The Christmas wreath on our cover is not just any Christmas wreath. It is a Pender Island Christmas wreath, and behind that door lies the whole gamut of what Penderites consider to be the real Pender Christmas...food, music, crafts and gifts - something for everyone.
Pender Christmas starts early, and it starts at the grocery store as shoppers may choose to switch their traditional Spirit Board target from their charity of choice for the previous 11 months to Santa’s Sac and the Food Bank. The food bank is worthy of support at any time of year but Christmas is a particularly high demand time. Similarly, it is hard to imagine a better Christmas charity goal than Santa’s Sac which like Christmas is all about kids. If you think Christmas music puts you in a Christmas mood, donate to organizations that do such vital work at Christmas. There is no better feeling.
Did you know that prairie kids never see a Santa Ship? Apparently the Santa Ship is more ocean dependent than wheat dependent. Who knew? The Santa Ship,originally started in 1947 and the Bellingham Lions Club has, with help from various Lions Clubs on the islands, run the project since 1996. Every year Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a team of elves and clowns bring candy, gifts and balloons to the kids on Pender, Mayne, Saturna, and Salt Spring Islands. If it sounds like a big deal it is, and if your kids haven’t already done so, mark December 9, 2 pm on your calendar.
For the musically inclined, Pender offers a wonderful Choral concert. Ben McConchie and the adult choir always prove that all their hard work has been worthwhile. The choir is impressive and well deserving of the crowds. If the adult choir doesn’t fill your Christmas spirit tank, the kids’ choir certainly will more than top it up. The “kids,” under the patient and watchful eyes of Sabrina Wrerbowski and Stephanie Jackson, are in two age groups this year. As usual, the kids will be cleaner and shinier than at any other time of the year, and hopefully the younger group will once again prove that singing, smiling, scratching, hopping from one foot to the other and waving to friends and family in the audience, can be done simultaneously with singing Christmas songs.
Bake sales, craft sales, cookie exchanges, quality time with friends and relatives, and your own special traditions are all synonymous with the holidays. Enjoy it all and, if you have the opportunity, bring joy to a complete stranger’s holiday... “Tis the season.”