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Christmas is a Magical Time of the Year

Christmas is a magical time of the year.  Family and friends come together to share food, fun and the spirit of giving.   It is most wonderful because it is the time of the year that our giving extends to those in our community who, through no fault of their own, may not be able to offer a full Christmas experience to the ones they love. 

At Christmas we come together; we come together in large groups, small groups; we come together with family, family we love, and family we tolerate for the holidays. We come together with friends, friends we haven’t seen for years, and friends we love more than family. We come together for work, for volunteer groups, associations, and teams.

We come together in remarkable undertakings like Christmas Baskets, Salvation Army Hampers, and other activities to make sure that every child wakes up Christmas morning with something under the tree.  Hundreds of people volunteer their time to make a difference in a stranger’s life.

The power of renewal in Brantford is coming together.

Brantford has suffered through hard times during the last years of this global economic downturn.  We have faced adversity not of our making, and now we must determine if we are going to be passive observers of what has befallen us, or are we going to stand up, come together and take control of our future?

Brantford’s motto Industria et Perseverantia means By Industry and Perseverance.  Industry means hard work, creativity and innovation – the entrepreneurial spirit; while perseverance means that no matter how hard things become, we use our own industriousness to overcome adversity and create the future we deserve.

It is only through planning and working together that we will create prosperity.  The 2010-2014 City Council is committed to changing the power sharing arrangement that we have seen in years past.  We want to be known as the Communication Council and through communication draw the most creative in our community to help guide us to a future as bright as the lights at Christmas.

Bright Lights

I took my family on a hot chocolate fuelled drive through our city looking for the best Christmas lights.  The Christmas music was playing and we travelled to some known destinations, but we kept our eyes open for those houses that stood out amongst the rest as the brightest and most creative. 

On Forest Road there are a group of eight houses that have banded together to create a unique Christmas display.  The houses are all in a row, they are decorated from roof to sidewalk and it is testament to the power of working to a common purpose.  Each house has its unique style that reflects the tastes of its owner, and the individual tastes complement each other.

Each house could stand on its own as a strong example of the joy of Christmas decorating; as individuals they would stand out and shine, but as families working together for a purpose, they glow so bright they can be seen from streets away. 

I can only hypothesize on how these houses all in a row came together to form this twinkling mass, perhaps it started with one enthusiast who just loved to decorate for the holidays.  Then that one person was joined by a neighbour who enjoyed the benefit of the skill and started their own display.  Others were encouraged by what they saw and started, perhaps someone wouldn’t have had the resources to create a full display, but their neighbours helped out and over years they kept adding to the overall collection.  There even could have been a healthy dose of competition between neighbours, as someone might have gotten involved just for the opportunity to outdo “that guy down the street.” But whatever the reasons for how the display started, grew and renews itself, now everyone can enjoy their collective talent and joy of the season.

I posted the pictures I took that night on facebook, and even though the pictures weren’t that great, having been shot on a blackberry, now we have communicated the joy of these eight houses to people around the world.  Comments and “Like”s have come in from all over as people enjoy from afar, and this is testament to the power of modern communication.

Brantford has turned a corner with a positive and forward-thinking Council that will be the facilitators for community and corporate renewal for the City.  Just like the homes that light up Forest Road, it will require all of Brantford to work together for a common purpose.  There will continue to be growing pains because we can’t control all the variables that affect us, but it is how we deal with the pains that will be the true mark of our resolve to build a bright future.

Giving is the Season

At Christmas, remember those who are less fortunate than you and through your generous giving make a difference in a family or a child’s life.  There are still opportunities to give and to help and it will be testament to the power of the season when you feel in your heart the joy of true giving.

On behalf of Wendy, Connor, Maddie  and myself – Merry Christmas and a joyous and prosperous New Year.