This was my first Christmas season in Agassiz, and while I ventured back to the minus 25 weather of Calgary for a few days, I spent most of December reporting on what was happening right here in Agassiz and Harrison.
It’s no secret that Christmas can be gloomy for anyone experiencing grief, loneliness or depression. When December hits, and sometimes sooner, we come face to face with the “cheer” and “joy” we are supposed to experience this season.
Whether it’s an Instagram post of a perfect Christmas dinner or pictures from a holiday party, Christmas, combined with social media, can highlight our losses and perceived inadequacies, sometimes making us feel more sad or alone than other times of the year.
But it was only a few days into December that I realized that no one really has to be alone over the holidays in Agassiz and Harrison. Every week, a new event or fundraiser filled my calendar.
Locals showed up in droves for these community events, filling the Agricultural Hall to sing with the mass choir or eat dinner with the Agassiz Fire Department.
The United Church held a Quiet Christmas Service, where grieving, appreciating or mindfulness were encouraged in all forms.
The Agassiz Centre for Education held its annual Christmas morning event at the Legion, ensuring no senior spent Christmas alone.
Hundreds showed up to enjoy the CP Holiday Train.
Local fire departments, schools and businesses raised money and held food and toy drives for Agassiz Harrison Community Services.
And recently, when a Pacific frontal system barraged the Fraser Valley with snow and ice, locals posted in community Facebook groups, offering their snow-clearing services to those who needed it.
While Christmas can be hard, Agassiz and Harrison celebrate the true togetherness and compassion that Christmas is supposed to be all about.
I’m proud to work in a community of people who care about and support one another. Social media might show images of “perfect” Christmases but no post can capture the authenticity of a community that truly cares.
–Nina Grossman, Editor