For Your Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations

Our elves will be refilling the bowl through the coming weeks. You will want to read these new posts for the 2023 season.

My Christmas Eve 1942

What Christmas is as We Grow Older – Charles Dickens

The G&M Holiday Treats Bracket

2 eggnog sweets recipes

Beware of Egg-Nog (a poem from 1817)

More Christmas Memes (2023)

Our By George 2023 Christmas Wish

We plan on scooping out refreshments daily in our social media — on the By George Facebook page and our Twitter @byGeorgeJournal. You can enjoy a steady stream of creative yule time content to consume and to share. Cheers!

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

For Your Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations

From all of us at CG&A COMMUNICATIONS, we wish you the best through the holidays. Have a very Merry Christmas and a fun filled 2024!

For our season’s greetings, we present ‘Toasts, Quotes and Verse for the holidays.’ Below you will find toasts, quotes, terrific sayings, and verse for both Christmas and New Year’s. We hope you can use this collection of sayings to make that holiday toast a memorable one, to use as inscriptions in those special cards, or to spice up your conversations at family and social gatherings.

The best of the season! Cheers!

TOASTS, QUOTES AND VERSE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

CHRISTMAS TOASTS

— Let the special memories of Christmases past bring new joy and delight to your heart this Christmas!
— May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; The spirit of Christmas which is peace; The heart of Christmas which is love. – Ada V. Hendricks
— I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. –Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
— A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!–Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)
— Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love. – Hamilton Wright Mabie
— Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind. – Mary Ellen Chase
— A Christmas Cheer: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.
— From Home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other –Emily Matthews
— May peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!
— May peace be more than a season, may it be a way of life!

CHRISTMAS QUOTES

— Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.–Norman Vincent Peale
— Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.–Calvin Coolidge
— Christmas is not just a day, an event to be observed and speedily forgotten. It is a spirit which should permeate every part of our lives.–William Parks
— Christmas–that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance–a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.–Augusta E. Rundel
— Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.–Washington Irving
— Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.–George F. McDougall
— The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.–Burton Hillis
— There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions –Bill McKibben
— Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it “white”.–Bing Crosby
— Until one feels the spirit of Christmas, there is no Christmas. All else is outward display–so much tinsel and decorations. For it isn’t the holly, it isn’t the snow. It isn’t the tree not the firelight’s glow. It’s the warmth that comes to the hearts of men when the Christmas spirit returns again.–Anonymous
— It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.–W. T. Ellis
— I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.–Harlan Miller
— The three stages of man: He believes in Santa Claus. He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. He is Santa Claus.
— Time was with most of us, when Christmas Day, encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone round the Christmas fire, and make the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete –Charles Dickens

CHRISTMAS VERSE

— “But I am sure that I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.” — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

— Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing;
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
It’s poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again.
— Grace Noll Crowell, Let Us Keep Christmas

— I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The word repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Christmas Bells

— When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago,
And etched on vacant places
Are half-forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know.
–Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Christmas Fancies

NEW YEAR TOASTS

— Here’s to a bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; here’s to things that are yet to come and to the memories that we hold.
— As we start the New Year, let’s get down on our knees to thank God we’re on our feet.
— May all your troubles in the coming year be as short as your New Year’s resolutions.
— May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.
— May the road rise up before you, and the wind be always at your back, and the good Lord hold you in the hollow of his hands.
— May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, the angels protect you, and heaven accept you.
— Dance as if no one were watching, sing as if no one were listening, and live every day as if it were your last.
— Welcome are those that are here; welcome all, and make good cheer; welcome all, another year.

