What does Christmas mean to you?Thats what we decided to ask people for this years Sea-sons Greetings supplement.
Now Ill ask you, our reader, to give it some thought. What does Christmas, or the holiday sea-son, mean to you? Have you ever stopped to think about this?
I havent for a long time.All too often we get caught up
in the commercial side of Christ-mas and forget that it has a deeper meaning. It isnt about the presents under the tree or the last-minute racing around trying to buy for everyone on the list. Christmas is so much more.
While I read the stories people submitted to this years supple-ment, I was surprised by a lot of them. Christmas has a lot of differ-ent meanings to people in this com-munity. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that, for most people, the true meaning of Christmas has not been lost. Their stories and photos tell of celebration, love, tradition and, most of all, family, and we share as many of them as we can in this supplement.
It got me thinking about what it means to me.
What I discovered is that Christ-mas is about faith.
Whether you celebrate it as a reli-gious holiday or just a day of giv-ing, I think believing in Christmas is about having faith.
As a Christian, we are asked to believe the Christmas story. We are told that the Virgin Mary gave
birth to a child in a manger. That child would be our saviour, the Son of God. As with so many of the stories from the Bible, it takes a lot of faith to believe this one, and yet we do.
We believe it because it gives us hope. We believe it because it offers us something bigger than ourselves to trust in. But most of all, we believe because it allows us to feel that anything is possible with a little faith.
But for some, Christmas is not about religion. It is a day of cele-bration that is more about the giv-ing, traditions and celebrating and less about the story. Still, faith is part of it.
Without faith how could we believe that a fat man in a red suit flies in a sleigh pulled by reindeer to deliver presents to kids around the world on Christmas Eve? That takes a lot of faith.
Although we grow to discount this story, it is true if we believe and have a little faith.
In both cases, because of our faith, great things happen every year at this time.
People open their hearts and their wallets and give to people who are less fortunate, in hopes that it will bring a little bit of joy at Christmas time. Theres no
place where this is more apparent than in Port Alberni. Although the people of the Alberni Valley often
shows their heart, our pages are particularly full of good deeds that people are doing for each other at this time of year.
Every year this gives me faith.
Christmas is also a time whenfamilies come together. This is my favourite part. Thats where the holiday shifts a little bit from faith to love. But really the two are inter-changeable, because you cant haveone without the other. Faith and love go hand in hand, and both are necessary when it comes to bring-ing the family together.
When you read this, for the firsttime in a number of years, I will be home in Nova Scotia with my fam-ily. These days I celebrate the holi-days away from my family more often than with them. That oftenmakes Christmas a bit difficult for me, but through it all, I know it will be special. Thats because even when I am in B.C., a country away from my true family, my adopted family here helps me celebrate and makes sure I keep my faith alive. In many ways, while I celebrate my traditions at home, I will miss my Port Alberni family.
No matter what Christmas means to you, Im sure love and faith play a big part, even if youve never realized it before.
On behalf of the Alberni Valley Times, I hope this holiday season is one filled with joy. I wish you all a Christmas surrounded by loveand one that helps you rememberthat with a little faith anything ispossible.
Now read on, and see what Christ-mas means to people in your com-munity your extended family . ThisChristmas well share our stories.
Merry Christmas, and best of luck in the new year from me and the rest of the staff at the Alberni Valley Times.
Seasons Greetings2B Alberni Valley Times Thursday, December 23, 2010
Were truly blessed to be part of this
wonderful community.All the best in 2011.
From Randi, Claire, Mark, Dave & Debbie
Scott Fraser, MLAScott Fraser, MLAAlberni-Paci c Rim
3845B Johnston Rd., PortAlberni V9Y 5N4Phone 250.720.4515
What does Christmas mean to you?HeatherThomson
Grace HolmquistAge 8
A couple of months ago, we asked the community What does Christ-mas mean to you? We had a num-ber of responses, but we thought it fitting that we start what Christ-mas means to some of our young-est readers.
