CHRISTMAS 21 - Family, neighbours and road hockey for Kolkmans
BY DENNY SCOTT
For the Kolkman family of Blyth, this Christmas is going to be a special event with two grandchildren celebrating and making the regular traditions of the family even more special.
Lissa and Robert, alongside their children Leticia, Kurtis, Marlayna and Brennan, will be celebrating with two grandchildren when they take part in their annual traditions.
“Things are a bit different this year from last year, but we’re still going to focus on the traditions,” Lissa told The Citizen. “We do a breakfast/brunch before we open gifts and then, sometimes, we go out and play a road hockey game, sometimes with our neighbours.”
The game is a newer tradition, Lissa said, and while it can’t happen every year, it has gone ahead for most of the past five years.
Before the game, however, the family gives to each other with stockings.
“Each person takes a turn and takes one thing out so we can all enjoy it,” she said. “Everyone takes a turn.”
While there may be other gifts, the stockings are the one guaranteed tradition every year, Kolkman said.
While COVID-19 will have an impact on Christmas for everyone, Lissa said it hasn’t had as drastic an impact on her family’s celebrations as it’s had on others.
“In the past we’ve gone to my mom’s and Robert’s mom’s… but those [visits] have gone by the wayside with COVID,” she said.
Robert’s uncle always makes sure that everyone gets the traditional Dutch chocolate initials, she said, but beyond that, family celebrations have settled down in previous years.
With their children being between the ages of 23 and 31, Lissa said things have changed.
“Twenty years ago, Christmas was busy as we all visited both sides of our family,” she said. “We would see Robert’s parents and my parents and sometimes on the same day. Running around with the four kids made Christmas a busy time for our family.”
The family goes to a Christmas church service, and sometimes, though not always, decorates the tree as a family.
“Sometimes that’s a family thing, but sometimes things just work out, I have to do it on my own,” Lissa said. “Sometimes the girls and I do a tree-decorating night together.”
There are ornaments, Lissa said, that have been created or gifted throughout the years that serve as an important part of those family-focused tree-decorating moments.
“There is a kind of reminiscing through the ornaments,” she said. “We remember when they were made or given out.”
Typically, Lissa said there would be a celebration through her workplace, CIBC, and Robert did have a small gathering through his job at Foxton Fuels, however those kinds of events are limited this year due to COVID-19.
When it comes down to it, Lissa said the most important Christmas tradition is making time for her, her husband and her children to get together and celebrate as a family.