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Garbage Removal Call Craig or Mike


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Sherpini Throws




December 14, 2011

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29.95 each


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Special Events Around Town INSIDE: Dec. 16, 17, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 – Ghosts tion to the Mustard Seed Food Bank. FMI: www. of Christmas Past 90-minute walking tour, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. (except Dec. Dec. 17 – Ave Maria with contemporary jazz 24), focusing on stories of the supernatural at artist Maria Manna, Master’s Lounge, Westin Bear Christmas. FMI: or Mountain. 250-384-6698. Dec. 17 – A Baroque Christmas, with Nancy Dec. 17 to 31 – Helmcken House Old- Argenta, Aulos Ensemble at the Alix Goolden Dec. 17 Fashioned Christmas, with activities and Hall, 907 Pandora Ave. FMI: www.earlymusiccrafts of the early Victorians, noon to Symphony 4 p.m. Free with Royal BC Museum mas.php presents admission or by donation. FMI: www. Christmas With Dec. 18 to 24 – A Christmas Carol by Charles Ashley MacIsaac at Dickens and edited by Clayton Jevne, at Emily Carr Dec. 17 – 14th Annual Terry van Fleet House and Little Fernwood Hall. Performed by the Royal Theatre Memorial Christmas Lights Ride, leaving Clayton Jevne and Sandra Ritter, this two person, on a new route from Victoria’s First Church of 80-adaptation of the timeless classic has delighted To Jan. 6 – Festival of Trees for BC the Nazarene, 6 p.m. FMI: Greater Victoria Cycling Victorians of all ages for years in Victoria. FMI: Children’s Hospital Foundation, at the Fairmont Coalition, 250-480-5155. 250-360-0234 or Empress. FMI: Dec. 17 – Victoria SymTo Jan. 8 – Christmas in Old Town at the Royal phony presents Christmas With BC Museum. FMI: Ashley MacIsaac at the Royal Dec. 14, 15 & 18 – Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre. FMI: Theatre presents Miracle on 34th Street – the or 250-386-6121. radio play, a new adaptation of Valentine Davies’ Dec. 17 & 18 – Family classic. All performances at the Empress Hotel’s Nights at Craigdarroch Castle, Crystal Ballroom. Tickets: 250-385-4462. FMI: with Kate the Maid or topher the Butler leading a Dec. 16 – The Victoria Symphony, with guest guided tour of the Castle, 6:15 conductor Timothy Vernon, presents Handel’s or 7 p.m. Learn about VictoMessiah at UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium. FMI: 250- rian Christmas traditions, 721-8480. To Jan. 8 see a mummers play in Photo courtesy the Royal BC Museum Dec. 16 & 17 – Point Ellice House National His- the dance hall then enjoy Christmas in cider and cookies. Fee: $7 Dec. 18 – Fire Truck Parade, begintoric Site Christmas Teas and Tours noon to 4 p.m. Old Town at the ning and ending at Langford’s City Cenat 2616 Pleasant St. See the house decorated as to $15; children five and Royal tre Park. FMI: the O’Reillys would have done in the 1890-1920 younger free. Reservations BC Museum era. Admission $3 to $18; reservations required: required: 250-592-5323. Dec. 18 & 21, 2 p.m. – Christmas in 250-385-5578 or FMI: FMI: Old Victoria, a 90-minute program ing Christmas traditions and colourful stories. Dec. 17, 18, 22, 23 & 24 – Weather permitting the program will continue Dec. 16 to 18 – Dean Burry’s Mummers Breakfast with Santa, 10 a.m. at Westin Find lights Masque from Saltwater Theatre at St. Bear Mountain, breakfast buffet, cookie deco- outdoors. Meet in Bastion Square in front of the and skating Ann’s Academy, a rollicking, fun Christmas rating, letters to Santa, and visits with Santa. Burnes House, 26 Bastion Sq., beside the Mariin downtown story for everyone. Tickets available at the $25/adults; $12/children age six to 12 (five and time Museum. No reservations needed; purchase Victoria’s tickets from the guide before the program. Adults door or in advance from the McPherson younger free). Centennial Box Office, 250-386-6121. FMI: www.saltDec. 17, 24 and 31 – Christmas Past and Pres- $13; students/seniors $11. FMI: Square ent tour at the Fairmont Empress, 11 a.m., start- or 250-384-6698. Dec. 20 – Victoria Hospice Celebrate-a-Life Dec. 16 to 18 – The Victoria Operatic Society ing in front of the Fairmont gift store. Fee: $10. Country Country Christmas Concert with Duane presents White Christmas at the McPherson Play- FMI: 250-592-9255 or house. FMI: or 250-386-6121. Dec. 17 – 2nd annual Victoria Figgy Pudding Steele, Jake Mathews, Samantha King, Gary FjellCarolling Competition, with festive carollers on gaard and Pear, 7 p.m. at the Upstairs Cabaret at Dec. 16, 21, 23 and 28 – Charles Dickens’ 1127 Wharf St. Tickets are $30 from HighTideEnA Christmas Carol, adapted as a one-man play downtown street corners, 1 to 4 p.m. Awards for, Lyle’s Place, Ditch Records or the by Jason Stevens, at Craigdarroch Castle. Tickets: best singing and costumes, and a group singVictoria Hospice Thrift Boutique. FMI: 250-952along at 3:15 p.m. at Bastion Square. Rain or $15 to $20 (Not designed for under ages 13) FMI: shine. Bring a non-perishable food item for dona- 5720 or Jennifer Blyth photo Continued on page 3

