Yesterday I caught part of a CBC radio presentation adaptation of "The Christmas Carol". As much as Ebenezer Scrooge is depicted as a despicable character, I couldn't help but think that any business owner at this time of year must feel a little tainted by the broad brush that Dickens uses to make his many points in this story. Up until 6 of 7 years ago, Ste. Anne's Spa was open 365 days a year, including Christmas day. While we were never sold out, there was a certain kind of person who found respite at this time of year in our unique approach to hospitality and the staff absolutely resented having to work on this statutory holiday more than any other. When I made the decision to close on Christmas Eve and reopen on Boxing Day, allowing our staff to spend this time with their families it certainly was a popular decision, but even more popular was my decision to invite my family to spend these 2 nights at the spa. You see, back in the early eighties, Ste. Anne's was our home for several years and many good memories of family get togethers were rooted in this place. The first year we had pretty close to full attendance. A picture was taken at some point and I think we were all a little overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of humanity that had grown out of the union of just two people - I think there were over thirty of us. This year, a few couldn't make it for various reasons, but it was still a pretty good turn out with 28 bodies ranging in age from 18 months or so to the matriarch at 82. We all worked side by side to get meals together, to clean up, and to reminisce about years gone by. Despite all it's complications, family (for the most part) is a wonderful thing and I feel lucky to be part of such a great one, even if I can be a little Ebenezerish at times.