As December begins this week, Christmas inevitably floats into the forefront of everyone’s mind.
After witnessing the gross over-commercialization of Christmas in the city in my recent years of urban dwelling, it’s warming to see a community so enthusiastic to expound holiday cheer — and it’s genuine.
Not only is Christmas in Lake Cowichan about giving, it’s equally about community, too.
Since I grew up in rural Saskatchewan setting much smaller than Lake Cowichan, I’m aware of how a community bonds over the holiday season. Everyone is each other’s neighbour — it’s an unwritten law.
The city presents a degree of anonymity which isn’t conducive to the festive atmosphere which has begun to envelope Lake Cowichan.
This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to give back the place that has been keeping me the past few weeks. I was able to assist Katherine Worsley and Bob Day in the Info Centre’s transformation into a gingerbread house by putting Christmas lights around the building’s perimeter.
At first, the situation seemed dismal: it was pouring rain, it was cold and I was underdressed (even though Worsley insisted I use her jacket). However, after half hour or so I found myself enthusiastically, but carelessly dangling off a ladder in a thicket of bushes.
In my hurried pace to finish to get out of the rain, I managed to shock myself twice in a minute by accidentally stapling through the Christmas lights’ wire instead of around them.
Day and Worsley shared some laughs over my misfortune and so did I. It was pretty funny I admit. Although I did ask myself afterwards whose bright idea it was to do leave the lights plugged while we were stapling.
It was a worthwhile morning. Day and Worsley got to get to know me other than the guy sticking a recorder down their throat or shoving a camera in their face (although I did get some good photos and comments of both of them!), which was nice.
The light hanging was especially nostalgic. It took me back to my upbringing and how much fun getting involved is. My folks raised me like that.
Before retiring from farming, my dad was the reeve of the local rural municipality, sat on the school, hospital, and senior hockey team’s executive boards, as well as a plethora of other committees. He was the kind of guy pebbling the sheets of curling ice in his spare time or the person selling the local hockey team’s 50-50 tickets at games.
And this is exactly how I’m going to strive to be in Lake Cowichan.
So get involved, it’s crucial on so many levels. You’ll feel good about yourself and maybe make some new friends along the way.