To Dec. 24 – Father Christmas Comes to the Royal BC Museum, Thursday to Monday only, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. FMI: To Dec. 24 – Annual Navy Lighting Contest at CFB Esquimalt. Visit nightly, 6 to 9 p.m., to enjoy a festive tour of lighted ships and buildings. Admission by donation of cash or non-perishable food item to the Mustard Seed Food Bank. The tours start at the Naden Gate. To Dec. 31, select dates & times – IMAX Theatre presents the Polar Express. FMI: To Dec. 31 – Countryside Christmas, musical revue at the Chemainus Theatre. FMI: To Dec. 31 – Enjoy a Victorian Christmas at Craigdarroch Castle, with a variety of entertainment, performances and visits from Father Christmas. To Jan. 2 – Skating in Centennial Square. Skate for $2; rentals available. Hours and info: 250-386-2238 or and click on What’s New? To Jan. 3 – 11th Annual Bear Wear Fundraiser at the Hotel Grand Pacific, featuring 25 bears with a fashionable flare. Vote for your favourite – all funds raised support the Queen Alexandra School Age Program. FMI: To Jan. 6 – Magic of Christmas at the Butchart Gardens, with lights, decorations, entertainment and an outdoor ice skating rink. FMI: www.




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Letters to Santa p. 4-7 Celebrate the Miracle p. 8-11 Seniors at Christmas p. 12 Arrive Alive p. 13,14,16 Holiday Safety p. 15,16 Pets and Christmas p. 16,18

2 • celebrate the season!










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celebrate the season! • 3


Dec. 20 – Christmas Starlight Cinema, A Christmas Carol, at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. Enjoy movies under the stars in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Heaters supplied; bring a lawn chair and blanket. Movies free but donations to Santa’s Anonymous appreciated. FMI: 250-360-2999 or Dec. 20 – Natasha Enquist brings stories, music and sing-a-longs to Craigdarroch Castle, 1:30 p.m. Fee: $5 to $13.75; children five and younger free. Reservations required: 250-5925323. FMI: Dec. 21 – Christmas Starlight Cinema, It’s A Wonderful Life, at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. Enjoy movies under the stars in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Heaters supplied; bring a lawn chair and blanket. Movies free but donations to Santa’s Anonymous appreciated. FMI: 250-360-2999 or Dec. 21 &22 – Cinecenta, at the University of Victoria, presents the

Photo courtesy BC Heritage

Continued from front

vations required: 250-592-5323. FMI: Dec. 22 – A Celtic Yule-Tide at the Maritime Museum of BC, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., an evening of song and dance in the museum’s 19th century courtroom with traditional and original festive tunes performed by Cookeilidh, accompainied by the O’Brien Irish Dancers. Admission: $12/ Theatre general; $10/members, stuInconnu dents & seniors. FMI: 250385-4222 presents Dec. 24, 25 & 31 – classic ChristA Christmas Tom Vickery performs, mas film It’s a Carol, Dec. 18 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Wonderful Life, Master’s Lounge, Westin 7 p.m. FMI: www. to 24 Bear Mountain or 250-721-8365. Dec. 27 – Mistletoe Wish Puppet Dec. 22 (11:30 a.m.) & 23 (3 Theatre, based on the musical Christp.m.) – Father Christmas at Craigdar- mas in Connecticut, at Craigdarroch roch Castle. Fee: $7 to $15; children Castle, 11:30 a.m. Fee: $5 to $13.75; five and younger free. Reservations children five and younger free. Reserrequired: 250-592-5323. FMI: www. vations required: 250-592-5323. FMI: Dec. 27 to 30 – Canadian Pacific Dec. 22 (3:30 p.m.) & 24 (11:30 a.m.) – Daisy and Cam visit Craig- Ballet presents The Nutcracker Suite darroch Castle for a fun-filled hour of & Sugar Plum Fair at the McPherson song play and joy. Fee: $5 to $13.75; Playhouse. FMI: o children five and younger free. Reser- 250-386-6121.


Santa Bus spreads holiday spirit Hold on to your antlers...the BC Transit Santa Bus will once again make the rounds of the Capital Region, spreading holiday cheer. On Friday, Dec.16 and Saturday, Dec. 17, the public can board the Santa Bus and take a ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will hand out candy canes and play holiday music. The Santa Bus will run on various routes, and a regular bus will follow to accommodate customers with wheelchairs and bikes.

This is the 25th year that BC Transit has run the special Santa Bus, which is outfitted with antlers, a bright nose and holiday lights. Holiday service information and the full Santa Bus schedule can be found at www.

Tree Recycling

Photo courtesy DVBA

Hop aboard a horse-drawn trolley

Give your holidays a traditional turn this weekend with a free horse-drawn trolley ride, hosted by the Downtown Victoria Business Association. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17 and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, shoppers and sightseers can rest their feet while enjoying a horse-drawn trolley ride, a unique way to enjoy a scenic view of the city at Christmas. These special trolley rides are free, compliments of the DVBA. Two free trolleys will circulate on a set route throughout the downtown with four stops at: • Store Street at Chatham Street, in front of Ocean River Sports; • Johnson Street near Wharf Street, in front of Willie’s Bakery; • Langley Street at Bastion Square, across from Re-Bar; • Government Street at Fisgard Street, in front of CRD Plaza. For more information, see

