Seasonal reflections

Semi-weekly columnist ponders events from Christmases past

To quote the great John Lennon:

So this is Christmas

And what have you done

Another year over

And a new one just begun

And so this is Christmas

I hope you have fun

The near and the dear one

The old and the young

 

A very merry Christmas

And a happy New Year

Let’s hope it’s a good one

Without any fear

And so this is Christmas

For weak and for strong

For rich and the poor ones

 

I quote Lennon as I sit here and reflect the many Christmases I have celebrated throughout my many years.

There have been numerous rich Christmases in my years. I’m not counting those as years of plenty, but more so of years of goodness and riches.

When my son, my mother and I first came to Castlegar in Oct. 1977 we didn’t have a pot to pee in. We were two single women waiting for unemployment insurance to kick in. Due to red tape we found ourselves in an precarious economic position at Christmas. I had to face the fact that my six-year-old-child was going to greet Christmas morning without a present.

My whole life I’ve been fiercely independent and refused to take any handouts from anyone. It was way beyond my nature. But that one year the stark reality of poverty hit me in the face. No matter what my intent, it became clear my child was going to face a giftless Christmas.

I couldn’t allow that.

And so I swallowed my pride and signed up for a Christmas basket which would allow us a traditional Christmas dinner and a gift or two for my son.

My heart was in my throat as I applied for the basket. I was mortified to have to ask for help.

I well remember the sting of having to pick out a gift for my son. Fortunately that sting was far less than having to face Christmas morning with a child who expected to have a gift under the tree.

The embarrassment of asking for help fell beyond my depth of pride and yet I knew that this was not about pride, but instead about doing whatever I had to do for my son.

It amazes me to this day that the people who greeted me at the gift centre were nothing but compassionate, kind and caring. It soothed that prideful hurt.

The reason I write this column today is to encourage each and every one of you to donate to the food bank at Christmas. The toy drive and food bank make a tremendous difference in someone’s life.

Today I’m in the position to give back to this wonderful community which embraced and helped a 24-year-old woman through a trying time in her life.

You might not be in that position right now, but you never know where you might be a week or a month from now.

If you can afford to give, no matter how small that might be, I encourage you to do so. You have no idea the influence and impact that the simple gesture of reaching your hand out in compassion and kindness makes such a difference.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

 

Just Posted

Stolen sax, sheet music, impacts Trail big-band and after school band

Anyone with information is urged to call the Trail RCMP detachment at 250.364.2566

Columbia Basin Trust announces grant for technology upgrades

The deadline for organizations to apply is Dec. 17

Police seek witnesses to fatal weekend accident

Wayne Kernachan was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

EDITORIAL: Federal NDP challenges evident on Kootenay campaign trip

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh tours the Kootenays in support of local MPs, proportional representation

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

B.C. lumber mills struggle with shortage of logs, price slump

Signs of recovery after U.S. market swings, industry executive says

25% of Canadians still won’t say they use pot, survey says

Statistics Canada poll says Canadians on average were 18.9 years old when they first tried pot.

Canucks’ 50/50 jackpot expected to surpass $1 million

The guaranteed prize for one lucky winner will be $500,000 minimum when Vancouver hosts LA Nov 27

Most Read