I was reminded once again over the weekend that I'm still not a fan of those LED Christmas lights. I mean, I appreciate what they do for the environment, but the glow just isn't quite right. Nevertheless, I swapped them over from the old incandescent style a few years ago.

I was indeed motivated by the use of less power, matched, of course, with the hope of even the most minute savings on my hydro bill. We put up the garland, some red bows and 2 topiaries. It looked good when it was all done -- yes, very festive. So, with the outside finally complete, that only leaves the inside. We usually go all out, just don’t ask about the tree.

I was perfectly fine with the bachelor bargain of all bargains tree I got many years ago. You likely won't believe me, even if I tell you. It's not like I set out looking for it, it just happened. And when you see a deal like that - you can't pass it up. So, I got, get this now, a 5-foot artificial tree for  -- are you ready?  -- 1-99. Yes $1.99, not 199 -- a cool one dollar and 99 cents.

Before Christmas, it was valued at more than 40x that price. Now the scotch tape that I seal the box it came with costs more than the entire tree. Needless to say, I bought 2 of them. I figured I could put one outside as a decoration, with no worries if someone stole it. Okay, admittedly, it’s no Rockefeller centre-type tree, but years ago, it worked out just fine. It made things eggnog in a carton easy -- a simple solution that didn't take up much space, not to mention the terrific tear down. Well, those little trees have been entombed in the basement, and my wife insists that is where they shall stay. Her secret wish is that they crumble to nothing.

We did get a "real" tree last year. It was our first Christmas in the new home, and I was genuinely excited. That is until I had to drag it from the car, cut off the end, haul it in the house, prop it up in the stand and then, for the next 4 weeks, meticulously wipe the sap drips off the hardwood floor. I swear, it was like I was on maple syrup duty at Terra Cotta. This tree dripped like an old, leaky faucet -- non-stop. Apparently, it’s all my fault for getting a pine. "My plastic tree never leaked.” Enough said.

This year, we opted for a family heirloom -- it's a majestic, broad sweeping artificial tree. For now it will do just fine. Someday we'll go back to the real thing, just not this year. I'm not going to sweat it. I'm just glad that I am healthy enough to enjoy this magical time. It's very nice. Eight months ago I would not have thought a normal day would come again. That said, just when I start to indulge in "life", there it is -- a sucker punch. It's not in the physical sense, it's more on the emotional side, especially when I hear of someone else dealing with this disease. You analyze it, and re-live that anxiety, imagining what they are going through. It's an absolutely terrible round of emotions and leaves you feeling so defeated. It is conceivable to me that is the yang in life, the balance that echoes something I have focused on and mentioned before -- every single day is precious.

I'm now back full speed ahead at work, logging full 5-day weeks. I still get a little tired now and then, but it's okay. As I'm regularly going out on location again, for CTV News at noon, I have met many extraordinary people in person. Some who have read the blog, others, who just wanted to say hi. All of you continue to extend a warm welcome. Thank You.

I am proud of myself. I'm still engaged with my healthier diet and feel empowered by it. The real test was over Halloween when my niece and nephew offered me first dibs from their sugar-ladened loot. I stuck to my not nearly as sinful dark chocolate (85%), and it sufficed. The Christmas feast is the next hurdle - I will keep you updated on that challenge in the New Year.

I have also started something new, something I never thought I would have done -- I have joined Yoga classes. It's only once a week and no, it’s not HOT YOGA -- I couldn't ever do that. Just the thought of a room full of over-worked sweat glands, dripping with germs, all baking like a cesspool on a hardwood skillet -- yuck! This is basic yoga, and quite interesting, it teaches me how to relax and breathe -and then there are the stretches.

In the end, it becomes a 60 minute rejuvenating and relaxing outing for me. Yes, it was a little foreign at first, I think you need to be open to it. It's an intimate opportunity, quiet with soothing music, which sometimes, as I discovered, may get interrupted. You twist and gently contort your body in controlled positions that were created, in some cases, centuries ago. These are tasks that, I assure you, are not easy, especially for beginners. In my most recent class, there were a couple of newbies (newer than I anyway), and as we engaged in our routine, the tranquility was abruptly disturbed by - a fart. Surely unintentional, and in her defence, we were pushing our knees to our noses-which I guess activated the Flatulence switch. You might think I am making this up, but surprise, surprise -- as I'm learning, it does happen. As such, I make sure I don't eat at least 90 minutes before I go to class -- so far, so good.

Wishing you and your loved ones the best of the holiday season. May you all be blessed with happiness and health. Will talk soon

The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of life is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give. The joy of life is to love.
-William Arthur Ward