Once your Christmas tree is ready for recycling, remove all screws, nails, lights and ornaments, which can be dangerous if passed through chipping equipment, and take your tree to one of the community’s many Christmas tree chipping fundraisers. • Jan. 1 & 2 – Braefoot Christmas Tree Recycling by donation, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the lacrosse box at 1359 McKenzie Ave. Proceeds support programming for local youth. • Jan. 2, 7 & 8 – Vikes Cross Country & Track team tree recycling at Centennial Stadium. • Jan. 7 and 8 – the Lions Society Chip in for the Kids, in support of Vancouver Island children with disabilities, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at: Hillside Shopping Centre; Broadmead Village; Westshore Town Centre; BC Forest Discovery Centre; Tillicum Centre; Safeway (Fort & Foul Bay); Sooke Home Hardware; University Heights. A pick-up service is available Jan. 8 for a minimum $10 donation. Register for pick up at or

Gift Certificates Available

4 • celebrate the season!


Science W rks Victoria’s Hands-On Science & Nature Store

1889 Oak Bay Ave. 250-595-6033

Mon - Sat 10am - 5:30pm

Allison P Piano Since 1917

• Rentals • Sales • Restoration • Tuning • New & Vintage • Keyboards •Pianos

Give the Gift of Music

2328 Government St 250-384-3935

Note: Just a bit of explanation of Alex’s letter. Alex’s Daddy is in the navy and has been deployed for 2 1/2 months and will not be home for another 2 1/2 months. He also just lost his great grandfather and knows that he can’t bring him back so he thought kids with cancer (which he lost his grandfather to a few years ago) need Santa’s attention.

Victoria: 250-382-7000 Westshore: 250-642-5152


Cleaning Specialists

Season’s Greetings

Gerry Huizinga

STRAIGHT UP CYCLES LTD. #4 3198 Quadra Street Victoria 250.480.1944

Guardian Angel

Peace on Earth


From Members of The Boilermakers Union Local 191


• Maid Services • Spring Cleaning • Move-in/out Cleaning • Construction Cleaning • Windows & Tracks

250.544.3121 www. guardianangelcleaning .com

Insurance Liability


• WCB Confined Entry Ticket • Underground Tank Location • Licenced to Transport Special Waste

VICTORIA Tank Service Ltd. Since 1958

FREE ESTIMATES | 250-385-8221

celebrate the season! • 5


Here’s Hoping Your Holiday Plans Run Smoothly Having you for customers really gives us a lift. THANKS! • Peter

• Trevor • Brad • Chris • Wayne

LYALL ST. SERVICE 382-0015 • 1480 Lyall St.


Hyperbaric Oxygen 99 995-1811

Casa Nova Portugese Bakery Café • Deli

WE CATER TOO! 492 Esquimalt Rd. 250-884-5747 or 250-385-8242 Christmas is in the air!


Wishing you all the joy, hope and wonder of the season.

National and Local Full Service Payroll Provider Serving Victoria for 10 Years

Saanich - 4011 Quadra St. Westshore - 111-2220 Sooke Rd. 250-708-0070

INEZ LOUDEN, FRI Associate Broker




Try something NEW this holiday season!

Residential specialists for all your finishing needs

“Wet & Wild” Cave exploring Winter Camping - $10/night Canoe/Kayak rentals NEW cave open! NEW easier trail! NEW cave theatre! 1-877-341-CAVE (2283)

2250-886-1202 0 886 202 or 250-589-0028

With the warmest of wishes to all our customers, associates and friends during this magical time of the year.


6 • celebrate the season!


We send our holiday joy & love Beehive Dry Cleaners 111-2244 Sooke Road


Saanich Centre 3993 Quadra Street Blizzard, zard, DQ and the ellipse shaped logo are trademarks of Am. D.Q. Corp., Mpls, MN ©2010.

Wishing you the happiest of holidays!

Custom Des Cu Designed sig igned & Manufactured Signs Signs

502 William St.

250-385-9993 www.

PNR Screens Ltd.

Wishing you peace, love & joy this holiday season.


Happy Holidays

Best wishes for a blessed & beautiful Christmas from

Christ Church hedral Sch Cathedral School

eautiful easy ccessories esigned for

Everything g for Baby y • Car Seats & Boosters • Carriers & Slings • Nursing Products P • Diapers & Diaper Bags • Kitchen & Bath for Baby

• Bedding & Sleep Sacks • Wooden Toys • Safety Products • Clothing & Shoes • BOB Strollers

omeone special!

6680 Mirah Rd. Saanichton 250-652-4612

Volunteer help to people of all ages. New volunteers welcome. Donations always appreciated.


Victoria’s Anglican Elementary and Middle School for boys and girls from kindergarden to grade 8.

912 VANCOUVER ST. 250-383-5125

BEADWORLD Courtyard Level of Market Square 560 Johnson St • 250-386-5534 OPEN DAILY

748 Goldstream Avenue


Baby & More Store


celebrate the season! • 7


• On going Registration • Classes - boys & girls ages 20mths & up • Beginner through Advanced The best birthday parties in town with the air mountain foam pit and many more fun activities.

250-208-721 Vanalman Ave (Broadmead + Royal Oak area)

Register now

Victoria Bug Zoo

Have a very Buggy Christmas! Bug Zoo and Gift Shop Open Daily 250-384-BUGS (2847) 631 Courtney St.

(Downtown in Nootka Court)

Bob Lane ra Insurance Services

Enjoy njoy a safe & happy holiday season! 115 - 2244 Sooke Road


Trackside Auto Services Ltd.


