A Strathcona Christmas
By Cpl Corey Bulmer
As December rolls around, the Regiment gets a little bit antsy. Is it shopping for Christmas? No. Is it the cold weather so famously enjoyed by Edmonton? Definitely NO! The different feeling around the Regiment is for Christmas break! It is for the glorious time of the year where we all have three weeks (give or take) off to enjoy Christmas with our families. The feeling is extra special for Recce Squadron as the majority of us were in Kabul, Afghanistan last year.
On December 10, the Strathcona Kids’ Christmas party was held in the Recce/A Squadron hanger lines to great success. To entertain the kids, there was face painting, an inflatable castle with slide and sno-cones. For the gaming fan, an X-Box arcade was set up to entertain both adults and kids. Children and adults alike enjoyed an excellent horse-riding demo, by the Strathcona Mounted Troop. Some of the Mounted Troopers were happy to find new recruits at such an early age! To top off the day, Santa Claus himself visited. All the children gave their Christmas wishes to Santa, with hopes they would be fulfilled on the 25th.
On Tuesday, the troops were getting ready to go on Christmas Break. However, before we can embark on leave, the regiment must jump through several hoops. The first is to partake in Regimental Sports Day. It was a good day with hockey, broomball, volleyball and floor hockey being played. Despite crushing the Green Point Lounge in ice hockey and floor hockey, the Track Pad lost the other two sports to have a net tie. The same result occurred between the Sarcee and Mariner Rooms. Despite a concerted effort between the CO and the Sports Officer, no tie-breaking scheme was devised, so the four messes will remain in tie limbo until next year.
After Regimental cleanup day (funny how much dust builds up behind lockers), it was time for the famous Regimental Christmas Dinner. The Christmas Dinner has traditionally been the last Regimental event of the year and it continued this year. Before the dinner, Recce squadron had a parade in DEU’s and had small speeches by the OC and SSM. After the parade, Recce squadron partook in a little tradition of our own; MOOSE MILK! For those who are uninitiated, moose milk is a combination of ice cream, milk and a few other ingredients! The Christmas dinner went exceptionally well with the meal of turkey, potatoes, carrots and peas. Entertainment came in the form of our Strathcona Pipes and Drums, RCA Band and the subbie choir with the exceptional singing voice of Lieutenant Cooper! The traditional tunic swapping between the CO and youngest trooper went well as the svelte CO had no trouble fitting into the eighteen year old’s tunic. With the Acting CO’s decision to give the Regiment the Friday off, the majority broke off to go on leave until January. A few went to the shacks to partake in the infamous after dinner party. The party was in full swing until a few duty personal objected to the Mad Max décor, which was the motif of the celebration. You cannot please everyone with modern art! The shacks were then cleaned up and everyone left to go home to their families in the city and elsewhere. Everyone had a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year and arrived back to the Regiment on January 9th ready for a new year of training.