Merry Christmas to our readers

Post by Mike Klassen in

1 comment

LED lights
LED lights brighten the whole city tonight – Flickr photo by slworking2

Perhaps it's a combination of factors – like our relatively mild winter, or a spirit generated by the pending excitement for the 2010 Games – but I'm seeing many more Christmas lights hung on homes in my East Vancouver neighbourhood along Fraser Street than I ever have before. Most likely the increase is a result of those lovely, guilt-free LED lights, which use very little energy compared to their incandescent cousins, and are as cheap as borscht over at Crappy Tire these days.

I've driven around large parts of Vancouver recently, and in comparison to blocks to the east and west, our streets around here seem alive with coloured lights. I even succumbed to peer pressure and bought an extra couple of strings to hang up the other day.

If I were to speculate as to why our streets are more lit up these days, it might be because of a growing pride within our community. It certainly is not reflective of despair or fear of one another. Rather, it may be a sign of confidence.

That confidence is a by-product of a community brought closer by local schools, churches, Brownie meetings, bottle drives, bulletin boards, and four lovely wall murals painted with city grants (recently slashed in the 2010 budget). That confidence comes from local leadership and the enormous generosity of volunteers who put the interests of their community on par or ahead of their own.

In a recent year-end missive full of wisdom and hope for the future, my friend Bob Ransford closed with this call to arms:

"I urge all of you to find time for volunteer service."

Let me credit the countless numbers of individuals who give their time in support of making their community a better place. Whether it is as part of city advisory committee, posting signs for a candidate for public office, or baking muffins for a local fundraiser. Every effort has immense value.

Those who actively participate in the political process as volunteers – regardless of whom they support – deserve a special mention. Without their commitment we simply would have no democratic system left. Why they "get involved" is a mystery. However, that hasn't stopped Michael Davis, the president of the NPA board of directors, from providing his own reflections on the matter...

So, as I have been asked on more than one occasion, why bother?

For me it is the people. The councillors, commissioners and trustees. The candidates, volunteers and campaigners. Regardless of political stripe, they tend to be an amazing lot. Their motivation is a puzzle.

They are not there for the money; it’s not that good. There are not there for the hours; they are horrendous. They are not there for the fame and adoration; no matter what the decision, many will slag them for making the stupidest possible choice.

And yet, they continue. They seem drawn to the center, to the good fight, to have an almost overwhelming desire to help. They need more than punching a clock, shopping for more stuff, or lying on the couch watching the next greatest thing. They care about more than themselves.

I'm too weary after a whirlwind of holiday preparations to add much more other than to say thank you to all of you, our readers, who join us here. It's been an exciting 12 months for us, and an even more exciting year lay ahead. All of us – myself, Daniel, Eric, Erin and the many who have contributed to these pages – are grateful for your time and your input.

We'll keep the lights on – at CityCaucus Tower, of course – as long as you keep coming back.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. We'll be back in a couple of days.

1 Comment

It's past 2.00 AM on Christmas Day; just finished arranging the presents under the Christmas tree. For the kids, ladies and gentlemen, for the kids! They are still at that age when they do believe in Santa Claus. I feel a bit guilty, you know, for setting them up for later disappointment and possible ridicule at the hands of the other little rascals at school, especially from those that do not celebrate Christmas...oh, if we could only make it one more year!
I don't care if I don't get anything; I've been on the naughty list since I can't even remember.
Keeping the lights dimmed I almost tripped over our lazy cat that for some reason thinks those tree needles are some sort of special annual catnip. Camera ready, I can only hope I'll wake up just before the kids do; you get there 30 seconds later and all you'll get it’s bits and pieces of wrapping paper, paper bags, and shreds of plastic. You may be able to get the shot of one foot or one ear standing out of that pile, if you are lucky.
So, time to go. Need to recharge for the early morning excitement.
Guys, thank you for the Forum. Like your style and content. Don't agree all the time, but that's the beauty of it, that's what makes the dialogue interesting.
Without a healthy debate, it’ll start to look like ...Vision, ev'rywhere you go.
Merry Christmas everybody and A Happy New Year!
Glissando Remmy

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