NEW YEAR QUOTES

— No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam. — Charles Lamb
— Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start on old habits.
— A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.
— The new year begins in a snow-storm of white vows.– George William Curtis
— New Year’s Day is every man’s birthday. — Charles Lamb
— Each age has deemed the new-born year, the fittest time for festal cheer — Sir Walter Scott
— The merry year is born, like the bright berry from the naked thorn. — Hartley Coleridge
— Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go. — Brooks Atkinson
— Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols. — Thomas Mann
— An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in; a pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. — Bill Vaughan
— Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve – middle age is when you’re forced to. — Bill Vaughn

NEW YEAR VERSE

— We meet today
To thank Thee for the era done,
And Thee for the opening one.
— John Greenleaf Whittier

— Then sing, young hearts that are full of cheer,
With never a thought of sorrow;
The old goes out, but the glad young year
Comes merrily in tomorrow.
— Emily Miller

— New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. — Hamilton Wright Mabie

— Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let every man gird himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past. — Henry Ward Beecher

— The Old Year has gone. Let the dead past bury its own dead. The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time. All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months! — Edward P. Powell

— And ye, who have met with Adversity’s blast,
And been bow’d to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass’d
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury –
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.
— Thomas Hood

— Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true
— Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850

Again, Merry Christmas and the very best through 2024!

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

My Christmas Eve 1942

A story by Harvey Patterson

It was Christmas Eve 1942. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas.

We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Daddy wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible. After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Daddy to get down the old Bible.

I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Daddy didn’t get the Bible instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn’t worry about it long though I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.

Soon he came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then. Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now he was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew he was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my coat. Mommy gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn’t know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Daddy was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn’t happy. When I was on, Daddy pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed.

“I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said. “Here, help me.” The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on.

Then Daddy went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all Fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. I asked, “what are you doing?” You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked. Mrs. Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I’d been by, but so what?  Yeah,” I said, “Why?”

“I rode by just today,” he said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.” That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it. Finally, he called a halt to our loading then we went to the smoke house and he took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.

“What’s in the little sack?” I asked. Shoes, they’re out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a little candy.”

We rode the two miles to Mrs. Jensen’s pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Daddy was doing. We didn’t have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was he buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?” “Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?”

Mrs. Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Mrs. Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Daddy said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then he handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at my Daddy like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.

“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” he said. Then turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.” I wasn’t the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Daddy handed them each a piece of candy and Mrs. Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I’d never thought of my Daddy in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Daddy had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Mommy and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Daddy insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave. My Daddy took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn’t want us to go. I could see that they missed their Daddy and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door he turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We’ll be by to get you about eleven. It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.” I was the youngest. My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Mrs. Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles. I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will.”

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Daddy turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something. Your Mother and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough.

Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Mom and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Daddy had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. He had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Mrs. Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children. For the rest of my life, Whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside of my Daddy that night.

He had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

 

Harvey Patterson was Baptist Minister from Bellmead, Texas. He posted this story on his Facebook page in November 2019 for the public to enjoy. 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

More Christmas Memes (2023)

The By George elves have selected a few very funny Christmas memes that have been found this season on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(Right click on the meme below. You can copy or save it and then share it in an email or in social media to help spread the joy of the season.)

And here is a perfect one for December 26th…

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

The G&M Holiday Treats Bracket

This year Canada’s national newspaper the Globe and Mail presented a Holiday Treats Bracket competition that had readers vote for their favourite Christmas sweets. What a great idea (and the elves at the By George workshop wished they had thought of it first)!

Here are the results of the paper’s competition… you will have to let us know whether you agree with these selections and with the eventual winner: the traditional shortbread.

SOURCE:  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article-christmas-baking-recipes-bracket/

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Beware Of Egg-Nog (a poem from 1817)

Source:  “The American Beacon,” Norfolk, December 24, 1817

Author: Anonymous

While the little boys cry ‘merry Christmas is coming,’
Shall I be as dull as a water-drunk log?
No! I’ll sing you a song (for we bards must be humming)
And the burden shall still be, Beware of Egg-nog.

When the bowl mantles over the elegant foam,
And the steam rises up in a silvery tog;
Put by the potation, keep Reason at home,
And think of my warning, Beware of Egg-nog.

When Circe, the witch, caught Ulysses’s men,
She gave each a dram that soon made him a hog;
The identical mixture–’tis now as ’twas then;
So attend to the moral, Beware of Egg-nog.

When the circle is form’d, the glass passes round,
Old Satan draws night, tho’, as usual, incog.,
And chuckles to see good Sobriety drown’d–
Would you frustrate his malice–Beware of Egg-nog.

