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Red Deer Express

A10 Wednesday, December 5, 2018

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Red Deer Family

Holiday Celebrations HAPPY HOLIDAYS from all of us at the Red Deer Express and Central Alberta Designs!

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Red Deer Family Holiday Celebrations

, e m i t s a m t s i r h C eason

BY MARK WEBER mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

With the coming of Christmastime comes one of the busiest times of the year for staff and volunteers at the Red Deer Salvation Army. “Christmas is about the celebration of a holiday which is obviously first and foremost as far as the Salvation Army is concerned. We are, after all, first and foremost a church. But we are also a church with a social conscience,” explains Major Larry Bridger, pastor of the Red Deer church. “We help where we can. And that became part of our Christmas – celebrating Christmas to us is celebrating the birth of Christ and about trying to provide for others,” he said. “That’s really what it’s all about. We believe the two go hand in hand, and that’s why we do what we do,” he added. “It’s part of our calling – that’s the way we look at it.” The Salvation Army began its work in London, England, in 1865 when William Booth, a minister, left behind the conventional concept of a church and a pulpit and took his message of hope to the poor, the homeless, the hungry and the destitute. Initially, Booth would stand outside the Blind Beggar Pub and preach. But as mentioned, a desire to also serve those in need quickly became part of his mission.

s d e s s e l b d n a y s u b a y m r A n o i t a v l a S for the

“By 1867, the Salvation Army had developed into a ministry offering basic schooling, reading rooms, penny banks, soup kitchens and relief aid to the destitute,” noted the web site. Currently in Red Deer, the Christmas Kettle Campaign is ongoing through to Dec. 22nd at locations around the City. By reaching this year’s fundraising goal of $240,000, the Salvation Army in Red Deer will be able to support family service programs, provide year-round food hampers, Christmas assistance, counseling and senior programs among other services, said Bridger. “The bulk of the money for these programs is raised at Christmastime.” Starting this year, six of the 10 kettle locations in Red Deer will be able to accept debit and credit card donations. “We’re excited that there will be new ways of making a Kettle donation that will still help change the lives of people in need, and that’s the most important thing.” Up until now, the only options were cash or cheque, or online at FillTheKettle.com, which has been popular and will remain part of the campaign. Bridger also pointed out that anyone who has a few hours to spare can sign-up for a two-hour shift by calling 403-346-2251 as volunteers are always needed. Another initiative is the annual Adopt-A-Family program. Families needing to register for Christmas assistance are asked to call 403-

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 11

346-2251 during business hours for an appointment. Registrations for the annual AdoptA-Family program wraps up Dec. 12th. Other December events include visits to local long-term care facilities which include a sing-song and the handing out of Christmas packages and the Community Christmas dinner will once again be served at the Salvation Army Dec. 25th at 1 p.m. For Bridger, although it’s a busy time, he really enjoys every aspect of it. “I like the celebration of Christmas in general. “I think it boils down to the Christmas songs, the spirit of giving and the joy that is spread around. People are generally happier at Christmas,” he said, adding it’s also a joy to visit local care centres and nursing homes to sing carols and hand out gifts as well. “And knowing what we are celebrating is a big part of it all of course – the birth of Christ.” Meanwhile, a Christmas Eve candlelight service runs at the church at 6:30 p.m. “It’s a special time. I always enjoy the Christmas Eve service,” he said. “It’s a celebration but more of a quiet time, a time of reflection where you can come aside from the busyness. It’s quiet and to me it’s very meaningful.” For more about any of the above programs or events, or to find out how to help out, call the church office at 403-346-2251.

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Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum brings the community together for the holidays By Carlie Connolly carlie.connolly@reddeerexpress.com

Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum in a team effort with The Mustard Seed and The Red Deer Food Bank is in full swing with their event Deck The Hall - 31 Days of Giving. “We’re giving back to our community because we love our community so much and we love being part of it and they’ve given us so much, so we decided to give a little bit back as well,” said Kayli Henrikson, event coordinator with the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. “If any guest brings a donation item for either charity (The Mustard Seed or The Red Deer Food Bank) then they get a free youth admission into the Museum, so you have two kids and you bring say a pair of mittens and a non-perishable item, then both kids get in free and then it’s just the adult admission into the Museum,” she said.

