Summit Physical Therapy - January/February 2021




barbecues, and playing our favorite summer sports — including cricket! (The photo was taken in 1967. I was 5 years old at the beach!) Outside of this town was a volcanic mountain about 8,000 feet high. As a child, I wanted to climb it. And when I was 9 years old, I got my wish! My father and I

By the time you read this, 2020 will finally be over — to the relief of many. I hope your holiday season was fun, safe, and free from illness and that you and your family were able to enjoy time together, whether in person or virtually. Over the holidays, I couldn’t help but reminisce about Christmases past. One thing you may not know about me is that throughout my childhood, my Christmases were a little different than the Christmases celebrated in the United States. In New Zealand, my Christmas and New Year’s Day fell during summer. This meant the days were long and the temperatures were nice and warm. Because we were off from school, we could play outside all day and well into the evening. There were times I wondered how Santa managed to get through the evening while wearing his warm suit. The Santa at the mall could barely stand the heat in the red and white suit! It always seemed so strange to me to see Christmas in movies, on cards, or in books with their depictions of sleighs, reindeer, and snow. As a young boy, I had never seen snow outside of movies or pictures. How did the reindeer pull a sleigh without any snow? While we may not have had any snow during our summertime Christmases, our traditions were very similar to those in the northern hemisphere. We had a Christmas tree complete with presents underneath, stockings carefully hung up, and a big turkey dinner with extended family. After we opened our presents, we would play with our new toys and games outside for hours on end. We had so much daylight to play in! Then, by New Year's, we would have gone on our annual trip to visit my mother’s extended family; we would all pile in the car and travel to a town about 200 miles away from home. Those trips were filled with beachcombing, swimming,

hiked up to the top. To my amazement, as a 9-year-old, the top was covered in snow, even in the middle of summer. This was the first time I had ever seen snow. My first Christmas away from home was in 1984. I was 22 and living in London. It was cold and gray, and there was even some snow, as I recall. I was homesick for my summer Christmas in New Zealand because for me, Christmas just wasn’t the same without warm, sunny weather. Even today, I can’t help but miss that New Zealand Christmas. I wanted to share this story with you because there’s one important thing to remember. While this holiday season was different than in years past, it doesn’t make these holidays any less joyful. They may be different from what we expect or hope for, but we should still appreciate what we do have. Hopefully, 2021 will bring a sense of normality back to our lives. There are still some challenges ahead, but there are also many things to look forward to in the months to come. Happy New Year! Stay safe and be well!

–Paul Kane, P.T., BSC, CMP

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