777 Cloverdale Ave.


Happy Holidays!




You need to take a Tilley!

rockhoundshop .com


784 Fairview Rd


Off on a cruise?



Rock Polishers Jewelry Tools Stone Beads 1621 ISLAND HWY. West of 6 Mile Pub

3631 Sh Shelbourne lb Pl Plaza • 250 250-595-3595 595 35

8 • celebrate the season!


Celebrate The Miracle

Photo courtesy The Church of St. John the Divine

A Reason for Joy Sunday December 18 - 6:30 pm An Evening of Christmas Music

Saturday Dec 24 - 6:30 pm Christmas Eve Service

“It Starts Out as a Feeling” A family friendly celebration

Sunday Dec 25 - 10:30 am Christmas Day Service

Underground parking available

Central Baptist Church 833 Pandora Ave. 250-385-7786

Christmas at The Church of St. John the Divine The Church of

St. John t he Div ine

The gifts of the Three Kings With presents and parties foremost on the minds of many, the religious significance of the holiday season can take a backseat to some of the secular celebrations. One of the religious celebrations of the season is Three Kings Day, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany and Dia de los Tres Reyes. Celebrated Jan. 6, the Epiphany marks the 12th day of the Christmas holiday and remembers the three kings who came to bear gifts to the newborn baby Jesus. According to the Bible, three kings, or wise men, named Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, saw a bright star in the sky the night Christ was born. They followed this star to Bethlehem where they found the child. There they presented Christ with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Frankincense, also called olibanum, is a sap of the Boswellia. The tree is tapped, much as one would a maple tree for syrup, and the frankincense resin drips out in

Children’s Choir for Christmas Great opportunity to sing carols at the Christmas Eve Family Service Practices Sunday, Dec 4, 11, and 18 at 9am Contact: David Stratkauskas Christmas Pageant – Sat., December 17, 5 p.m. Come watch, or even participate in, a contemporary version of the traditional Christmas story. Festive carols, live animals and a chance to connect with members of your community.

“tears.” Frankincense was used for many reasons in ancient times, typically in religious ceremonies as an incense. The aroma of frankincense is said to represent life, and the Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths also used frankincense oils to anoint the young. It has also been used in alternative medicine as a stomach

Christmas Carol Service – Sun., December 18, 7 p.m. The traditional sequence of readings and carols based on the service at King’s College Cambridge The St. John’s Chamber Choir The Earth Shall Ring - A Pinnacle Brass Christmas with special guest Ken Lavigne Mon., December 19, 7 p.m. Christmas Eve – Saturday, December 24, 4 p.m. Contemporary Eucharist with Children’s Focus Traditional carols for Christmas, candlelight and communion

aid. Ancient Egyptians used charred frankincense to make kohl, or the eye makeup distinctive of that region. Myrrh is another tree resin and it comes from the Commiphora species. Myrrh was commonly used as a healing agent, especially an antiseptic. Ancient Greek soldiers carried it to treat and clean wounds earned in battle. Egyptians burned myrrh as part of rituals. It is also another substance burned during religious ceremonies. Myrrh was also used in the embalming process in ancient times. Historians and religious scholars say that the gifts given to Jesus by the three kings were quite appropriate. The gold represented his royalty, the frankincense his divinity and the myrrh his future death. On Three Kings Day many people take down holiday decorations and officially call an end to the Christmas season. They may also exchange small gifts symbolic of the epiphany.

The Festival of Christmas Communion, carols and candlelight 11 p.m. Christmas Day – Sunday, December 25 10 a.m. Christmas Communion Sun., January 1 - 10 a.m. Contemporary Eucharist Sun., January 8 – Feast of Epiphany - 8 a.m. Holy Communion 10 a.m. Contemporary Eucharist

1611 Quadra Street (near Pandora) • Ph: 250-383-7169 • Fax: 250-381-3573 •

celebrate the season! • 9


Celebrate The Miracle Special Events & Services

Dec. 17 Church of St. John the Divine, 1611 Quadra St., Christmas Pageant, 5 p.m.

Dec. 18 St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Oak Bay, Holy Eucharist, 8:30 a.m., Holy Eucharist with Nine Lessons and carols, 10 a.m. Open Gate Church, 1289 Parkdale Dr., morning prayer, 8:30 a.m., morning worship and children’s presentation, 10:15 a.m. St. George’s Anglican Church, Cadboro Bay, Christmas Pageant and carols, 10 a.m. Colwood’s Church of the Advent intergenerational Christmas pageant, 10 a.m. Grace Lutheran Church Christmas Pageant, 10 a.m. St. Luke’s Anglican Church, combined 10 a.m. service and Christmas pageant. Church of Our Lord, 626 Blanshard St., Christmas lessons and carols, 10:30 a.m. Christ Community Church, 3897 Holland Ave, Blue Christmas service, 12:30 p.m. Shelbourne Street Church of Christ, 3460 Shelbourne St., Christmas pageant at 6 p.m. Central Baptist Church, 833 Pandora Ave., The Christmas Gift concert & carol sing 6:30 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral, Quadra at Rockland streets, Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, retold by local media representatives, 4:30 p.m. St. George’s Anglican Church, Cadboro Bay, Blue Christmas service, 7 p.m. Cadboro Bay United, Blue Christmas service, 7 p.m. Unity Church of Victoria Candlelighting

Service at Alix Goolden Hall with Caroling at 7:40 p.m. and service at 8 p.m.