Donations can be brought to The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. A list can be found on The Mustard Seed website and Alberta Sports Hall of Fame’s website along with their Facebook page of the types of donations they are looking for. “For the Deck The Hall portion of it, we are doing paper snowflakes or mittens that kids can colour in and we’re going to hang them in the sports hall. “December 21st is when the event ends and at that point we’re going to take all of the snowflakes and decorations that have been made and we’re going to actually take them over to The Mustard Seed so they can decorate,” said Henrikson. She added that this is the first year they are doing this event and that the team is really excited about it. The event started Nov. 21st and runs until Dec. 21st. “We’re really excited about it and we really hope that everybody can come down. We are a non-profit ourselves but it’s great to help other non-profits and really give back to our community and help our community.” And the holiday festivities don’t stop there. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame & Museum will be having a New Year’s bash that is family friendly. Admission is $45 for a family of four or $15 each, which includes pizza, games, a DJ, the ball drop and a toast with sparkling apple juice. That event will take place from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 31st. Tickets can be purchased at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

photo submitted

Red Deer Christmas Bureau, Food Bank launch holiday campaigns

By Robin Grant robin.grant@reddeerexpress.com

The Red Deer Christmas Bureau is busy at it again this holiday season raising money for families in need. The volunteer non-profit organization supports children and families at Christmas by providing financial resources so that they can have a good Christmas. So far this year, Teresa Patterson, event co-ordinator with the Red Deer Christmas Bureau, said it has received 305 applications for assistance. Last year, it helped more than 1,200 families. “The way we are set up is that parents can come in and do the shopping themselves so they get that pride

in picking out their own toys for their kids,” she said. “We also provide mitts and toques for all the kids and either Hot Wheels, a doll, stocking stuffers are included.” More items could include puzzles, a stuffed animal or a family game. The Red Deer Christmas Bureau is also one of the few in the province with a full library with books to choose from. Families who would like to make use of the Bureau’s services must be residents of Red Deer, Red Deer County, Penhold or Springbrook. To apply, the appropriate identification is required, including a one-month bank statement, pay stubs, income support cards, AISH cards and health

care cards. Applications are being accepted until Dec. 14th. “You run into people who just lost a job, or they are lower income, they are working and not making money,” Patterson said. “That happens a lot. Or single moms or if you got divorced this year, Christmas is a little harder. So it’s across the board. Christmas gets very expensive very quickly for a lot of families. Christmas is something that we want all Canadians to share and have a great holiday.” She said teenagers are one of the harder groups to provide for. “We’ve never had to turn anyone away because of a lack of gifts but we do find it is a lower amount,” she said. “We

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do always suggest grooming kits, hair accessories. For the boys, if you can get game sets or anything of that nature – sporting goods, bikes, skates.” Patterson said the Bureau doesn’t just provide toys for children. It also runs the Christmas Hamper program, which provides food for families at Christmas, such as all the fixings for a turkey dinner as well as gifts for parents. “We’re really trying to let everyone know there is more than just toys for kids,” she said. Some of the public outreach the Bureau does includes Stuff-a-Bus at Parkland Mall which launched Nov. 29th, the Charity Checkstop and the Red Deer Rebels Toque Toss which takes place Dec. 1st at

From left, Red Deer Food Bank Volunteer John Bittorf, Volunteer Co-ordinator with the Red Deer Food Bank Society Sheila Wetherelt, Event Co-ordinator with the Red Deer Christmas Bureau Teresa Patterson and Food Bank Executive Director Fred Scaife pose for a photo Thursday morning after the launch of Stuff-a-Bus at Parkland Mall. Robin Grant/Red Deer Express

the Centrium while the Rebels play the Moose Jaw Warriors. The organization is 100 per cent volunteer-run with an annual operating budget of $150,000. Since 2002, the Bureau has helped 13,800 families. The Red Deer Food Bank Society also kicked off its holiday fundraising campaign Nov. 29th at Parkland Mall in partnership with the Red Deer Christmas Bureau.

The Food Bank is asking the public for cash and food donations. “Our wish list is dried pasta, soup, canned meats, peanut butter and kids’ snacks,” said Sheila Wetherelt, volunteer co-ordinator with the Food Bank. “We always want cash. We get eight dollars to your one dollar. We can make your dollar spread a lot further than if you were to go to the store and buy food.”


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Enjoy the holiday season in Red Deer at these special events

By Robin Grant robin.grant@reddeerexpress.com

There is no shortage of holiday festivities and Christmas-themed events happening around Red Deer in December. Here is a list of family-friendly fun happening in the City. The Christmas Craft Sale 2018, organized by the Red Deer Native Friendship Center, the Central Alberta Refugee Effort and the Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society, is taking place Dec. 7th at Festival Hall on 58th St. There will be food, handmade crafts, baking, chocolate, singing, kid’s crafts and free gift wrapping. Some of the proceeds will go to the Aboriginal Youth Centre for Success.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 13

music and more at the Baymont Suites and Conference Center from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $35. The Christmas Holiday Craft Show and Market on Dec. 9th runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Baymont Inn and Suites. Admission is free. There will be free kid’s crafts and gift card giveaways. More than 50 local vendors will help you finish your Christmas shopping and support local businesses. Nine Lessons and Carols is a world-wide yuletide tradition the whole family will enjoy. Taking place at the Gaetz Memorial United Church, the musical event features local talent and storytellers. Admission is by donation.

