Old Christmas habits are hard to break

By now most of us are hopefully full of the spirit of the yuletide season, are rushing around humming Christmas music

By now most of us are hopefully full of the spirit of the yuletide season, are rushing around humming Christmas music and doing a little last minute shopping, and have made all the arrangements to get together with family and friends for a glorious celebration. No matter what age we may be,  we will still endeavour to maintain at least some of those long-standing festive traditions such as decorating the tree together, hanging a little mistletoe, nibbling on mom and gramma’s glorious baking and surprise treats, sipping on a little egg-nog before bundling up warm and heading off to the Christmas Eve church service, after which we will get everyone settled in for a long winter’s night and put out a few treats for dear old Santa.

During these holidays many families or individuals will travel many miles to be with their loved ones, while some will have to work, but will certainly be welcomed home later by a living room full of joy and a hot heaping plate of goodies waiting in the oven. There will of course be those who will unfortunately not be able to make it home for Christmas, but through the magic of electronics, we can gather in the living room around the fire and chat with them just like they were cuddled up on the sofa right beside us. For shut-ins or others who are in care homes or hospitals, there will be countless events hosted to share a meal with family and friends, enjoy the festive music, and open precious gifts.

No one needs to be alone at Christmas

It is so fortunate that during the festive season so many delightful events are planned in and around villages, towns, and cities to help everyone share the joy of Christmas. Many years ago, as a staff member of the Ponoka Rising Sun Club House, I was so pleased to have been able to assist many others with the hosting of some of the first Ponoka Community Christmas Day gala dinners.

Thanks to kindly folks like Sherry Mitchell, Bob Hepp, the members and staff of the Rising Sun Clubhouse, and an ongoing overwhelming list of spirited volunteers, entertainers and donors, this wonderful tradition has carried on and attracted hundreds of guests and visitors to a glorious December 25th afternoon of keen camaraderie, great food, special treats, and jolly festive fun. The event is open to individuals, couples, or families of all ages who have not made any plans for Christmas dinner, who are visitors to our community…..and please bring a friend. This special day will be held at the Ponoka Kinsmen Centre, will start with coffee and entertainment from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon, at which time a magnificent Turkey Buffet dinner with all the trimmings will be served from 12 noon until 1:00 p.m. Donations toward the 2013 Community Christmas dinner are very much appreciated, and are still being accepted by calling Bob Hepp at 403-783-6165 or drop them off at the Ponoka Rising Sun Club House or Servus Credit Union in Ponoka. Anyone wishing to volunteer their time or entertainment at the event is asked to please call Carla Prediger at 403-783-4078 or Val Schabert at 403-8799.

Traditions of Christmas….both old and new

The joy and warmth of the festive season has been celebrated throughout the world by all nationalities for thousands years, and what is so unique is how countless generations have carried on their proud traditions during this most holy holiday. Now as we have boldly advanced into the 20th century many exciting new themes, ceremonies, and ethnic costumes have been added to the Christmas rush to be enjoyed by all ages.

● While many families still go out into the wilderness to seek out their own magnificent Christmas tree, others will support a community cause by visiting a local tree lot, and some have chosen to purchase one of those glitzy multi-colored models that will last forever. Whatever the case, when every family brings their tree home, they will decorate their masterpiece together, fashioning the festive miracle with decorations that have been in the family for generations, were made in school by the kids, or are the newest electronics creations for the future.

● Do you still hang your socks on the mantle, is your delicious high-calorie Christmas fruit cake still homemade or store brought, and will we open our gifts on Christmas Eve or with sleepy-eyed wonder in the morning? Maybe Christmas Eve fun will include going out with the gang and singing carols, then returning home for treats, a fashion show of new pajamas, while sitting back and watching all those great old movies like Scrooge, Miracle on 32nd Street, The Grinch who stole Christmas, and on and on. The Christmas season is for everyone to enjoy and cherish in their own way, but remembering to always share a little cheer with others along the way. Have a great week, all of you.

— Hammertime