Dec. 21 Three Saints Blue Christmas, at St. David’s, 4 p.m. Christ Community Church, 3897 Holland Ave, Christmas Carol Sing under the trees, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 23 First Metropolitan Church, pageant, 7:30 p.m. Admission by donation; proceeds to Our Place. CapriCCio performs for The Night Before the Night Before at Christ Church Cathedral, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 24 St. George’s Anglican Church, Cadboro Bay, Carols & Children’s Christmas stories, 4:30 p.m.; Festive Christmas Eucharist, 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Cadboro Bay United, Family Nativity Pageant, 4 p.m.; A Christmas Tale for You, 7 p.m.; Candlelight Communion, 10 p.m. St. Luke’s Anglican Church Child Friendly Carol Service, 4 p.m.; Family Communion with Carols, 7 p.m.; Traditional Choral Communion with Carols , 10 p.m. St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Royal Oak, Christmas Eve Service, 4 & 9 p.m. First Metropolitan Church, Family Christmas Eve, 4:30 p.m.; pageant, 7:30 p.m. Admission by donation; proceeds to Our Place, Christmas Eve service at 11 p.m. Grace Lutheran Church Christmas Eve service, children’s service at 4:30 p.m.; Christmas Carol Communion at 7:30 p.m.; Contemplative Communion at 10:30 p.m.

This year during the Christmas and New Year season, come and join us as we celebrate our inner Light

CANDLELIGHTING SERVICE Sunday, December 18, Alix Goolden Hall Caroling - 7:40 pm Service - 8:00 pm CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHTING SERVICE Saturday, December 24 Alix Goolden Hall Caroling - 7:40 pm Service - 8:00 pm CHRISTMAS DAY SUNDAY SERVICE 10:30 am BURNING BOWL CEREMONY Sunday, January 1, 2012 10:30 am Join us on Sunday morning for this releasing ceremony as part of the Sunday service. WHITE STONE CEREMONY Sunday, January 8, 10:30 am Join us for the “White Stone” ceremony and set your personal intention for 2012 All services take place at the Victoria Conservatory of Music 907 Pandora Ave.

Emmanuel Baptist Church, at the Henderson entrance to UVic, Family Christmas Eve Service, Follow the Star” Puppets, Drama and Music, 6 p.m.; Christmas Eve Service, with scripture, poetry, choral music and carol singing, 8:30 p.m. All welcome. Holy Cross Church, Gordon Head Rd., Christmas Eve Mass, 6 & 8 p.m. New Life Community Fellowship, corner of Tillicum and Carey roads, Christmas Eve service, 6:30 p.m. Central Baptist Church, 833 Pandora Ave., Christmas Eve service, 6:30 p.m. Church of Our Lord, 626 Blanshard St., Christmas Eve service at 11 p.m. Colwood’s Church of the Advent Kids Christmas, 6 p.m., including the Christmas crèche. At 10 p.m. Carols, Choir and Communion. St. Patrick’s Parish, Haultain Street, Children’s Christmas Eve Mass, 6 p.m. Oak Bay United Church, Family Christmas Eve Service, 4 p.m.; Christmas Eve contemplative and candel-lighting service, 8 p.m. St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Oak Bay, Family Service with Holy Eucharist, 7 p.m.; Holy Eucharist, 11 p.m. Christ Community Church, 3897 Holland Ave, Christmas Eve Candelight service, 6:30 p.m. Shelbourne Street Church of Christ, Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. Church of St. John the Divine, 1611 Quadra St., Family Service, 4 p.m.; Festal Christmas Eve Service, 11 p.m. Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Old Esquimalt Road, hosts a 7 p.m. Family Mass; Traditional Latin Mass at midnight.

Our Lady of the Rosary, Langford, Christmas Eve Mass, 7 p.m. (family) and 10:30 p.m. Unity Church of Victoria presents Christmas Eve Service at Alix Goolden Hall with Caroling at 7:40 p.m. and service at 8 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral, Quadra at Rockland street, family service, 4 p.m.; Christmas Eve midnight service, 11 p.m. Open Gate Church, 1289 Parkdale Dr., Family Service, 8 p.m. St. John the Evangelist Anglican Catholic Church, corner of Falmouth & Savannah roads, First Mass of Christmas, 9 p.m.

Dec. 25 Christ Church Cathedral, Quadra at Rockland street, Holy Eucharist, 8 & 10 a.m. Open Gate Church, 1289 Parkdale Dr., Holy Communion,10 a.m. Oak Bay United Church Christmas service, 10 a.m. First Metropolitan Church, Community Christmas service of carols with Louise Rose, the Open Doors and her Jazz Ensemble followed by a full lunch Holy Cross Church, Gordon Head Rd., Christmas Day Mass, 9:30 a.m. St. George’s Anglican Church, Cadboro Bay, Christmas Day service, 10 a.m. Shelbourne Street Church of Christ, Christmas service, 10 a.m. Grace Lutheran Church Christmas, 10 a.m. Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Old Esquimalt Road, Christmas Day Mass, 10 a.m. St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Oak Bay, Holy Eucharist, 10 a.m.

6:30 pm to 7:30 pm 3900 Carey Road (corner of Carey & Tillicum)

Including Congregation Carols, Dramatic reading of the Christmas Carol, Candle Lighting and Refreshments

Church of the Advent, Colwood Rev. Kenneth Gray

3460 Shelbourne St. • 250.592.4914

“Christmas Eve by Candlelight” Designed as our annual Christmas gift to the community, this 55 minute celebration will include the reading of the Christmas story, special music of the season, and drama.

