Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
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THE OFFICIAL KICK-OFF
Rosy cheeks. Clouds of breath. Lights. Lots of lights. Excitement. Family near. Smells of various foods and goodies. The laughter. The stickman snowman during Pictionary (yes, it’s quite possible!). The music. The general feeling of happiness. Then you’d hear it! The sirens! We’d gasp, grab our jackets, shove on our boots, and head out the door! It was candy cane time! This was our family’s tradition on Christmas Eve. These are the memories that I carry with me.
Back then, we didn’t have an actual ‘Santa Claus Parade’. Oh, no. Airdrie was too small for that at the time. Instead, the fire trucks would be festively decorated and would drive around town. They drove a certain special someone and his helpers from street to street. Then, Santa and his elves would go to each door handing out candy canes. We’d meet them on the sidewalk outside of our home. We couldn’t wait! It was the most exciting time of the year!
Now, years later, we have been blessed with a wonderful parade. Airdrie has grown far too large to have Santa come to each house, so he and his helpers make a quick trip down Main Street for all of us to see. The excitement still remains. There’s just something about getting together with your community and watching the parade. The kids’ faces light up with anticipation of seeing Santa, followed by the explosion of happiness that bursts forth when they do. All the while, the parents smile in delight as they make life-long memories. It truly becomes “the most wonderful time of the year!”
But wait a minute. These parades don’t just happen. Santa’s little helpers are very busy all year working on it. They work for hours and hours and more hours. Some of these sweet, devoted elves are busy coming up with ideas and finding local sponsors. Other elves are busy making floats and making sure that Santa brings the candies. Still more elves dutifully walk the parade route, braving whatever weather may come. Then, of course, there’s the big guy himself! Someone’s got to make sure that Santa is there and that his suit is freshly pressed.
There’s a lot of fuss going on behind the scenes. Santa even makes a few calls himself. He calls on some of our local citizens to help, and they’re quick to jump in to help. Why? Because they love their community and they want to make some great experiences for you and your family. They are our memory makers. Lucky for us, once a year, we get to enjoy the kick-off of the Christmas season thanks to Santa, his elves, and his many local “honourary elves”.
Airdrie is blessed to have so many of Santa’s helpers living as locals, but he’s always looking for more. You see, this kick-off to the holiday should also spark within us the spirit of generosity. You know, Santa’s spirit. That doesn’t mean anyone expects you to give more than you have, but to give what you can, where you can. Airdrie has many, many programs that need your help. We have people within our community that desperately need your help. We have various organizations that are asking for donations for a variety of different things. So, keep your eyes open as you’re reading The Scoop to discover who, what, and where the needs are. Santa keeps us informed of the needs and we reach out to the community and help where we can. In this way, Santa appoints himself a few more local elves that can be used to be a blessing to others.
So, what are you doing this Saturday, December 2nd? May I suggest you bundle up the fam and head down to Main Street? Santa’s parade will start at 5pm (please note that roads will be blocked off a half hour before and after the parade). Keep a watchful eye on the big guy … if you see a little extra twinkle in his eyes, he may be asking you to be a local honourary elf.