But why do I rail at one liquor this way?
Is no other as fatal; rum, brandy, or grog?
Yes, yes, they’re all one, I mean all when I say,
And I’ll say but once more now, Beware of Egg-nog.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

2 eggnog sweets recipes

Eggnog Scones

Servings: Makes 8 scones

Eggnog scones ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, grated or cut into bits
  • Chopped chocolate or fresh or frozen cranberries (optional)
  • 1 cup eggnog, plus extra for brushing

Eggnog scones method: Preheat the oven to 425 F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and toss to combine or blend with a fork or your fingers until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. If you like, add some chopped chocolate or fresh or frozen cranberries to the mix.

Add eggnog and stir just until the dough comes together. Pat into a 1-inch thick circle on a parchment lined sheet and brush the top with a little extra eggnog. Cut into 8 wedges and pull them apart on the sheet, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.

Pavlova with eggnog cream

Pavlova ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Eggnog cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark rum (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg

Pavlova method: Preheat oven to 275 F. With a stand or hand mixer on medium-high, beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Gradually add in sugar, beating well the whole time. Keep beating until the mixture is thick and glossy.

Beat in vinegar and cornstarch until stiff peaks form. Mixture should be thick enough that you can turn the bowl upside down.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Trace a 9-inch circle in the centre of the parchment and flip parchment over. You will still be able to see the circle. Secure parchment to a cookie sheet with a dab of pavlova mixture in each corner. Spread mixture into circle shape on parchment.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova inside for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and slide pavlova onto a serving plate.

Whip cream with icing sugar until soft peaks form. Fold in rum (if using), vanilla, ginger and nutmeg. Cover the top of the pavlova with eggnog cream. Grate chocolate and/or nutmeg all over.

SOURCE:  https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/article-christmas-baking-recipes-bracket/

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

What Christmas is as We Grow Older

A Short Christmas Story by Charles Dickens

Time was, with most of us, when Christmas Day encircling all our limited world like a magic ring, left nothing out for us to miss or seek; bound together all our home enjoyments, affections, and hopes; grouped everything and everyone around the Christmas fire; and made the little picture shining in our bright young eyes, complete.

Time came, perhaps, all so soon, when our thoughts over-leaped that narrow boundary; when there was some one (very dear, we thought then, very beautiful, and absolutely perfect) wanting to the fullness of our happiness; when we were wanting too (or we thought so, which did just as well) at the Christmas hearth by which that someone sat; and when we intertwined with every wreath and garland of our life that some one’s name.

That was the time for the bright visionary Christmases which have long arisen from us to show faintly, after summer rain, in the palest edges of the rainbow! That was the time for the beatified enjoyment of the things that were to be, and never were, and yet the things that were so real in our resolute hope that it would be hard to say, now, what realities achieved since, have been stronger!

What! Did that Christmas never really come when we and the priceless pearl who was our young choice were received, after the happiest of totally impossible marriages, by the two united families previously at daggers, drawn on our account? When brothers and sisters-in-law who had always been rather cool to us before our relationship was effected, perfectly doted on us, and when fathers and mothers overwhelmed us with unlimited incomes? Was that Christmas dinner never really eaten, after which we arose, and generously and eloquently rendered honour to our late rival, present in the company, then and there exchanging friendship and forgiveness, and founding an attachment, not to be surpassed in Greek or Roman story, which subsisted until death? Has that same rival long ceased to care for that same priceless pearl, and married for money, and become usurious? Above all, do we really know, now, that we should probably have been miserable if we had won and worn the pearl, and that we are better without her?

That Christmas when we had recently achieved so much fame; when we had been carried in triumph somewhere, for doing something great and good; when we had won an honoured and ennobled name, and arrived and were received at home in a shower of tears of joy; is it possible that THAT Christmas has not come yet?

And is our life here, at the best, so constituted that, pausing as we advance at such a noticeable mile-stone in the track as this great birthday, we look back on the things that never were, as naturally and full as gravely as on the things that have been and are gone, or have been and still are? If it be so, and so it seems to be, must we come to the conclusion that life is little better than a dream, and little worth the loves and strivings that we crowd into it?