Christmas Eve Service 6:00 pm

Christmas Day


10:30 am – Intimate Eucharist with Carols


Church of the Advent

Merry Christmas from your friends & neighbours

510 Mount View Ave. off Sooke Rd.



Saint John The Evangelist Anglican Catholic Church December 24 • Christmas Eve

4:30pm Sunday Dec.18

serViCe oF reaDiNgs & musiC For epiphaNy

Holy Eucharist 8:45

Holy Eucharist 8:00am

CapriCCio VoCaL eNsembLe:

Family Service 4:00pm

Holy Eucharist 10:00am

Sunday, January 8, 2012 4:30pm

Christmas Day

NightwatCh serViCe

7:30pm Friday Dec.23

Solemn High Midnight Mass 11:00pm

Quadra @ Rockland 250.383.2714

St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Cedar Hill X Road, New Year’s Day Service, 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Holy Cross Church, Gordon Head Rd., New Year’s Day Mass, 8:30 & 10:30 a.m

Join us then and on Sundays at 10 am

• 6 pm – Kids Christmas (informal) • 10 pm – Formal Latenight Eucharist (candlelight) with special music

Saturday, December 31 11:00pm

Jan. 1

Christmas Pageant 18 December 6 pm followed by refreshments Christmas Eve Worship 7 pm Followed by fellowship & Christmas treats Christmas Day worship 10 am

NiNe LessoNs & CaroLs Christmas eVe serViCes Christmas Day serViCes (Saturday, December 24) (Sunday, December 25) For Christmas

“The Night Before the Night Before”

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Old Esquimalt Road, Mass, 5 p.m. Our Lady of the Rosary, Langford, New Year’s Eve service, 5 p.m. Christ Church Cathedral, Quadra at Rockland, Nightwatch Service, 11 p.m.

“a place to call home”

Christmas Eve

’Tis the Season . . . Explore it with us!

Dec. 31

Shelbourne Street Church of Christ

New Life Community Fellowship

Christmas Eve Service

Church of St. John the Divine, 1611 Quadra St., Holy Eucharist, 10 a.m. St. Michael’s Anglican Church, Royal Oak, Christmas service, 10 a.m. Christ Community Church, 3897 Holland Ave, Christmas Day service, 6:30 p.m. Unity Church of Victoria Christmas Day Service at Alix Goolden Hall, 10:30 a.m. Church of Our Lord, 626 Blanshard St., Christmas service at 10:30 a.m. Church of the Nazarene, Quadra Street, family Christmas service, 10:30 a.m. Colwood’s Church of the Advent Christmas Service, 10:30 a.m. Central Baptist Church, 833 Pandora Ave., Christmas service, 10:30 a.m. St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Cedar Hill X Road, Family Communion, 10:30 a.m. Our Lady of the Rosary, Langford, Christmas service, 10:30 a.m. St. John the Evangelist Anglican Catholic Church, corner of Falmouth & Savannah roads, The Christ Mass, 11 a.m.

9:00 pm - First Mass of Christmas

11:00 am - The Christ Mass

The Corner of Falmouth Road & Savannah Road • Very Rev. Shane B. Janzen 250.920.9990

The Catholic Faith • The Anglican Tradition • The Book of Common Prayer

10 • celebrate the season!


Celebrate The Miracle

Sharing the holidays with the community


By Jennifer Blyth When there isn’t enough food to go around, especially at a time of year when food is tied so intimately with the celebration, the tough times can seem all the tougher. The Mustard Seed Food Bank in Victoria, for example, is currently serving about 7,000 people each month. Of those, a full quarter are children. To fill those needs – and tummies – the food banks rely on the generosity of the community, from the individual and family level to businesses and events. The value of these initiatives reaches beyond the initial food and money raised; it’s also about spreading information. “It creates awareness that we do have poverty in the community,” explains Brent Palmer, executive director of the Mustard Seed Food Bank. Much of that poverty involves the working poor, where the cost of living makes stretching those dollars difficult, or a job loss or cutback has put the family in dire straits. “The face of poverty has completely changed,” says Palmer, who has spent 26 years with the Mustard Seed. In addition to its regular

time comes back in appreciation. “The volunteers are the key people who make this work,” Palmer says. Working in a place like the Mustard Seed – it inspires everyone here.”

To Donate – time, food or cash

Don Denton photo

The Mustard Seed Food Bank’s Brent Palmer welcomes the community’s support of local food banks at Christmas and throughout the year.

clients, the Mustard Seed will prepare about 700 holiday hampers this year, filled with a turkey, trimmings and other goodies. In addition to the food, parents can choose a gift for their children from among those donated, and gifts for teens are especially needed, Palmer says, suggesting movie passes, CDs, music store gift cards and similar items are most welcome. Gifts should be new and unwrapped.

