By Fadi Didi
As we race into the fast-paced holiday season, it's important to continue giving thanks -- even after Thanksgiving.
My thanks for our country's free health care system was renewed last week, when I underwent a medical procedure that left me bedridden for the long holiday weekend.
Not once during my hospital visit, or preceding doctor's visits, was money ever discussed.
We're just eleven weeks away from Christmas, and a lot of us are still on financially unstable ground.
That means you can start your own tradition this winter of celebrating the holidays without going deep into debt.
A number of parents bring their kids to volunteer opportunities in my area, while others pack Christmas hampers, or serve food at charity breakfasts and dinners.
If you're hearing this, you're probably less than an hours drive from the world's largest source of fresh water. It's not only a huge privilege to be near a resource so invaluable -- but you're just a short drive from where people drive hours to be in the warmer months.
I'm also thankful for the small business owners whom I've come to know on a first-name basis, whose work never goes unappreciated, and who make the cold season more bearable with their hospitality.
When I first moved to rural Ontario, countless residents told me I might have a tough time with the rough country winters.
But -- over the years, the cold season has become a lot easier because of the numerous people who care enough to make it great, whether it's your local business people, members of council, or residents who want to make their communities better for the next generation.