As I write this weekly column, we’re scrambling to put a two-section Christmas edition together for the final paper of the year.
This is the busiest time of the year for many people, which ranges from attending friends’ and/or staff Christmas parties and getting gift shopping done, to finalizing your travel plans. It can be like lurching from one task to the next, getting all of your ducks in a row – just like getting our Christmas edition finalized.
In this Christmas edition, you will find the letters to Santa for Grades K-2, for Ecole Heritage, Ecole Providence and Ecole Routhier – totaling 139 letters in all. It’s certainly nice to see children putting their ideas for Christmas gifts to pen or crayon, for Santa.
You will also find a story and photos about the band concert at Georges P. Vanier, held in the evening of December 13. This is the only concert to be featured in the Christmas edition, as the other three schools’ concerts are being held this week. However, they will be featured in our January 2, 2019 edition.
There’s nothing more compelling than to spend this most endearing holiday of holidays with family and friends, or to renew long-forgotten acquaintances.
But don’t forget to embrace its most spiritual aspect; the true spirit of the season is celebrating the birth of Jesus and attending an evening service like the one at the Baptist Church in Peace River on December 24. Of course, the churches in the Smoky River region will host their own services, so I encourage everyone to attend them.
However, we must not forget those in need at this time of year, including children and families who may not have much in the way of food, let alone gifts. Still, kudos to the grocers in the region who offer their customers the opportunity to purchase food items that will be delivered to needy families at Christmas.
Kudos, as well, to all who have donated to the Smoky River Family and Community Support Services’ Christmas Voucher Program. Combined with the presents or gift cards that children of needy families will receive, this program helps to put food on the table on Christmas day. That’s all because of your generous support.
Don’t forget seniors. Some of them may have no one to be with on Christmas Day, so visit them and spend quality time with them. I attended the Christmas party at the Villa Beausejour on December 8 and it was great to see so many people there, especially the families of the residents. The board members of Heart River Housing were also on hand and they distributed presents to the residents as Santa announced their names. (Also, see a photo on Page 2 of a lady who lovingly sat with Santa after the gifts were distributed).
And be mindful there will be many who cannot be with their families and friends on Christmas Day, especially medical staff and first responders, so think of them and acknowledge their service to society.
I will also remind those who plan to consume alcohol during the holiday, not to get behind the wheel if they do so. Have a designated driver, or call someone take you home. The last thing I want to hear over Christmas is a that drunk driver caused harm to themselves and/or others.
From the staff of the Smoky River Express, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2019!