No! Far be such miscalled philosophy from us, dear Reader, on Christmas Day! Nearer and closer to our hearts be the Christmas spirit, which is the spirit of active usefulness, perseverance, cheerful discharge of duty, kindness and forbearance! It is in the last virtues especially, that we are, or should be, strengthened by the unaccomplished visions of our youth; for, who shall say that they are not our teachers to deal gently even with the impalpable nothings of the earth!

Therefore, as we grow older, let us be more thankful that the circle of our Christmas associations and of the lessons that they bring, expands! Let us welcome every one of them, and summon them to take their places by the Christmas hearth.

Welcome, old aspirations, glittering creatures of an ardent fancy, to your shelter underneath the holly! We know you, and have not outlived you yet. Welcome, old projects and old loves, however fleeting, to your nooks among the steadier lights that burn around us. Welcome, all that was ever real to our hearts; and for the earnestness that made you real, thanks to Heaven! Do we build no Christmas castles in the clouds now? Let our thoughts, fluttering like butterflies among these flowers of children, bear witness! Before this boy, there stretches out a Future, brighter than we ever looked on in our old romantic time, but bright with honour and with truth. Around this little head on which the sunny curls lie heaped, the graces sport, as prettily, as airily, as when there was no scythe within the reach of Time to shear away the curls of our first-love. Upon another girl’s face near it, placider but smiling bright, a quiet and contented little face, we see Home fairly written. Shining from the word, as rays shine from a star, we see how, when our graves are old, other hopes than ours are young, other hearts than ours are moved; how other ways are smoothed; how other happiness blooms, ripens, and decays, no, not decays, for other homes and other bands of children, not yet in being nor for ages yet to be, arise, and bloom and ripen to the end of all!

Welcome, everything! Welcome, alike what has been, and what never was, and what we hope may be, to your shelter underneath the holly, to your places round the Christmas fire, where what is sits open-hearted! In yonder shadow, do we see obtruding furtively upon the blaze, an enemy’s face? By Christmas Day we do forgive him! If the injury he has done us may admit of such companionship, let him come here and take his place. If otherwise, unhappily, let him go hence, assured that we will never injure nor accuse him.

On this day we shut out Nothing!

“Pause,” says a low voice. “Nothing? Think!”

“On Christmas Day, we will shut out from our fireside, Nothing.”

“Not the shadow of a vast City where the withered leaves are lying deep?” the voice replies. “Not the shadow that darkens the whole globe? Not the shadow of the City of the Dead?”

Not even that. Of all days in the year, we will turn our faces towards that City upon Christmas Day, and from its silent hosts bring those we loved, among us. City of the Dead, in the blessed name wherein we are gathered together at this time, and in the Presence that is here among us according to the promise, we will receive, and not dismiss, thy people who are dear to us!

Yes. We can look upon these children angels that alight, so solemnly, so beautifully among the living children by the fire, and can bear to think how they departed from us. Entertaining angels unawares, as the Patriarchs did, the playful children are unconscious of their guests; but we can see them, can see a radiant arm around one favourite neck, as if there were a tempting of that child away. Among the celestial figures there is one, a poor misshapen boy on earth, of a glorious beauty now, of whom his dying mother said it grieved her much to leave him here, alone, for so many years as it was likely would elapse before he came to her,  being such a little child. But he went quickly, and was laid upon her breast, and in her hand she leads him.

There was a gallant boy, who fell, far away, upon a burning sand beneath a burning sun, and said, “Tell them at home, with my last love, how much I could have wished to kiss them once, but that I died contented and had done my duty!” Or there was another, over whom they read the words, “Therefore we commit his body to the deep,” and so consigned him to the lonely ocean and sailed on. Or there was another, who lay down to his rest in the dark shadow of great forests, and, on earth, awoke no more. O shall they not, from sand and sea and forest, be brought home at such a time!

There was a dear girl, almost a woman, never to be one, who made a mourning Christmas in a house of joy, and went her trackless way to the silent City. Do we recollect her, worn out, faintly whispering what could not be heard, and falling into that last sleep for weariness? O look upon her now! O look upon her beauty, her serenity, her changeless youth, her happiness! The daughter of Jairus was recalled to life, to die; but she, more blest, has heard the same voice, saying unto her, “Arise forever!”

