A few final chestnuts for 2012

"Well, assuming the world continues to exist after the most recent Mayan calendar runs out today, there are good things coming."

Well, assuming the world continues to exist after the most recent Mayan calendar runs out today, there are good things coming.

The days will begin getting longer, always a good thing and particularly good for right now, after a week in which almost a meter of snow has fallen on our yard. It will give us more and more light by which to clear sidewalks, driveways, doorways and roofs, and drive our poorly maintained roads.

The world junior hockey championship, contested mostly by very good young players who play with pride and fire and only tangentially for money or the promise of it, is coming right up.

The local junior B division is once again the strongest and most entertaining in the KIJHL and the Nitehawks have rebounded from a rough stretch to re-emerge as contenders for the division title. They still have some seriously important games to play before the new year arrives, including a back-to-back with the also hot Castlegar Rebels, then a very favourable January schedule, so we can expect their standings surge to continue.

The Smoke Eaters have a long break during which much of the wear and tear of playing the most games of any BCHL team can be repaired – they are kids, after all – and perhaps gain a little consistency in their play.

During the break one hopes they all receive alarm clocks as gifts, or gift cards with which such clocks can be acquired. One also hopes they can learn to set those clocks to give a shrill warning at game time, just reminding them when they need to start playing. Far too often the Smokies don’t quite show up until well after the puck is first put into play, and after the opposing team has gotten a jump.

Nice comebacks are fun for fans, but front-running to good finishes is entertaining, too, and Trail needs to string some regulation time wins together to have any chance of a playoff spot.

The Smokies have a lot of almost must-win division tilts in January and being ready to play from the first minute is going to be a precondition for success.

It is Christmas time, whatever you celebrate, and the world has become beautiful, if treacherous.

I hope everybody out there has reasons to enjoy the season and anticipate hopefully a new year. Be kind, and careful, out there – and come out strong for 2013.

Merry Christmas.