This 12 ft. giraffe with a face mask at the recent Christmas Wish Breakfast event served as a good reminder of social behaviour. Contributed photo

This 12 ft. giraffe with a face mask at the recent Christmas Wish Breakfast event served as a good reminder of social behaviour. Contributed photo

Hay’s Daze: Not used to seeing giraffe with a mask

My bad. Now there’s an expression that used to stick in my craw, whatever a “craw” is. You don’t hear it much anymore, thank goodness, except for here and now on account of a wee error I made in last week’s collection of words and sentences.

You might remember I was on about how the Christmas spirit was finally here for me when I went to the Christmas Wish Breakfast and was handed a lovely breakfast-in-a-box by a 12 ft. giraffe. And therein, as Bill used to say, lies the rub.

I made special mention that everyone including Santa and his helpers wore masks except for the 12 ft. giraffe who didn’t need one since his mug was always practicing social distancing. I was wrong.

As I soon learned through an email including tell-tale photographs, I had misremembered. The 12 giraffe had in fact been wearing a mask and that big blue, surprisingly attractive mask, I was reminded, was “the size of a diaper” (see photo). I’m not sure how I missed that obvious observation except to say that I was inside the car wearing a mask too and when I wear a mask I tend to become a bit befuddled occasionally. Also, I wasn’t used to seeing a 12 ft. giraffe. At least, not that early in the morning.

Or maybe I’m just getting used to seeing people (or long-necked cud-chewing hoofed mammals) in masks. But it was good reminder from the “if a giraffe can do it, I can do it” category of social behaviour, and he was wearing a diaper on his face just so everyone else this Christmas can be safe from spreading viruses, not to mention giraffe halitosis.

So last week was a welcome reminder that although this Christmas will be very different this cursed year, the giving spirit (aka the warm-fuzzies) is, and always will be, still there. And this week, it happened again. Not a 12 foot mammal with a diaper mask, but in the form of a Hawaiian pizza.

Did you know that last Tuesday, Nov. 30, was “Giving Tuesday?” Giving Tuesday is a global movement happening every year, right after Black Friday, Exhausted Saturday, and Cyber Monday. And this year our salt of the earth friend, Gwen, gifted us and many others with a DIY pizza kit from a generous local restaurant. It turns out it was part of a large donation to the United Way fundraising campaign by NOVA Chemicals, the largest financial supporter of the United Way here in good old central Alberta.

Out of the blue, the Better Half and I are rabbling round our kitchen, happily building-our-own nice large ham and pineapple pizza on a night when leftovers were on the menu. The thoughtful giving spirit once again shone like the many bright and cheery Christmas trees glowing in our home.

I more or less took the lead building the pizza, much to the surprise of the B.H. since the only thing she’s ever seen me make is Kraft Dinner, and perhaps, toast. OK, so I sort of accidentally piled all the ingredients in the middle, and I left the pizza in the oven too long and kind of dropped it on the oven door taking it out, but in spite of a rather brown (black) crust it was delicious and much appreciated.

But Giving Tuesday didn’t end on Tuesday, and 2020 isn’t going to end Christmas either. So give generously where and when you can, and if you see a 12 foot giraffe wearing a mask, reach way up and give him a “high” five for me.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker.