Christmas is the most memorable time of the year for many of us. Somehow, memories of celebrating Christmas seem to remain stronger in our minds than other past events. Perhaps it is the deep family connections that are enriched at this time of year. Perhaps it is the anticipation and excitement we had as children waiting for the surprises of Christmas morning. My memories of Christmas span the years from childhood when farm chores had to be done before we made the drive to be with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, to the excitement of our own children waking up on Christmas morning, to recent years with the squeals of delight of our grandchildren running through our home.
Christmas was first celebrated to remember Almighty God coming to us as Jesus, a tiny baby, born in poverty and sharing our humanity. Jesus showed us how much our Creator loved us, and taught us how to live and love. Christmas reminds us anew to care for others, and to celebrate goodness, love and peace.
Decorating our home to honour the birth of our Saviour is important to me every year. The nativity scene is the focal point of our outdoor decorations. As I start to decorate, I envision how beautiful the tall evergreens in front of our house will look decorated with lights. However, it gets more challenging every year because the trees are taller and I am a year older. Fortunately, I found a way to get the lights up safely again another year.
While busy schedules can take our focus off the task at hand, it is important that we take the time to follow safety measures. Fire safety is especially important. This December, the Ministry of Government Relations will post a holiday safety tip each day on the Government of Saskatchewan’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. I encourage you to take part in their 12 Days of Holiday Safety campaign. A fact sheet listing all 12 topics and their safety tips is also available online. The two minutes it takes to read and follow these important reminders can mean the difference between a happy memory, and a tragedy.
Christmas usually brings out the best in us, motivating us to be more considerate of others. The people of Moose Jaw, and indeed, all of Saskatchewan are generous and caring. We will never know about most of the individual acts of generosity and kindness. I thank the generous citizens of Moose Jaw, and all the organizations and faith groups who put out a huge effort this time of year. I want to particularly acknowledge the Salvation Army, the Food Bank, the Toy Run, Riverside Mission and generous businesses who ensure that everyone in our community can have a special celebration.
Whatever our faith and cultural background, the message of love, generosity, hope and peace crosses all boundaries. My prayer is that love, generosity, hope and peace will fill your celebrations, bring back special memories, and create precious new memories. My wife, Debbie, and I wish you and your loved ones a blessed, safe and happy Christmas.