The following is a selection of answers from children in the com-munity, both in written form and drawings. More will be scattered throughout this special section.
We have decided to run the let-ters exactly as they were sent to us. The spelling mistakes and errors remain, because that is how they were written by the children who participated.
Christmas means the Christ is born, it is a big day for me and all around me. First we celebrate this special coming by a mass in the church in the morning, after we continue by visiting the one in need in our parish. We have turkey dinner. After dinner we always go for a walk looking at all the Christmas lights around. I enjoy to be with my mom open-ing presents and playing with my friends.
Claudia Noel11 years old
To me Christmas means Joy, Love, Peace and a time to have time with all your friends and family! We also have to remem-ber that it is when Jesus Christ was born. It is also a time to put up your Christmas tree and decor-ate your house with snowman and on Christmas Eve Santa comes to deliver presents and put them under your tree. For dinner most people have chicken, mashed pota-to, gravy, corne and hot chocolate. Most people like it when it snows in the winter like me! Hopefully it does snow. Lotes of people like to go carealing in the snow and sing some careals like Jingal Bells, Silent Night and O Christmas Tree! And there you have what I think about Christmas.
Ella RogersGrade 4
Christmas is special for me because my birthday in on Christ-mas day. It is important for me to spend time with my family. I get to see my parents, my grandma, my grandpa, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins and my sister. My mom and grandma cooks for me and family. They cook turkey on Christmas day. We also leave out cookies and milk for Santa.
In the morning I make coffee for my mom and grandma and try to wake them up. I yell at them to wake them up and then I go in the front room to open the presents. Then I go outside to have a snow ball fight and we make a fort and we get a whole bunch of snowballs. We also make a small snowman and a huge one. Then we go get a snow board and then we go find a big long hill or a big long road or we go find ice. Then the day is over so all of us go to the room and then the day is finely over then we go to bed in the comfy bed really comfy bed and then all of us go to sleep and that is how Christmas goes for me.
Gredy BarneyGrade 4
I believe that Christmas means celebrating Jesus birthday. Over
the years it has changed to be about giving. Now people eat candy canes and decorate their houses with Christmas lights. We give presents to liketoys, clothes and all sorts of things. We always have a Christmas tree. We decorate it with golden glass balls, popcorn strings and things that relative have given us. I love Christmas because it is about hav-ing a SUPER DUPER time with my FAMILY!!!
Hope HigginsGrade 4
I believe Christmas is originally about celebrating Jesus birthday. Jesus was born on Christmas day. Jesus was born in a place called Bethleham. Christmas is about spending time with your family, giving and bonding. We give pres-ents and Christmas cards. We bake cookies and make hot chocolate. Christmas is about having fun. I think everybody like waking up on Christmas morning.
Logan FudgeGrade 4
Christmas means spending time with my family. We decorate the tree with shiny ornaments. We give and receive presents from each other. My grandma and I make cookies in her oven. We ice them when theyre done. For me and my grandma, making cook-ies is a special thing for us. On Christmas morning I am very excited. My mom and dad and I open our presents to see what we received. When I get new gifts I get very excited. When its Christ-mas day, I play with my new toys. After a little while, I phone my friend Hannah to ask her what she got, and then I tell her what I got. Christmas is a special time for my family.
Lashaina KailerGrade 4
Christmas means spending time with my family and decor-ating cookies. We also decorate the Christmas tree and give and receive. My mom and sister go out and sing Christmas carols. My dad and I go play hockey. We also
sit around the camp fire and roast hotdogs. We eat a big turkey. It is good. We sometimes buy a puppy if we are good. We buy a book for each other. We sleep most of the day. Christmas means having fun.
Jaylen MillerGrade 4
Christmas was the day Christ was born. To me Christmas means getting together whith my family and friends. Its not about presants or a Christmas trees its not about the fancyest house on the block. Its about your family you caring you sharing you lising to youre parents