Maybe they should call it black and blue Friday….now let’s get on with Christmas

This week's Hammertime looks at Black Friday and getting on with Christmas.

Last week, despite all the hype and the flashy advertisements, my wife and I decided not to line up at 4:00 a.m. just for a chance to dash into the now annual bargain blowout madness of Black Friday.

First of all they don’t have any bathrooms in the lineups, and judging by some of the wild shopping skirmishes that we all saw later on TV, I am sure that while some survived the mad rush to get 50 per cent or more off, or managed to grab a really great deal, many others were likely quite frustrated and may have even got a few B&B bruises if they were caught in the middle of that free-for-all shopping frenzy.

Whatever the case, like so many others, I just love to see the jolly Christmas spirit catching on everywhere, with lots of sparkling and unique decorations going on display in every neighbourhood and a nice sprinkle of snow to bring it all into season. It is wonderful to see that dear old Ebenezer Scrooge and a great supporting cast have arrived at the Ponoka United Church to present that grand and traditional old Yuletide classic, A Christmas Carol, for guests of all ages until Dec. 4. Tickets for the Klaglahachie Fine Arts Society production are available by calling 403-783-4087.

Along with the usual and always enjoyable school and church Christmas concerts and many other community events, two delightful family Yuletide events are now set to go for early December. The 55th Annual Ponoka Kinsmen Carol Festival is on Dec. 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ponoka United Church (silver collection in support of Cystic Fibrosis and Ponoka Food Bank), and then the glitzy Ponoka Lions’ Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train rolls into town on Dec. 7 at 4:00 p.m. across from the Brick, with special entertainment, all in support of the Ponoka Food Bank with your kindly donations of food or cash.

Over at the Ponoka Secondary Campus a whole bunch of jovial teenage elves and their masters are gearing up for their 35th Santa’s Anonymous campaign. Since 1981 the PSC students and staff have donated countless hours together collecting and providing gifts, food hampers, and turkeys for those in need throughout our community. Collection boxes will be in many areas around town until Dec. 14 to collect food and gifts for this most vital cause, while cash donations will be accepted at the PSC office. Other exciting events planned by the PSC will be the stuff-a-bus Santa’s Anonymous showdown on Dec. 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at No Frills and I.G.A. and the annual (no hit but lots of wipe-outs) students versus staff hockey game at the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex on Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m.

While many of us are now out and about in that hustle-n-bustle and occasional panic mode in an attempt to solve our Christmas shopping list long before Boxing Day, others are frantically trying to get in shape for their annual staff party, hoping that we won’t embarrass the boss and that we don’t get an over-sized pair of ‘Santa shorts’ in the gift exchange. By now old Saint Nick has been spotted around town with lots of ‘babes’ on his knee, and those exciting and grandiose visions of sugar plums have certainly been popping up in the heads of our younger set, and we will need to cut them back on their ‘candy count’ for the next three weeks. But what the heck, as parents and grandparents we must be sure to let loose just a little and get a wee bit excited about all the joys and festive fun that the Christmas season has in store for all of us. Just go ahead and take it all in stride, get lots of fresh air, and have a great week, all of you.