Check out Howard Blake’s The Snowman at the RDC Arts Centre Sunday, Dec. 8th at 8 p.m. The show features the Red Deer Soliloquy and the ihana Youth Choir directed by the well-known Music Director Lisa Ward. Single tickets must be purchased through the Black Knight Ticket Centre.

Paint a wreath with a giant brush at the Bristled Wreaths art-making program at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery. This drop-in program for kids five and under is every Wednesday morning from 9:30 to 11 a.m. It is $2 a child with a family membership and $3 a child without a family membership.

Every Saturday in December, the Super Fun Saturdays Holiday Programs take place at the Red Deer Public Library. The programs are for children of all ages, although adults must attend with those under nine years old. Dec. 8th: Ho! Ho! Ho! Holiday Lego. Dec. 15th: Gingerbread Houses making. Dec. 22th: Movie: Prep and Landing. Watch the movie and enjoy popcorn and games.

A fan of Charles Dickens? Check out this twist on a Christmas classic. A(n Improvised) Christmas Carol lets the audience decide the story. Doors open at 6:30 p.m at ArtSpace on 50th Ave. in the Scott Block Building. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. followed by the show at 8 p.m. Admission is $60.00.

All things Tim Burton are taking place at the Nightmare Just Before Christmas Party Dec. 8th. Those 18 and older can dress up as their favourite Tim Burton character for a chance to win prizes. There will be appetizers, dancing, live

Attend the Celebration of Light at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery Dec. 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The event looks at how cultures celebrate festivals of light, such as the Hindu festival of lights, Diwali, and Hanukkah and the Chinese Lantern festival. Attendees can create crafts and compare the cultural

differences to our holiday season. Celebrate Christmas Charlie Brown style! Play games, watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, munch on a cookie you decorated and drink hot chocolate. This is all happening at the public library in the Timberlands Saturday, Dec. 15th from 2 to 3 p.m. Make your own special homemade holiday crackers. This drop-in family art-making session is happening at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery Dec. 15th from 1 to 4 p.m. The Minute to Win it holiday party is happening at the G.H. Dawe Library Dec. 15th. Play holiday-themed games and win prizes. Get your creative juices flowing by creating a mini 2D stop-motion greeting to email friends and family. Enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. $5 per person and $10 for the family. Get your creative juices flowing by creating a snowflake pendant with award-winning metal artist Teena Dickerson. The art-making event takes place at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery on Dec. 18th. It’s not Frosty but definitely a snowman. The Sockman Nope, Riceman Nope, SNOWMAN art-making event teaches kids five and under how to build sock and rice snowmen. It takes place at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery Dec. 19th from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Happy NOON Year Family Dance Party is a family celebration for all ages. Bring your dancing shoes and twist and shake in the New Year. It’s all happening at the Red Deer Public Library Dec. 29th from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Carnival Cinemas presents

Christmas Break-In It was 28 years ago that adorable little Macaulay Culkin was left behind by his family at Christmas in the smash hit Home Alone. That movie proved so popular that it stayed in theaters well past the Christmas season. It was the No. 1 film at the box office for 12 straight weeks, from its release weekend of Nov. 16th, 1990 through the weekend of Feb. 1st, 1991. Now playing at Carnival Cinemas is an independent film cut from the same cloth in Christmas Break-In. I am pretty sure this film will not perform as well as the one from 1990, but it offers up a lot of cute family fun at this time of year. Christmas Break-In opened Nov. 30th. It is rated General and is 87 minutes in length. It will show daily at 1:00 p.m., 3:55 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. “Izzy is an energetic nineyear-old. Over-scheduled and running late, Izzy’s parents can’t pick her up on-time the last day of school before

Christmas break. A blizzard complicates the matter, but not as much as a pair of bad guys who are freezing in an ice cream truck. The school’s janitor is kidnapped by the intruders, and it’s up to Izzy to save the day,” reads the official site. This movie surprised me in a favorable way. I had no expectations prior to viewing it – but found myself entertained by this light family friendly comedy. It stars Danny Glover (of the Lethal Weapon films and The Color Purple) and Denise Richards (of Starship Troopers, Love Actually and the 007 thriller The World Is Not Enough). It is simply a fun Home Alonestyle farce about Izzy (played by Cameron Seeley, Hugh Jackman’s character’s youngest daughter in The Greatest Showman), a spunky nineyear-old boarding school student. On the last day of school before Christmas break, she is stuck on campus thanks to her workaholic

parents (Richards and Sean O’Bryan of Olympus Has Fallen) – who ‘forget’ to pick her up for winter break. Meanwhile, a big winter storm is brewing, and a van full of on the run criminals seek shelter at the same school. When the bad guys enter the almost-deserted school, they kidnap the janitor, and close friend of Izzy, played by Danny Glover. Well it is up to Izzy to save the day single-handedly. Through a combination of booby traps and comic events, she proceeds with her plan to not only survive, but to rescue her friend the janitor from certain demise. It is nice to see a true, family friendly film with a Christmas theme at this time of year. I hope you will make time to enjoy some good clean laughs and support independent cinema. See you at Carnival Cinemas! - By Justin Pedersen, Carnival Cinemas

