Hammertime: The greatest gift of the Christmas season is the giving

This is the time to come together and give

By Mike Rainone

Whereever we go these days, the wonderful spirit of the Christmas season is everywhere, especially throughout our community.

Many homeowners wisely took advantage of the mild weather to put up their gala array of festive decorations in November.

As the hustle and bustle of shopping and the preparation of so many grand and jolly events and activities are now in full swing, there will be so many joyful opportunities for everyone to share the true meaning of the December holiday season as well as to support and give to the countless special causes and events that will assure that everyone in and around our community will be able to enjoy a very Merry Christmas.

Whether we are parents, grandparents, relatives or friends, everyone always looks forward to attending the annual Christmas concerts and countless family events at our schools, churches, community centres and other locations.

It is always a real joy to see the young children dressed as angels, shepherds, wise men, kings — and all the rest — while singing their hearts out to the glorious songs and stories of the festive season.

A December event that will celebrate the festive season are the Christmas At Home concerts Dec. 15 and 16 at 3 p.m. at the Wombold Funeral Home; the Dec. 15 registration is full.

So many of these joyful events not only present wonderful festive themed programs and attractions, but they also kindly collect donations of cash and items for such vital community causes as The Ponoka Food Bank, Santa’s Anonymous and The Salvation Army.

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train also rumbles into Ponoka on Dec. 9 at 3:45 p.m., featuring some great down home country entertainment for the whole family and is dressed in thousands of sparkling holiday lights that helps by collecting donations to the Ponoka Food Bank.

Also how great it is for folks of all ages to bundle up in the family vehicle and tour around to enjoy the magnificent display of lights and decorations. And maybe, along the way, there might just be a group of neighbourhood carollers out and about spreading their joy.

No one needs to spend Christmas alone

The casual and long-standing tradition of the Ponoka Community Christmas dinner will return once again on Dec. 25, running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion with everyone being invited to attend.

An annual festive event — that began at the Leland Hotel many years ago — has steadily grown in popularity and features a few jolly hours of keen camaraderie, a magnificent turkey buffet with all the trimmings as well as entertainers, special treats, lots of friendship and fun.

This event was organized to give families, individuals, couples, groups, visitors and friends who may have not made any plans or have a place to enjoy their Christmas dinner.

The very special day begins with coffee, music and lots of visiting, then the magnificent traditional Xmas Day feast is served.

Over the years the gala has been blessed with a great number of volunteers and donors, who have graciously assisted and made it a very special occasion.

Financial donations are greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at Servus Credit Union in Ponoka or by calling Bob Hepp at (403) 783-6165 for more information.

Santa’s Anonymous

For 37 years, the keen and community minded students and staff of the Ponoka Secondary Campus have been hosting the annual Santa’s Anonymous campaign.

This vital Christmas season project has supported hundreds of Ponoka families and individuals in and around the community with the collection and delivery of gifts and food hampers to the homes of residents who are in need of a little assistance.

The ‘Stuff-A-Bus’ collection was held at the Ponoka IGA and No Frills on Dec. 4, with the boxes for your kind donations still located all around the community.

The delivery date for the hampers is set for Dec. 19 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Contact Karen David at (403) 783-4411, extension 5132 for more information on this vital campaign of giving.

And, thank you for your ongoing generous support and kindness.

Have a great time of getting into the spirit of Christmas, share your joy with everyone else and have a great week all of you.

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