Christmas spirit not just a tree

A reflection on the true meaning of Christmas and community spirit.

Dear editor,

As you know, the “Community” Christmas Tree light-up at Thunderbird Mall is a Port Hardy tradition. Every year around this time the mall has a 40 foot tree. During the annual “Kick off To Christmas” event at the mall, the tree light-up is the perfect ending to this wonderful day. It is a special time and Christmas spirit is in the air.

But somewhere along the way, many of us have forgotten or lost our community spirit and all that goes with it. Perhaps, the true meaning of Christmas.

I discovered that this year, when Light-Up volunteers hit a snag. After searching out and spotting “the” perfect tree, the date was set and they were ready to roll. The temperature was around freezing and, unfortunately, three large boughs were broken.

Then something incredible happened — something magical, even, yet largely unnoticed — a number of individuals volunteered even more of their time to make the tree look as beautiful as ever.

The boughs were brought in with the tree and the crew tried to attach them safely, without success. James and Jeff with K&K Electric spent an entire day wrapping the tree with lights. They did a wonderful job!

Unfortunately, a good many area residents failed to notice these generous and selfless acts. Rather than being applauded as they should, some of these volunteers are being mocked for their efforts.

What’s happened to Port Hardy’s holiday spirit? Are we so wrapped up in materialism and appearances that we overlook the true meaning of Christmas when it is right in front of us?

I overheard one individual sneering a volunteer for finding a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree. But even the children in that movie came to see the meaning of Christmas.

We should be rallying around our amazing volunteers and cheering our Christmas tree now more than ever.

I call on all Port Hardy residents to remember this for any event that volunteers have been involved in. And when you see a volunteer, tell him or her thanks for all they do.

P.S.: For anyone who really thought their tax dollars go towards this tree, no, they do not.

Sandy Dyer

Port Hardy