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While food donations are always welcome, food banks can stretch cash donations even further, thanks to support from suppliers and increased buying power. For every dollar donated, the food bank can buy $2 or more in products, notes Palmer. In addition, donations are eligible for tax-deductible receipts (with store receipt for food). Volunteers are also welcome – and needed – yearround, and what you give in

In Sidney: Volunteer, and help your local food bank help others in your community. On the Peninsula, learn more about volunteering with the Sidney Lions Food Bank by calling 250-6550679. Food and cash donations can be dropped directly to the food bank, at 9586 5th St. in Sidney. Food can also be donated at major grocery stores. In Victoria: Contact the Mustard Seed Food Bank directly at 625 Queens Ave., and donate in person from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, call 250.953.1575 or visit online at to learn more about donating or volunteering. In the Westshore: At the Westshore Food Bank, serving the communities of Langford, Colwood, View Royal, Metchosin and the Highlands, volunteers are needed to collect food, warehouse and fill shelves, fill

hampers, repackage bulk food, interview clients and manage clothing donations. Learn more by calling 250474-4443. Cash donations can be sent to: Goldstream Food Bank, Westshore Town Centre, PO Box 28122, Victoria B.C., V9B 6K8. Alternatively, $2 BC shar-

ing donations can be purchased at participating local food stores. Donations of non-perishable items are welcome in the food bank bin in your Westshore food store, or bring donations directly to the Food Bank during their regular housrs – call for more details.

Christmas at the Food Bank While the need is heightened at the holidays, in fact, the food banks need your support all year-round; here are some often-needed items at the Mustard Seed: • Bread • Shortening • Cereal (Instant & cooking) • Cooking oil • Sugar (White/Brown) • Cake/cookie mixes • Flour • Pudding/Jell-o • Peanut butter • Hot chocolate • Jam/Marmalade • Pastas • Milk (Powder/Liquid) • Kraft Dinner • Margarine (pound prints) • Macaroni (bulk) • Cheese • Rice (bulk) • Eggs • Spaghetti (bulk) • Vegetables – fresh, seasonal, • Fruit – fresh, seasonal, canned canned & diet • Dried peas and beans • Juices • Juices • Meats – canned/fresh/frozen Personal Needs • Canned fish • Soap – laundry, dish & hand • Canned soup • shampoo • Canned pasta • Toothpaste and brushes • Baby food, Pabulum & formula • Feminine supplies • Disposable diapers • Paper towels • Coffee • Toilet paper • Tea • Facial tissue • Baking supplies

Cadboro Bay United Church

Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish

Blue Christmas Service

December 18th 7:00pm “Cause Christmas can be hard”

Sat. Dec. 24

Christmas Eve Services:

Sun. Dec. 25 Sat. Dec. 31 Sun. Jan. 1

4:00pm - Family Nativity Pageant 7:00pm - Family Candlelight Service 10:00pm - Candlelight Communion

Family Mass 7:00 pm Traditional Latin Mass 12:00 Midnight Christmas Day Mass 10:00 am Mass 5:00 pm Mass 10:00 am Traditional Latin Mass 12:00 Noon

2625 Arbutus Rd ∙ 250-477-2715 ∙

849 Old Esquimalt Road • 250-384-3884



Roman Catholic Parish 4049 Gordon Head Rd, Victoria Please join us for Christmas and New Years Services

Dec. 24 Dec. 24 Dec. 25 Jan. 1

Christmas Eve Family Mass Christmas Eve Mass Christmas Day Mass New Years Day Mass

St. Mary’s Anglican Church

1701 Elgin Road Victoria, BC Ph: 250-598-2212 Sunday, December 18, 2011 - Fourth Sunday of Advent 8:30am Holy Eucharist (BCP) 10:00am Holy Eucharist with Nine Lessons & Carols 10:00am Church School

Saturday, December 24, 2011 - Christmas Eve 7:00pm Family Service with Holy Eucharist 11:00pm Holy Eucharist (BAS) Mass Setting: Basil Harwood

Sunday, December 25, 2011 - Christmas Day 10:00am Holy Eucharist (BAS)

6:00pm 8:00pm 9:30am 8:30am & 10:30am

December 18 10:30 am Christmas Lessons & Carols December 24 11:00 pm Christmas Eve Midnight Service December 25 10:30 am Christmas Day Service. Church of Our Lord (Blanshard & Humboldt) 250.383.8915

THE OPEN GATE CHURCH Anglican Network in Canada Lighthouse Christian Academy, 1289 Parkdale Drive, Victoria CHRISTMAS SERVICES Sunday, Dec. 18

Christmas Day

• 8:30 am Morning Prayer (BCP) • 10:15 am Morning Worship and KinGS Club (children’s) presentation

Monday, Dec. 26

Christmas Eve

• 8:00 pm Family Service

• 10:00 am Holy Communion • 10:00 am Service of Lessons & Carols

celebrate the season! • 11


Celebrate The Miracle

‘Tis the season at St. Ann’s Academy One of the region’s oldest religious properties takes on a special look at the holidays. St. Ann’s Academy National Historic Site, once a Catholic girls school and convent run by the Sisters of St. Ann, hosts a variety of festive events for the holiday season. The academy will also be decked for the holidays indoors and out, and the Chapel will be decorated with the traditional Nativity painting created in 1900 by St. Ann’s Academy art teacher, Sister Mary Osithe. Surrounded by cascading poinsettias, the Nativity scene also features a wax baby Jesus from the late 19th century.   Visit “The Giving Tree” in the Sisters’ parlour and until Dec. 23 leave a non-perishable food donation, unwrapped toys or new and gently used clothing for local charities. In addition, the Historic Site’s Tidings of Comfort and Joy: A Celebration of Music for the Season concludes at 2 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 18 with a concert in the Chapel, Sounds of the Season with Prevedoros, Golden & Joy. Tickets are $15/ general and $12 for seniors or students, available from the St. Ann’s office or over the telephone by Visa or Mastercard at 250-953-8829. St. Ann’s was also well known for its art program and school. The Sisters began teaching in Victoria in 1858 in a log cabin now located at the Royal BC Museum. The Academy’s first permanent structure was started in 1871 and as part of renovations in 1886, the origi-

The chapel at St. Ann’s Academy National Historic Site is decorated for the Christmas season and welcomes visitors for special events and self-guided tours.

