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Christmas

Meals on Wheels may be the only social interaction some have on Christmas Day

in Community/Health/Poverty Reduction/Seniors by
Art Myers, left, and Len Skelton, right, volunteers for Meals on Wheels.

It’s the time of year when we look ahead just a few weeks to the Christmas season. For many people, it’s a ‘warm and fuzzy’ exercise as they anticipate family gatherings and meals accented with laughter, merriment and reflections of their blessings. It’s not necessarily so for everyone, however.

As much as the holiday season can be heartwarming and positive for some, it also a very ‘blue’ time for others who may be without family and friends. Stress of the holidays can combine with circumstances that trigger sadness and melancholy instead of happiness and positive moods. Not everybody looks forward to the holidays, especially if it means being alone.

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The spirit of the season: What is it, and how do we make it last?

in Community by
What would happen if, as a reformed Scrooge promises, we kept Christmas in our hearts all the year?

Maybe you’re hearing it already. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. But what do we really mean when we say things like “getting into the Christmas spirit” or “the true spirit of the season”? What exactly is this thing that we all profess to desire not just now, but all year long?

Although it’s not precisely religious, it is something that transcends the ordinary, says Rev. Linda Park, lead minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Lindsay. “I think it’s a longing for a sense of generosity, a sense of family, a sense of community.”

When people use the phrase, what they’re identifying is “a spirit of giving, a spirit of feeling at one, of reaching out beyond themselves,” often mingled with nostalgia, suggests Rev. Craig Donnelly, minister at Cambridge Street United Church.

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Faithful giving at St. Thomas Aquinas

in Around Town/Community/Education/Poverty Reduction by
Students provided donations geared to the age of the children, as well as items for the family as a whole.

True to its commitment to not only providing education, but also to helping its students live out their faith, St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay has just wrapped up a campaign that saw the school community providing gifts for families in need.

As part of the school’s ‘Be an Angel’ program, the families were identified by St. Vincent de Paul, the Roman Catholic charity, and assigned to the school for some seasonal kindness.

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The thrill of the festive hunt: Your guide to bazaar season

in Around Town/Community/Local News/Seniors by

Starting in mid-November, every weekend offers you the chance to pick up unique finds that are locally made, reasonably priced and usually support a great cause. That’s the beauty of Christmas bazaar season. Watch for signs outside churches, charities and nursing homes starting in mid-November.

Pro tip: Bring several of your own reusable containers for cookies and other baking, and cloth bags for larger purchases. And remember, like any other shopping expedition, it’s easy to get carried away—there are definitely better and worse choices.

Best bets

You’re looking for things you can’t get anywhere else, or that you can’t or won’t make yourself. Keep an eye out for:

-microwaveable rice- or bean-filled neck bags. These are often available at bazaars in much cheaper and more attractive versions than you’ll find in stores.

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I’m dreaming of a green Christmas

in Community/Opinion by
Christmas has become associated with the pressures of finding “the perfect gift,” and the anxiety that comes with spending more money than we have.

It is surely ironic that Christmas, the celebration of a child born to a homeless couple, has become one of the biggest consumer festivals of our culture. As a result Christmas has become associated with the pressures of finding “the perfect gift,” and the anxiety that comes with spending more money than we have. And, of course, there is the strain that all the “stuff” that comes with the season puts on our already fragile earth.

So what are a few things that we can do to make Christmas a time of generosity and love not just for each other, but for the earth? Here are a few suggestions.

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Santa Day is coming to Fenelon Falls

in Around Town/Community/Local News by

Santa Claus is coming to town – Fenelon Falls, that is – on Saturday, November 24, for the 19th annual Santa Day.

A full day of free family fun, it all starts at 11 am – horse-drawn wagon rides around town, a petting zoo, pony rides, face-painting, popcorn, events at the museum, gingerbread cookie decorating and so much more.  Of course, you can visit with Santa, and his reindeer would be thrilled if you stopped by to see them too.

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The week before Christmas at A Place Called Home

in Around Town/Community/Poverty Reduction by
Christmas at A Place Called Home
A Place Called Home staff members, Christina Alden (left) and Jennifer Lopinski (right).

As families settle into holiday mode its worth reflecting on the fact that not everyone has a place to live – even in a small town like Lindsay.

Just four days before Christmas, there are 17 people in town – three of them children under 12 – who are homeless. Fortunately, they’ve got A Place Called Home to get them through what is hopefully a temporary situation.

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