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Histories of our treasured Christmas traditions

BY MARK WEBER mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

The season of Christmas is upon us once again, and with this time of year comes a multitude of traditions that we follow without perhaps giving a thought to their origins. First of all, the word ‘Christmas’ is derived from ‘Christ’s Mass’ – the first religious celebrations which honoured Jesus Christ’s birth. Pinpointing a date for the celebration didn’t come until AD 350, when Pope Julius I designated Dec. 25th as Christmas Day. “He did so mainly to counteract the effect of the popular feast held in honour of Saturn – Saturnalia – which occurred at the time of the winter solstice,” writes Rudolph Brasch in his book Christmas Customs & Traditions. Throughout the volume, Brasch details much more

about the holiday season in terms of where our treasured customs came from. “No other festival has produced such a wealth and variety of customs, and each one has its own fascinating story.” Take Christmas trees. Where did this custom of setting up a fragrant spruce in the living room stem from? According to Brasch, royalty was responsible for helping to establish the tradition in Britain. From there, it rapidly caught on in many countries across the globe. “Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s German-born husband, had a Christmas tree erected in Windsor Castle in nostalgic remembrance of his homeland. The royal example was soon copied by the general public, and the custom then spread throughout the world.” Although Christmas cards may not be as common as

they once were, it’s still a popular tradition with many during the holiday season. According to Brasch, the Christmas card was invented by Sir Henry Cole in 1843. “He was a well-known London art dealer who aspired to improve the general public’s taste. “He came up with the idea

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of the first Christmas card, a simple yet attractive token of friendship which, he felt, would further enhance this special day.” Still, it took about 20 years for the idea to really catch on. But by the 1860s, stationery companies were producing thousands of cards and during the following three decades, printers in Britain supplied a whopping 163,000 varieties of Christmas cards. And then there are the striking poinsettia plants we see pretty much everywhere as Christmas approaches. Their connection to Christmas dates back to Joel R. Poinsett, who served as the United State’s first ambassador to Mexico from 1825 to 1829. “During that time, he came to admire a beautiful indigenous plant with large scarlet leaves encircling small, greenish-yellow blossoms, which the Mexicans had adopted as their Christmas flower. He liked it so much that he sent specimens back

home, where they soon flourished.” How about the presentation of nativity scenes? A certain famous Italian by the name of St. Francis of Assisi is thought to have launched this. “After receiving permission from the Pope, he erected the first one during Christmas of 1224 in a cave outside of the Italian town of Greccio.” Live animals were included of course, and it was a “Novel and eye-catching way to celebrate the memory of the child who was born in Bethlehem. “When people gathered to view the spectacle, Francis stood in front of the manger and recited the Gospel related to the scene, then he delivered a sermon.” And of course, there is jolly old St. Nick. The original Santa Claus was St. Nicholas, a fourth century bishop of Myra which is now part of Turkey. The Dutch, in particular, came to love the legend of Nicholas. In their language his name became Sinter Klaas.

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“The British eventually anglicized his name, thus creating the modern Santa Claus.” Of course, music is an enormous part of the Christmas season from traditional carols to modern classics. White Christmas, one of the most well-known holiday hits, was written in 1942 by Irving Berlin. “He composed if for the film Holiday Inn, a musical which starred Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.” On the traditional side, few carols have resonated quite like Silent Night, first sung on Christmas Eve in 1818 in the Austrian village of Oberndorf. “Father Mohr felt that the service would lose much of its beauty and warmth if there was no music.” He had penned a Christmas poem which he took to the local school master, Franz Gruber who also composed music on an informal basis and played the guitar. “Mohr asked him whether he could quickly set this poem to music so that it would be ready that night. He should do so for two solo voices to be accompanied by guitars.” It only took a few hours for Gruber to come up with the simple yet elegant tune, and the song was sung that night for the first time. Its popularity spread quickly across the country and throughout Europe. A century passed and singer Bing Crosby, as he had done with White Christmas, lent his golden voice to the melody and a truly global classic was born. “Almost 100 years later, Crosby gave it world fame.”

Barb Miller MLA, Red Deer South 403-340-3565


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Special Features - Holiday Celebrations 2018  

i20181205145445668.pdf

Special Features - Holiday Celebrations 2018  

i20181205145445668.pdf