With the anticipation of presents under the tree and bountiful holiday meals around the table with family, this time of year can actually be very stressful. Aside from trying to find parking at the local mall, some carry the burden of not being able to afford groceries, let alone the gift their child may have at the top of their wish list. Making ends meet to cover very basic needs can be a struggle and every family deserves some special cheer this Christmas.
There are two ‘adopt-a-family’ programs in town for 2010 where you can sign up, pair with a family, and deliver their wish list (from a turkey for dinner to stocking stuffers for the kids).
The YWCA Vancouver is partnering with families in their program this year. If you’re able to pair up, you’ll receive their “wish list” so that you can complete a holiday hamper. 50 families are in need of hampers by December 17th. You can sign up for the program online today. You can also donate a lump sum and YWCA volunteers will do the shopping for you.
I’ve been ending every day here in Mexico with a walk on the beach with John. Yesterday we brought out our cameras and wandered just about 200 meters off the resort’s beach to adjacent rocky shores. Chasing the sunset, we captured the incoming tide, fossilized imprints, and some unexpected castaways.
Located on the Eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula in the Quintana Roo region along the Caribbean Sea our resort is a part of the Bahia Principe Ecological Foundation that protects (as best it can) the surrounding swamps, rain forests, and coral reefs. We don’t have miles of sandy beaches as some waterfront areas are separated by rock walls or man-made breakers to protect the reefs. Any garbage that comes ashore here is (I assume) promptly swept up and disposed of. Unfortunately just off the resort, there are no workers or volunteers to clean up what might wash ashore.
It was rather depressing to find so much junk during our quick stroll but it was a small dose of reality. Within sight of our villas we were hopscotching over flippers, shoes, drink containers, a doll’s arm, an asthma inhaler, and motor oil bottles.
Back at the Gran Bahia Principe the ground is raked and the trees are pruned. Dump trucks beep as they back up and deliver piles of white sand to cover coarse white stones.
This morning I lay comfortably under palm branches listening to the white-capped waves crash and turn to foam — and I couldn’t help but imagine the handful of trash each one must carry… and where it may have started its journey.
The following was contributed by Jon Strocel of TheV3H.com.
With the days getting shorter and the lights going up, we in the Tri-Cities are busy enjoying the holiday season. If you’re ever out in our neck of the Inlet, there are a bunch of cool events happening in the next week or so to get you in the holiday spirit faster than “1 part Eggnog, 3 parts Rum.”
What:Tree of Memories When: Thursday, December 2 – Friday, January 7, Daylight to Dusk Where: Robinson Memorial Park Cemetery [map] The scoop: A quiet opportunity for people to celebrate memories during the holiday season. Visitors can bring an ornament and place it on the tree in honour of their loved ones. More info: 604.927.6020
What:Breakfast with Santa When: Saturday, December 11 from 9:00-11:00am Where: Wilson Centre [map] The scoop: Breakfast with the jolly old elf himself! Join us for entertainment, crafts, face painting, and a sing-along. Tickets are $7 per person (0-3 years free). More info: 604.927.7970
What:Tiny Tots: Holiday Hooray! When: Saturday, December 11 at 10:00 and 11:30am Where: Terry Fox Theatre [map] The scoop: Let Your Music Shine – With Lisa and Linda! Move along with famous pieces from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and sing along with frosty favourites. In this celebration of the sounds of the season, join the March of the Toys, do the Skaters’ Waltz, and play imaginary drums to the 1812 Overture. More info: 604.468.9403
What:An Afternoon of Music and Cookie Decorating When: Saturday, December 11 from 12:00-4:00pm Where: Mackin House Museum [map] The scoop: Enjoy a Heritage Christmas with carolers and festive music. Saxophonist, Marlon Paulus, plays at 1pm; The Glen Pine Singers entertain at 2pm and the Lindbjerg Academy performs at 3pm. The Museum will be decorated as it would have been in 1909. We will be icing cookies in our heritage kitchen. More info: 604.516.6151
What:Holiday Under the Sea When: Saturday, December 11 from 1:00-3:00pm Where: Hyde Creek Recreation Centre [map] The scoop: Join our staff in a bubbly holiday adventure. Santa might even make an early underwater appearance! Lots of great games to celebrate the holidays – come out and join the fun. Happy Holidays from all the aquatic staff at Hyde Creek! More info: 604.927.7946 or [email protected]
What:The Bells of Christmas When: Saturday, December 11 at 8:00pm Where: Evergreen Cultural Centre [map] The scoop: Ring in the Christmas Season with the Bells of PSWE. Ukrainian Bell Carol, Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and Ian McDougal’s Bells will have the sounds of the season ringing in your ears! More info: 604.927.6555