We had a friend who was our friend from early days, with whom we often pictured the changes that were to come upon our lives, and merrily imagined how we would speak, and walk, and think, and talk, when we came to be old. His destined habitation in the City of the Dead received him in his prime. Shall he be shut out from our Christmas remembrance? Would his love have so excluded us? Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!

The winter sun goes down over town and village; on the sea it makes a rosy path, as if the Sacred tread were fresh upon the water. A few more moments, and it sinks, and night comes on, and lights begin to sparkle in the prospect. On the hill-side beyond the shapelessly-diffused town, and in the quiet keeping of the trees that gird the village-steeple, remembrances are cut in stone, planted in common flowers, growing in grass, entwined with lowly brambles around many a mound of earth. In town and village, there are doors and windows closed against the weather, there are flaming logs heaped high, there are joyful faces, there is healthy music of voices. Be all ungentle-ness and harm excluded from the temples of the Household Gods, but be those remembrances admitted with tender encouragement! They are of the time and all its comforting and peaceful reassurances; and of the history that re-united even upon earth the living and the dead; and of the broad beneficence and goodness that too many men have tried to tear to narrow shreds.

 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

 

Time to investigate Trudeau government’s ties with China

It is unsettling to consider why the Trudeau government has been so evasive on a review of the facts relating to the CCP’s activities in Canada. Last month I wrote two columns detailing specific reasons why Canadians must demand a thorough investigation of the seemingly tight relationship between the Trudeau government and the CCP.

Links to those columns are below – as are links to other related articles.

To get to the heart of the CCP influence within the country, any serious public probe must go beyond a couple of federal elections and the possible CCP interference in the political process. Given the manner the Trudeau government attempts to sweep scandals under the rug, perhaps we are best served with multiple parliamentary inquiries instead of an official public inquiry that will drag on for too long and allow the PM and his ministers the foil required to avoid answering any questions relating to China.

There are multiple ways the country’s independence has been potentially compromised by undue influence from the CCP. Here is a listing of the ten critical issues that should prompt a Liberals-CPP review. Again, further details on these issues can be found in the original published articles.

10 – Defending the Canadian arctic 

The CCP’s mounting interest in the north is an international crisis in the making, referred to by Canadian officials at National Defence as the “Arctic threat.” Why the Trudeau government is knowingly neglecting to defend Canada’s interests in the north?

9 – The establishment of a foreign agent registry 

For years in the Canadian security community there has been an ongoing call to establish a registry that would require foreign state-employed persons acting within the country to make public their objectives and to disclose the government employing them. The Liberals continue to delay – but to what end? Canada continues to be an outlier with its allies when it comes to guarding against CCP activities within its country – but at what cost?

8 – Federal investment in China 

The Trudeau government has been slow to suggest guidelines or restrictions on investments by Canadian government agencies in China. It is also slow in making recommended changes respecting the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Canadians deserve an explanation on the Trudeau government’s policies and investments in China.

7 – Ottawa’s “mishandling” of foreign intelligence

Canada’s spy agency warned the government of CCP threats to MPs and their families through briefing memos to the most senior of cabinet ministers and staff, including the Prime Ministers’ Office. Yet, ministers deny knowing of, and staff deny reading the memos.

6 – Canada’s response to China’s human rights violations against the Uyghur Muslims 

Yet, for years now the PM offers little more than platitudes when discussing human rights abuses in China and he will not comment on the CCP’s evil treatment of the Uyghurs. In fact, to this day, the official policy stance of the Trudeau government remains unclear and unstated. But why?

5 – CCP police and agents in Canada  

Repeated news reports and testimony before MPs in the past three months have underlined a disturbing truth that CCP agents are active in Canada, a threatening presence for Chinese Canadians. What is being done about this?

4 – The Trudeau Foundation 

Much has been exposed relating to the Trudeau Foundation’s questionable donations from Beijing. Canadians have also learned that the Trudeau Foundation has invested in Chinese companies that Canada has flagged as security risks. It is time to shed light on all the Foundation’s activities.

