Rockin’ & Talkin’ – Be open to Christmas miracles

Zee Chevalier's monthly column about the activities of the Clinton Seniors' Association.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Marketplace or helped in any way to make the fund raiser a success for the Clinton Seniors Association.

Christine Rivett won the Peel ‘n’ Pay Raffle; Florence Boston, the door prize. The Guessing Game was won by Carol Higginbottom and Janice Maurice’s receipt was drawn for the Merchant Appreciation prize. St. Peter’s Guessing Game was won by Robin Fennell.

R.N. Colleen Thom had to cancel the November Foot Clinic for personal reasons. Note the change  –  December Foot Clinic will be held at the Seniors Centre 217 Smith Ave. on Dec. 10 and 11. To discuss your foot care needs and concerns or to book an appointment call 250-819-1632.

Clinton Seniors Association members will hold their annual Christmas Dinner Party in the Legion basement on Dec. 8, by invitation only.

Next general meeting will be Jan. 21. Come and join us! Annual membership fees are $15.

Clinton Seniors Association Annual General Meeting was held Nov. 19. Officers and 2016 Directors were elected as follows:  Chairperson Yvette May; Vice-Chairperson Joyce Witt; Secretary-Treasurer Zee Chevalier; and  Directors Mary Burrage, Helene Cade, Alice Crosson and Lena Czerwonko. Villa Board Directors: Mary Burrage, Alice Crosson, Loretta Ferguson, Isabel Haining and Eleanor Pigeon.

December has come with the excitement of Christmas. Try to focus on the real meaning of the holiday and try to keep your expectations reasonable. To give is to receive.

I am always mindful of a Christmas long ago. Like my husband and I, my sister and her husband had five children under the age of 11. For reasons that add nothing to the story, I’ll just tell you that her husband was in jail. Of course, “Santa” was coming to our house in his usual generous spirit but our thoughts were with my sibling and her family. We purchased Mandarin oranges and candy canes, packaged Christmas cookies and fruit cake and decked out a small tree with lights and ornaments. We made sure we had a gift for all of them. Our church had spent several weeks accepting food and gifts  for Christmas hampers. Fast forward to Christmas Eve….it was already dark when the telephone rang. It was our parish priest. “A large box has been left on my back porch,” he said. “It looks like a lot of toys. What are we going to do with them? All the boxes are packed and gone out in to the town already.” I said, “Well, I know a family that could use some toys but they don’t live here. They live in Vancouver.” Father B. replied,  “I’m sure there are no boundaries in heaven. Neither should there be any here. If you can use these things, I’ll gladly drop them off.”  And he did – and to my absolute surprize there were enough suitable items for each of my nieces and nephews to get three gifts each! There were tinker toys, dolls, a train, and other good stuff. Everything in the box was brand new and in its original packaging! I telephoned my sister and told her we were on our way to her place in East Vancouver, about 30 miles away. We loaded the car including lots of tags and ribbons, gift wrap and Scotch tape so my sister could enjoy playing Santa Claus for her young family. We turned a small, dark, quiet little living room into a magical place for Christmas morning. Do I believe in miracles? You bet!

We’ve been conditioned to believe that Christmas is a happy season. Experience tells us that’s not necessarily true. Sunshine. Hugs.  Good coffee. A gift. A visit from a friend. The things that make us happy are as unique as our beings. As difficult as happiness may be to define, its effects are quite real and obvious. Our age definitely affects our happiness. We experience happiness differently depending on our stage in life. Happy people affect others in a positive way – happy people create more happy people. If you go around with a long face complaining about everybody and everything, you tend to bring the people around you down which can lead to all kinds of issues, depression, etc.

Adults often experience happiness by reaching goals such as landing a good job or buying their first home. That shifts when adults get older. As people age they realize that “stuff” won’t make them happy. They begin to search for more meaning in their lives. Most of the people in that age bracket will have a better understanding of how fragile life really is, so what tends to bring the most happiness is holding on to and appreciating what they have.

It would seem that the secret to happiness is recognizing that it comes from within, not from getting everything you want.  Happiness is more than momentary gratification.

I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for your many kindnesses since Gene passed away. Words cannot express how grateful I feel and how thankful that I live in such a great community of caring people.

Have a very merry Christmas and a happy and blessed new year. Be open to your own little miracles!

Happy Birthday to Joyce Witt whose birthday is Dec. 8.

Zee Chevalier