COLUMNS: Let’s make it a merry Christmas

With Christmas right around the corner, it’s wonderful to see our communities decorated and lit up for the season.

With Christmas right around the corner, it’s wonderful to see our communities decorated and lit up for the season.

At this time of year, however, it’s important to remember those among us who may find themselves in hard times. Financial difficulties, life circumstances or personal tragedy can come to weigh upon the hearts and lives of many during the holiday season.

For those of us fortunate enough to be looking forward to the holidays – there are many ways we can spread the joy of the season by giving back to our community. Donations of time or money to our local food banks, shelters and charities can go a long way toward making this time brighter for those in need. Likewise, simply checking in on neighbours with limited mobility or few relatives, or visiting our local seniors is a great way to show we care.

Whether we’re visiting these neighbours or travelling to be with family for Christmas or New Year’s, let’s also remember to be extra careful on the roads this holiday season. Ensure your tires are up to the task before setting out on any long winter journeys, and be prepared with winter emergency kits in case you run into trouble on the road. As always, slow down to account for bad weather, and keep safety your top priority.

Safety around the house is also an important, and often overlooked, part of the Christmas season. The Canada Safety Council advises setting live Christmas trees set up away from heat sources, ensuring they’re watered daily and only kept inside for two weeks or until large quantities of needles begin to fall off. When it comes to open fireplaces, we should also be sure that fire hazards such as stockings are moved away before lighting a fire, and ensure a screen is in place to catch flying sparks.

With all this in mind, I’d like to wish you a safe and merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Contact MLA Barnett’s constituency office: Phone: (250) 305-3800; Email: donna.barnett.mla@leg.bc.ca. Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.