3 – Election fraud and interference  

Today, it is an accepted fact that in the 2019 and 2021 elections CCP agents in Canada worked to undermine the Canadian election process and support the Trudeau Liberals. Still, questions remain whether the Liberal Party has been a knowing party and/or willing partner in the CCP’s fraudulent activities.

2 – CCP–Liberal business interests 

The tangled web of CCP—Liberal business interests is thick. There are far too many potential conflicts here. All information relating to the interplay between the extensive business interests between Liberals and the CCP should be made public.

1 – The mysteries at the Winnipeg Lab

There are multiple mysteries relating to the Winnipeg Lab, the country’s highest-security infectious-disease laboratory, and its joint virus research work with the Wuhan Lab in China.Why has the Trudeau government been stonewalling every effort to get answers?

to the burning questions about the joint virus research and the missing fired scientists.  The Liberals have been held in contempt of Parliament and PM Trudeau prorogued the House and called an election to avoid having to provide evidence on this matter.

The original columns can be found in The Niagara Independent here: https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-case-for-a-full-blown-investigation-of-the-trudeau-governments-relations-with-china-part-one/  &  https://niagaraindependent.ca/the-case-for-a-full-blown-investigation-of-the-trudeau-governments-relations-with-china-part-two/

Previous related columns are here:  It’s now evident this national scandal is more than election interference – and Justin Trudeau is “obviously hiding something” & The potential quid pro quos between Trudeau Liberals and the CCP).

Photo Credit: Sean Kilpatrick of The Canadian Press

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

Trudeau erasing Canadian history to achieve his post-national vision

The Niagara Independent, June 30, 2023 – Many Canadians now appreciate the full context of Justin Trudeau’s comment back in 2015, when he surmised that Canada would become the “first post-national state.” Having just become Prime Minister of the country, Trudeau stated in that often-quoted New York Times interview, “There is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada” when it comes to our national identity.

Perhaps Trudeau was off-side to say that in 2015, however, as a result of his systematic approach through the last eight years, PM Trudeau and his political operatives have effectively been erasing Canadian history to achieve his post-national vision.

As a point of reference, Wikipedia provides a definition of post-nationalism as: “the process or trend by which nation states and national identities lose their importance relative to cross-nation and self-organized or supranational and global entities as well as local entities.” The factors constituting the post-national process include shifting national economies to global ones, increasingly referencing global identities and beliefs, and transferring national authorities to multinational corporations and the United Nations.

In celebrating our country this weekend, let’s consider some of the obvious ways the Trudeau government is revising and erasing the Canada’s history to further his post-national vision.

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” – George Orwell

From 2015 through to today, the overarching narrative of the Trudeau government is a woke progressivism that projects western culture as a hierarchy of power, one of oppressors and the oppressed. This woke world view is guilt-based, where success is achieved through force, and authority is undeserving.

In the last eight years, Canadians have been re-educated to understand our country is founded on genocide, theft, racism and oppression. It is therefore inappropriate, indeed unacceptable, to honour our forefathers’ achievements and their mores, traditions, and identifying symbols.

And in reconciling the darkness of our country’s past, the Trudeau government has set about to enlighten Canadians with a corrected record of cultural and societal legacies, one in which generations of “settlers” have no legitimate right to their accomplishments and should only harbour shame for past faults.

The Trudeau government’s purposeful revisionism of the country’s history has been unabated. There are many recent instances to cite. For example, on the eve of King Charles III’s coronation, the government issued a media statement that the image of the royal crown was to be redrawn with the cross and fleur-de-lys removed from Canada’s heraldry, replaced with a stylized snowflake and maple leaves. Canadians were also informed that there would be no further reference to the “United Kingdom” and “Defender of the Faith” in the title of our Canadian monarchy.

Similarly, this spring the government unilaterally announced it had redesigned the Canadian passport. The documentation was to be stripped of the historical images of the Fathers of Confederation, the Vimy Ridge memorial, the Famous Five, Champlain, the Northwest Mounted Police, the Stanley Cup, the Bluenose, and the Houses of Parliament. Even the most celebrated person in recent history – the beloved Terry Fox — was erased from the passport. In place of these iconic Canadianna images, the passport is to feature watermark pictures of a narwhale, Canada goose, a squirrel eating a nut, a man raking leaves, maple syrup, a barn, etc.

