Last Friday, Burns Lake held its lovely Christmas parade. A considerable amount of people came out in the streets to celebrate. If you weren’t in town last weekend for some reason, maybe I should mention that the wind chill was close to -30 C. Nevertheless, dozens of people were out waiting for Santa Claus to show up, and I am certainly grateful for everyone who traded the comfort of their own homes to be out in the cold supporting a community event. People seemed eager to share smiles, have a hot chocolate served by the village council, listen to the Lakes District Community Choir sing captivating songs and watch the mayor light up the Christmas tree (of course I didn’t see much of the parade because I was inside a mascot costume and several children were yelling at me because I was out of candy for most of the event).
To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced the Christmas spirit like I have in this corner of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had nice Christmases before, but it always involved some distant family members who only seemed to visit to point out that I was single and unsuccessful (well, that still remains the case, but at least now I am too far from home to be judged).
I don’t know if it’s all the snow, my neighbours putting up their Christmas lights, or that radio station that only plays Christmas songs all day long, but there’s definitely a holiday spirit catching on.
What really had me thinking about this was one of the stories we covered this week. Lakes District News followed the story of a life-saver dog and its owner, a senior citizen who struggles with type-two diabetes. The owner dropped her dog off at a kennel in Burns Lake to receive medical treatment out of town, and when she returned, she discovered that community members had donated almost $500 to help her take care of the animal. All this happened because of a warm-hearted kennel owner who posted on Facebook asking the community to donate $20 to support the dog and its owner.
What was interesting to see was that some of the people who donated had never met the dog or its owner before, and one of the donors wasn’t even from this town.
That was the perfect example of one small but inspired idea that touched other people’s hearts. One small gesture that made a difference in the life of a senior citizen – one who had just returned from surgery out of town and could have probably used some good news.
Did she absolutely need that money? Were there other more important causes people should have worried about instead? I am not sure, and maybe it doesn’t matter. What I do know is that the kennel owner stepped up to do what she felt was right in her heart, and that was why she had such an overwhelming response from the community. It was because other people could relate to that feeling. This is what Christmas is all about! It might just be about making a difference in the life of one person you know.
We all believe in different causes and we all have different values, but maybe that is a good thing. It means that we can use those different ideas to make sure our community will have the best possible Christmas this year. Maybe you can make a difference in the life of someone you know, or maybe you can inspire people you have never met before.
So I dare you to also have an inspired idea this week, just like the kennel owner did. I dare you to make a difference in the life of someone you know and inspire other people to do the same.
So… what will be your good deed this Christmas?