I'll never forget how happy Paul was when he came home and told me we'd been invited to join a group of Winnipeggers for a real, old-fashioned Christmas experience. If I'd had a clue I'd have realized that giving birth in a barn, unaided, would've been an easier old-fashioned Christmas experience. We were going to chop down a real Christmas tree, just like our ancestors.
Well, my parents are from Malta, a sunny Mediterranean island. It just wasn't in my genes to know how to dress for a freezing, miserable, forced march through a blizzard-hit forest. The windchill - which I still didn't understand - was in the "exposed skin can freeze in 2 minutes" range.
That didn't sound good, so I said, "Thanks, but no thanks."
Somehow Paul convinced me that his entire future career prospects, our unborn children's college fund, our grandchildren's lives and our golden years' security and comfort would all go up in smoke if I didn't join the mighty tree hunt.
His Jewish co-workers were going.
Everybody, even that ditzy receptionist who always dressed like a showgirl wannabe with skirts up to there, was going.
So, we were going.