In the last few years Canadians have witnessed a series of acts that are cancelling recognition of our country’s history within the public forum. There has been a rash of statutes defaced and toppled – from Sir John A Macdonald to Egerton Ryerson to Queen Victoria. Some statues – like those at Queen’s Park and at the National Capital’s airport – have been quietly removed and put into storage for “safe keeping.” Canada’s first Prime Minister has had his name erased from schools, roads, and even at the aforementioned Ottawa airport.

John A Macdonald has also been taken from the country’s currency. Recall a few years ago the government announced it was redesigning the country’s bills and that the first alteration was to remove PM Macdonald, replaced by…. (Can you tell me who is now on the $10 bill – without looking? Okay, now look. Who is she?) 

In 2019, the federal cabinet issued a directive to review and revise more than 2,100 historic plaques and monuments nationwide to address concerns of the Canadian legacies of “colonialism, patriarchy and racism.” Parks Canada oversaw revisions that “address conflict and controversy” and “power dynamics”; “confront the legacy of colonialism and its impact on Indigenous peoples”; stress “inclusiveness”; and focus on “diversity of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability and religion.”

In this same period, Canada’s chief archivist purged more than 7,000 webpages on the Library and Archives Canada website, including those referencing PM Macdonald, Egerton Ryerson, and the War of 1812. It was explained that this was done to correct the government’s account of the country’s history, expunging documents “outdated and redundant” or that “may offend people.”

On a related matter, perhaps the greatest affront to the country and its people is the Trudeau government’s intent to amend the Citizenship Act so that new Canadians will be permitted to swear their oath of allegiance online with a tick of a box. To add insult, as Blacklock’s Reporter reveals, upon completing the form on the government website immigrants will be mailed a memento maple leaf pin – made in China.

Canadian historian Gerry Bowler, a senior fellow of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, has been highly critical of the government’s obsessiveness to erase Canada’s history and our forefather’s traditions. In an Epoch Times editorial, Bowler advanced, “These acts are not trivial and they are not accidental. They reflect an attitude on the part of our elites that resents attachments to our past because they hinder their attempts to alter our behaviours, which they view as outdated, parochial, and selfish. It is a stealth campaign that proceeds step by little, undebated, step.”

Dr. Mark Milke is another Canadian historian who has just published, “The 1867 Project – Why Canada should be cherished not cancelled.” This book is a collection of essays that distinguishes Canadian values and ideals found within the 19th century classic liberalism movement and the rich legacies of British government and institutions. Contrary to PM Trudeau’s contention that Canada has no national identity, Dr. Milke identifies the core essence of Canada is found in our regard for individual rights and freedoms, the worth of the individual, rule of law, capitalism, and democratic government.

In an insightful True North interview on the Andrew Lawton Show, Dr. Milke observed, “The point about history in a liberal democracy is that you build on the sacrifices and successes of the past, you don’t deny the wrong things that have happened in the past…. To take a simplistic view of history is to miss the full breadth and depth of human beings, and their age and ours.”

As Milke, Bowler and many others will argue, a people’s national identity is forged in the country’s history and with its peoples’ traditions and mores. No doubt, this is the very reason why the Trudeau government goes to such a great length to erase Canadian history and denigrate the country’s past accomplishments.

Bowler summarizes this idea succinctly, “A person without roots, without a memory, without a story can be easily influenced and cause no trouble to the authorities. A nation without a common history in which citizens can take pride cannot long survive.”

So, this Canada Day, let’s wave the flag and unashamedly celebrate our freedoms and good fortunes. Pay proper homage to the country’s forefathers and reflect on their successes. And in this way, may the Canadian dream endure Justin Trudeau’s post-national vision. To all, happy Canada Day!  

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

LINK: https://niagaraindependent.ca/trudeau-erasing-canadian-history-to-achieve-his-post-national-vision/