As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

FRENCH CONNECTION: Make the best of this different, holiday season

This year, I wish you all as merry a Christmas as you can manage

Christmas time is supposed to be about Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men.

Not much of either in the world today, but maybe each of us can try for it in our own, small worlds.

It really does suck not being able to celebrate the holiday the way we want to.

No family gatherings, no coming home for the holidays, none of the many traditional joys of the season, but it is what it is. It could be worse. We do have ways to communicate and we have memories.

One of my favourite Christmas events is the school concerts. I really missed them this year.

I grew up in a rural area and the entire community attended the concert, followed by a social evening and Santa arriving with gifts for the children.

The presents were provided by community-minded women who raised the money, got the names, gender and age of all the children, and sent the list to Eaton’s Catalogue. Wrapped gifts were returned. They were always appropriate. The men’s contribution to the event was finding a Santa — not an easy task because the kids could identify every man in the community.

To my surprise, when I arrived in the Cariboo years later as a teacher, the same version of the concert was happening in rural schools here.

I organized a few, then switched to making costumes for my boys who participated in them. Not as much fun.

Try making a snowman. The concert content has changed, no more manger scenes and few gift-bearing Santa in most schools now, but all are great entertainment.

This year, I wish you all as merry a Christmas as you can manage under the circumstances, and be safe. If you don’t do Christmas, same message, have a happy holiday, and be safe.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.


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