From the Centre – Seniors take a short Christmas break

Joyce West's monthly report on the activities of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Seniors Association.

Our last Bingo for 2015 was on Dec. 5, and we had a very good turnout. Everyone was so happy and cheerful – I think we must all have enjoyed lunch at the Church Bazaar first!

Orest Maksymiw was our caller and we have to say a very warm “thanks” to him and all the others who turn out to call for us and give up their Saturday afternoons. I’m sure there must be times when they miss out on their favourite sports reports!

Our Christmas lunch at the Legion was also very well attended. The Legion Ladies  did a fantastic job, preparing a really delicious meal of roast turkey and all the trimmings.

Before the meal was served, there was much chatter and laughter, but once the plates were filled everyone got gown to the serious business of eating and there was near silence! All the plates were emptied and the meal enjoyed – a sure sign of good food! Carylon provided the dessert, and her coconut cake was much enjoyed.

Our full stomachs thank all those who worked before, during and clearing up after us! There was an extra nice touch, too, when president Muriel Scallon handed out Christmas cards. Thanks, Muriel, for your expressions of gratitude.

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and we are all busy with shopping and all the other preparations. Growing up so many years ago in a time of lack of money and the rationing that wartime imposed, my thoughts turn to a time before the extreme commercialism we see today, when we were thrilled by an orange and some gold wrapped coins in our stockings and the children had the job of making paper chains for decorations!

Nowadays we hear so much about what everyone wants that the original idea of Christmas often gets lost in the shuffle.

Nowadays, too, we hear so much about “rights” but so often the other side of the coin, “responsibilities” is forgotten. I often think that one of the best gifts a parent can give a child is to instill a sense of good behaviour and manners and the knowledge of the results of their actions, be they good or unhappy ones!

There is an ad on TV that just makes me cringe – I’m sure we have all seen it. I can’t imagine my mother ever standing smiling placidly had I blown bubbles through a straw (if I had ever had a straw!) and spilling  my drink on the table!  I would have been handed some paper towel (if we had had such a thing) and I would have learned the lesson of cleaning up after myself!

Teaching a  child to have responsibility for his or her actions is a way to encourage thinking before acting, and to consider the outcome of actions. We don’t always get or give enjoyment from what we do or from having everything we think we must have, even though many of our TV shows persistently try to make us think otherwise. Ah, well, I guess I’m just an old grouch!

We had our last business meeting for 2015 on Thursday, Dec. 17. It was attended by the usual members who turn out faithfully to hear the report and make suggestions. We heard that all the areas of the group activities are going strong and that our newer members are giving us hope that some more members will join in the group activities and fun.

Our membership year starts in January, so that would be a good time to join. The opening day after the break will be on Jan. 4, when Bridge will start up again, followed on Tuesday and Friday by Carpet Bowling and then Cards, then on Saturday Bingo will re-start. The day, time and location for the Zumba classes is to be decided once we start up again.

Following what I wrote in my last report, in Scotland the New Year was welcomed in by going First Footing when friends would call at everyone’s home to welcome in the New Year. The custom was  to take gifts of something to eat (shortbread) something to drink (a dram of whisky) and something to keep us warm (a small lump of coal) so the  toast “ Long may your Lum reek – chimney smoke – with ither folk’s coal” was a way of saying may you have many good friends and never want for food.

Now that TV has taken over much of the old way, many customs have fallen by the wayside, but that toast can still be heard quite often. I hope everyone has an enjoyable time over the whole of the festive season and that you all start off 2016 in good health and spirits. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Joyce West