A Holiday Message

Published on December 15, 2018

May you be blessed in your gatherings through this month, with good company and good cheer.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything

is softer and more beautiful. – Norman Vincent Peale

The December holiday season is a very special time of year – one of my favourite. It is a time of giving, sharing, and the coming together in our community. We can pause from our daily routines and we take time to be with family, friends and neighbours. It is perhaps the one time of the year when we all can hear the heartbeat of our community.

I cherish my memories of December-pasts, of the many Christmas traditions and our family’s gatherings. I am grateful for the many blessings in our lives. As this special time of year will remind us, there are those in our community who are less fortunate. We are that much more aware. ( So I understand that while the holidays can be a time of family for family and friends to gather, it is an important time to consider how we can make life a little bit better for others….

I believe with the charity and generousity demonstrated each December, that this brings out the best in ourselves and our community.

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar

of it every month. – Harlan Miller

At the Kanata Food Cupboard Unload the Bus event on December 1st

- thank you to everyone who donated for our community  

 

Christmas Reflections   

I have fond memories as a young child of my family’s trips across the country to visit my grandparents at Christmas, one set of grandparents in Victoria BC and the other in Regina, Saskatchewan. I recall how the gathering of family members meant so much to my father and mother – to everyone. It is so special to relive those warm feelings I got with our family greetings and my grandparents hugs. Family is belonging.

I also recall how my parents never passed a Salvation Army Christmas kettle without encouraging me to drop their change into it. Giving back to community and contributing to community was something I was raised with (and not confined to holidays). My parents imparted their lessons of charity, compassion, and empathy – and these core values I experienced with our family through the Christmas season. When I married my husband I admired my father-in-law’s tradition of giving a turkey to the Ottawa Mission. Through the years, some of the nicest memories in our community were made while participating in food drives and helping out at charities. I encourage us all to give what we can to the charities of choice… 

As a mother, I have happy memories of my young children out together carolling along the length of our street. People would open their doors and wave. Some neighbours would come out and join in. I recall so many happy times in our neighbourhood. It was always a fun time when we had a full house with my children’s friends and our neighbours coming together to celebrate the season.

Coming from a family of doctors, we all have spent holidays and, on occasion, Christmas Day serving our patients or on call. With this in mind, I recognize the many individuals who are away from their families, who keep our front line services operating. I would like to express my gratitude for our first responders. And, likewise, there are many who work through the holidays - and I know and appreciate their commitment. Thank you.

Though this time of year is centred in traditions, sometimes life changes and the traditions we have need to be adapted. Whether it is a move, or new line of work, or family changes, I believe it is the captivating charm of this season that helps us to remember and honour our old traditions while we start new ones that accommodate – and embrace our new realities. That is the magic of the season; being recharged and refocused with your memories. As I mention to my family, it is important to take the time, make the time for reflection and sharing through this season. Break from routine. Take a break from our online activities, our cell phones… take the time to be present, in the here and now, with the people in our lives.

Embrace this time of year for the humanity and joy it offers.

There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make

as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions. – Bill McKibben

 

I wish you the very best through this holiday season. May you be blessed in your gatherings through this month, with good company and good cheer.

And may you, family and friends have a wonderful New Year celebration that brings health and happiness throughout 2019.

Cheers,