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Meet Laurie, a nurse, and Dominique, a library technician

9 Dec 2020

As the December sun sets, a lovely quartet appears on my screen: Dominique and Laurie, respectively a library technician and a nurse, along with their adorable nine-year-old twins, Simone and Léo. A palpable bond and Zen-like calm seem to emanate from this family. Each with a very composed air, they look at each other briefly before speaking.

While the holiday season is usually their opportunity to connect with their extended family, they will instead focus their energy on lighting up their home this year. “We usually celebrate somewhere else, but since it’ll be just the four of us this year, we really want to create a warm atmosphere at home,” says Dominique.

When I inquire about their favourite holiday games, Simone immediately blurts out: “Limbo!” Her parents laugh for a second before realizing that it’s in fact a staple of their Christmas Eve activities. “We also take out a projector with colourful lights and dance around,” adds Simone. While their dance floor will be smaller this year, this group’s cheer will still be going strong.

Passing on traditions is one of the things Laurie loves most: “We open our gifts as soon as we wake up on the 25th, while still in our pyjamas. It really warms my heart to keep that classic tradition alive and do with our children what we used to do when I was a girl.”

But team Simone-Léo is already growing impatient: “Sometimes, we wait until 9 a.m. to open gifts!” they shout. “Oh, that’s so late!” sarcastically retort Laurie and Dominique, who allow one early morning... and one early morning only out of necessity.

These past few months, Laurie’s day-to-day as a hospital nurse has been turned upside down. “At first, it was a shock; we had some hectic days,” she says, stopping to weigh her words in order to accurately describe her experience.

“The solidarity among our colleagues and within our own family has helped a lot. We all supported each other.” Dominique nods. Together, they created a new routine, which led to a happy discovery.

Dominique, who didn’t think she was good at cooking (her partner usually prepares their meals), found out she was pretty good chef. Experimenting with recipes grew on her: “It relaxes me. I’ve tried several recipes, but I haven’t made my own bread yet,” she says with a smile on her face.

What’s on their music playlist in December? They’re both on the same wavelength: “Elvis Presley! That’s our classic. We also listen to Ginette Reno’s Christmas album all the time. It reminds us of our childhood.”

The couple takes advantage of the year-end celebrations to break from their usual musical tastes, which mostly focus on rock and punk. Léo even wears a Ramones T-shirt, which contrasts with his angelic face, but perfectly suits his casual teenage style.

Laurie and Dominique each have their own way of managing stress. They exercise regularly, both outdoors and at home. “We bought a stationary bike, so we can pedal away while watching TV. It’s a good way to get rid of some energy.” As for Simone, it’s all about playing games and escaping by using her imagination. What about Léo? “I’m not really stressed,” the avid gamer says stoically.

While their children move away to explore their surroundings, the parents confide that spending time at home brought the twins closer together. “They’re not in the same class at school,” says Dominique. “Since they’ve been taking their classes at home over the past few months, they’ve been playing together much more.” “They’ve rekindled the bond they had when they were younger,” Laurie proudly adds.

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