Harrison Happenings: Conjuring up Christmases past

Reconnecting with family just one of columnist Ruth Altendorf's holiday highlights

Several items come to my mind that made the past Christmas Season very special to me.

Actually, the first item did not happen until Dec. 28, when, to my surprise, the entire front page of our Agassiz-Harrison Observer was dedicated to a good news story.

At our time, good news stories are rarely credited enough, seemingly due to the belief that anything good is not very interesting to us readers.

Well, the story of the ACE School in Agassiz receiving this year’s Betty Urquhart Award for Community Service, proved that it is not so.  As a former recipient of this award I know what it takes to even get close to receiving it and I sincerely congratulate all teachers and students.

Keep up the good work.  We all are very proud of you!

The second item on my list happened before the Christmas season began and it involves my friend Trudy.  We both have young grand-children and we talked about gift-giving.

Trudy told me that she does not buy gifts for them anymore but rather gives them money.  They know exactly what they want and like to buy it themselves, she said.

Reluctantly, I followed her advice, partly, I  have to admit, because “Big Mall Shopping” has never been my forte and certainly is not now.

So what happened?  Trudy was right and Sierra, Kai and Jasper were truly happy about the money.  They showed me how much they had already saved for their favourite Lego Sets and that now they had reached their goal!  Kai, aged seven, explained it all so well that I am sure he will be a banker at some time!

For some small items, however, I went to the Spirit Health Center next door which had organized a Namathe Market as part of the Harrison Hot Springs Christmas Crawl on Dec. 1 and 2.

The organizers had created a beautiful atmosphere and the vendors sold a number of items with the revenue often going to a worthwhile cause.  There were two ladies, for instance, who had written a cook book for young girls, titled “From Grandma’s House to Yours”.  The revenue they made with the book went to a children’s hospital.  Another lady sold jewelry with pearls made from newspaper and her profit went to African women who had made the “pearls”.

After shopping, I was sitting with a lady watching her using a spinning wheel, as I sipped a glass of Gluhwein (hot spiced red wine). It was my kind of market and, I hope, it will be repeated next year!

As always, of course, the Christmas  season starts with mail:  cards, letters, photos, computer printed or hand-written – I love it all!  It is a beautiful way to reconnect with family and friends.  I tried to use the phone, too, especially for reaching people overseas, but did not have much luck.  With one niece, for instance, I talked back and forth via the answering service since, always, one of us was not at home!  It was quite funny.  And I even received a card from one of my readers telling me how much she liked my articles and that she wishes me good luck for the coming year.  I was really happy about it!  It would not be Christmas, however, without family and friends getting together for lunches, dinners or just coffee, tea and cookies.  I attended many and would not want to miss one!

I would like to repeat something Andre Rieu mentioned on his new Christmas Show:  “If every man would be supplied with a violin, there would be no more war!”  With fighting going on in so many places, I think it would be worth a try!

Finally, a big thank-you to Shaw TV – the “Shaw Fire Log” gave me much pleasure during the season!  It is so well done it almost warms the room!  One question:  Could we please have Christmas music with it next year???

All the best for the year 2013 – Good Health, Good Cheers and whatever else you wish for!