Despite my many protestations about the weather in Canada, the weather seems to make this time of the year special. So much so, that the Christmas season without snow somehow seems incomplete. So let it snow!

That’s easy for me to say, I will be away visiting my wife’s family in Cape Town at the tip of Africa. Our Christmas Lunch will probably be a barbeque by the pool. I know for some of you that might sound a little incongruous, but believe me you can get used to it.

At this time of year, I always reflect on the year gone by and realize how truly fortunate we are living in Canada. It is easy to get frustrated with so many of the things that happen here, but mostly they are relatively minor, particularly when compared to what is going on in other parts of the world. I have lived in four countries so have some points of reference.

I think that this time of year is a time for almost everyone of us to feel both thankful and grateful. These attitudes help generate a more generous spirit in most people at this time of the year.

This is a time for positive thoughts and actions. There is a positive side to almost everything if you look for it. For an extreme example, even paying high Canadian taxes has a positive. It means you should be grateful you have a good income. High utility bills, although irritating, mean you are probably warm and comfortable.

So look hard at what irks you. In most cases you will find a positive if you take the trouble to look for one. Having found the positive, take notice of how you feel. In most cases you will feel lucky to be living here and a part of everything that Canada stands for.

I feel particularly fortunate to have many great customers without whom my life would not be the same. I also cherish those of you who are not yet my customers. You keep me moving forward, striving to get better, finding better ways to help. Thank you all for that.