What:Holiday Tea When: Sunday, December 12 and 19 from 1:00-3:00pm Where: Port Moody Station Museum [map] The scoop: This December bring your family for some old fashioned holiday fun at the Port Moody Station Museum. They’ll be serving tea and hot cocoa on our 1920s train car. Enjoy watching the festive holiday lights on the station or listening to classic holiday music while cozying up to a hot drink and sweet treat. $5 per person, no reservations required. More info: 604.939.1648
What:A Ceremony of Carols When: Sunday, December 12 at 3:00 and 7:00pm Where: Evergreen Cultural Centre [map] The scoop: Two shimmering concerts featuring Christmas songs new and old. The afternoon show offers a chance to celebrate the season with the glorious sound of children’s voices. The evening show features glorious traditional and contemporary holiday choral music. Presented by Coastal Sound Music Academy. More info: 604.927.6555
What:A Retro Christmas When: Sunday, December 12 at 6:00pm Where: Terry Fox Theatre [map] The scoop: Broadway Bound Performing Arts studio is a unique studio with the sole purpose of training youth in all aspects of musical theatre and dance. Join us for an old fashioned variety show the whole family will enjoy! More info: 604.468.9403
What:Really Big Christmas Show When: Sunday, December 12 at 8:00pm Where: Inlet Theatre [map] The scoop: Come out for a night of music, fun and family, all in benefit of the SPCA. Featuring artists from past and present Very Vancouver Christmas albums, including: Danny Echo, Cupla, Pam Carr, Sillken, Gillian Hobbs, The Light Machines, Michelle Richard, Laura Biagini, Matt Stanley & The Decoys, Debbie Bergeron, Treebeard, Sheldon Witt, Ranj Singh & The Discriminators, with Kent McAlister, our MC and all around nice guy! More info: 604.294.3007
What:Glen Pine Christmas Luncheon When: Tuesday, December 14 from 12:00-2:30pm Where: Glen Pine Pavilion [map] The scoop: Celebrate early with a traditional turkey meal followed by dessert and entertainment at the Glen Pine Pavilion Great Room. Yuletide entertainment provided by the Glen Pine Singers and special guest. More info:[email protected]
What: Corbin: My Last Song For You When: Friday, December 17 and Saturday, December 18, 7:30pm Where: Evergreen Cultural Centre [map] The scoop: An evening of song and holiday inspiration with Corbin Vanderzalm. Presented by Theatrix Youth Theatre. More info: 604.927.6555
I’ll leave you with the strangely awesome promo video for the Holiday Train. Happy Holidays from all of us at theV3H.com.
This post was written by Jon Strocel, who contributes to TheV3H.com along with his wife, Amber. Their blog highlights news and events in and around Port Moody and the Tri-Cities. Jon tweets snarky things at @jstrocel. You can also catch up with Amberâ€™s musings on life and parenting at Strocel.com.
It’s been 10 years since Caroline MacGillivray started Beauty Night, a non-profit organization in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside that is committed to bettering the self-esteem, image, and lives of women living in poverty. Due to her efforts and the dedication of over 400 volunteers over the years, 11,000 life-makeovers have been performed.
In 2009, Caroline was nominated as a YWCA Woman of Distinction and I had the chance to interview her about Beauty Night. “We are able to work together to make a difference in the lives of many, Caroline told me. “Our volunteers empower the women and themselves by sharing their gifts (skills) with the clients. The programs bridge the gap between different areas of society. I believe this creates a synergy for us to make a positive impact by breaking down barriers and working together.”
You can contribute by volunteering your time, services, or beauty products such as mascara wands, nail files, and barbacide. Monetary donations can be made online.
Beauty Night’s anniversary party will be December 15th at the Inter Urban Gallery from 5:00pm until 10:00pm. Everyone is welcome to attend (for free) to celebrate and reflect upon this milestone. RSVP’s can be made online.
Follow Beauty Night on Twitter and Facebook for updates, news, and information.
One of the most unique event notifications to hit my inbox recently was from the Pacific Ice Synchronized Skating Club. On Saturday, December 11th, they will be hosting their 6th Annual Christmas Gala featuring 20 synchronized skating teams from across BC and even Washington State.
Bring a non-perishable food item donation for the Surrey Food Bank to attend between 1:30pm and 4:30pm at the South Surrey Arena. Raffle prizes will be available including Canucks tickets, a free night in Whistler, wine, and a 50/50 draw.
Appealing to ice skating fans, dancers, young and old, this is the perfect opportunity to check out this graceful sport while contributing to a great local cause.