OUR VIEW: Spreading the cheer

As Christmas looms, the staff of the Peninsula News Review want to wish all of our readers good tidings at this time of year.

Seasons greetings.

As the Christmas holiday is only a couple days away, the staff of the Peninsula News Review want to wish all of our readers good tidings at this time of year.

It’s tradition, of course — as are the gatherings of friends and family that typically take place between Dec. 24 and 26. It makes this time of year special for a great deal of people (that, and there’s a few days off for many of us, too).

As the holiday weekend rolls around, we should also take time to acknowledge the things we take for granted on the Saanich Peninsula, and across Canada in general. Not everyone — even in our own country — can say that the holidays are positive experiences.

Yet, there are a great many people helping to make sure that others have the opportunity to overcome those feelings and be around other people during what can be stressful and emotional times.

There are all of the volunteers at the free Community Christmas Day Dinner at the Mary Winspear Centre. For years, volunteers have been cooking for hundreds of people who might be in need, or simply do not have family nearby with whom to celebrate the season.

Then there are the volunteers who collect toys, coins and other donations to help ensure families with children, who might not be able to afford a Christmas, have access to gifts for their children. Carey Salvador at the Mary Winspear Centre says that the Peninsula Santa’s Helpers have been able to meet the needs of every family taking part in this year’s program. She is thankful for the generous donations of toys from the community in a time when donations are, in general, in a downward trend.

That trend certainly didn’t hamper Peninsula firefighters, who were able to help stock the shelves of the Sidney Lions Food Bank and raise more than $10,000.

It all goes to show that people on the Saanich Peninsula are willing to give and spread the cheer around over the holidays.

To all of those volunteer groups, firefighters, the people who work over the holidays keeping us safe — and to all of those unsung heroes helping make the Peninsula a better place, thank you.

Have a Merry Christmas.