Manufacturing Headstones Since 1896 Robert Poncelet, President 1403 May Street, Victoria 250.384.3452 nal Catholic cathedral built in 1858 was moved to St. Ann’s and placed over the new kitchen of the school to become the school chapel. Modeled after rural French Canadian churches, the chapel features an ornate altar and ceiling carvings, gold-leaf detailing, original oil paintings, stained glass windows and a 1913 Casavant pipe organ. While the chapel was deconsecrated when the building was sold to the pro-

vincial government in 1974, it was rededicated as an interfaith facility during the 1997 restoration. Today, the chapel appears as it did in the 1920s. St. Ann’s Academy National Historic Site is open during the winter from 1 to 4 p.m. Thursday to Sunday with admission by donation, when visitors can enjoy self-guided tours of the Interpretive Centre and grounds. Guided tours for groups can also be arranged in advance for $5 per person.

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT AND CAROLS • Sunday, December 18 10:00 am m CHRISTMAS EVE • 4:30 pm Carols and Children’s Christmas Story • 7:30 pm Festive Christmas Communion • 10:30 pm Festive Christmas Communion CHRISTMAS DAY • 10:00 am Christmas Day Communion


Ye n o t s o f a i t h ful welco

m oo! et


Call (250) 472-2090 • Click Surf • Visit 3909 St. George’s Lane, Victoria

e, a m o

Best Wishes this Holiday Season

Photo courtesy St. Ann’s Academy National Historic Site

ST. GEORGE’S Cadboro Bay, Anglican Church

aithful l ye f


December 18 10:00 am The Very Important Christmas Pageant December 24 4:00 pm A Neighbourhood Christmas Celebration for All Ages December 24 8:00 pm A Christmas Eve Contemplative and Candle-lighting Service December 25 10:00 am Christmas Service (intergenerational)

Oak Bay United Church 250.598.5021

Corner of Granite and Mitchell

Our Lady of the Rosary Roman Catholic Church 798 Goldstream Avenue • Victoria BC 250-478-3482 Father Paul Szczur, SDS.

Saturday, Dec. 24 Masses at 7:00 PM and 10:30 PM Sunday, Dec. 25 Mass at 10:30 AM Saturday, Dec. 31 Mass at 5:00 PM Sunday, Jan. 1 Masses at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM

St. Luke, Cedar Hill, Anglican Church Corner Cedar Hill Cross Rd & Cedar Hill Rd The Reverend Canon Peter J. Parker 250-477-6741 ALL WELCOME! • Sunday, December 18 - Advent IV 8 am Said Communion, 10 am Pageant & Family Communion, 7:30 pm Evensong • Saturday, December 24 - Christmas Eve 4 pm Child Friendly Christingle Carol Service, 7 pm Family Communion, with Carols 10 pm Traditional Choral Communion with Carols • Sunday, December 25 - Christmas Day 10:30 am Family Communion • Sunday, January 1- Christmas 1 8 am Said Communion, 10:30 am Family Communion, 7:30 pm Evensong

Christmas Eve Services • December 24 6:00pm Family Christmas Eve Service “Follow the Star” - puppets, drama & music 8:30pm Candle Light Christmas Eve Service “A celebration of the birth of Christ through choral music, scripture and carol singing”. 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road


Baptist Church

Come join us for our special Christmas Services!


December 18, 12:30pm Blue Christmas Service ~ A service to help hurting people cope with the holidays. December 21, 6:30pm Christmas Carol Sing under the trees ~ Bring your mittens and flashlights and come celebrate the birthday of the Baby Jesus. We will lift our voices to the stars under the lighted trees in our church yard. Hot drinks and cookies to follow. December 24, 6:30pm Christmas Eve Candlelight service December 25, 10:30am Christmas Day service


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12 • celebrate the season!


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Helping Hands make holidays special for fellow seniors By Jennifer Blyth The holiday spirit comes early for the seniors and staff at the three Amica residences in the Capital Region. Amica’s three Victoria-area residences – Amica at Somerset House, Amica at Douglas House and Amica at Beachwood Village – put their hands together earlier this month to fill 160 Christmas baskets and help spread a little holiday cheer to seniors in need. Through Amica’s Helping Hands Community Program,

“There’s poverty at all ages and there are seniors out there who have needs, so this is a great fit for us.” - Ron Gibson, Amica at Douglas House the baskets will go to needy seniors throughout the community, says Ron Gibson, general manager of Amica at Douglas House, where residents packed 50 baskets. At Amica at Somerset

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House, another 60 baskets were filled with treats, nutritious food items, toiletries, warm clothing, cosy blanket and a gift certificate to a local grocery store. Still another 50 baskets were undertaken at Beachwood Village in Sidney, Gibson notes. “Amica started Helping Hands to help seniors in need,” Gibson says. The program raises awareness that “there’s poverty at all ages and there are seniors out there who have needs, so this is a great fit for us.” For the staff and residents, the Christmas basket campaign is one of the highlights of the season, as the volunteers gather to sort, pack and wrap the colourful baskets. It’s plenty of fun, Gibson says, but adds that there’s also an appreciation for the invaluable work they’re doing. “People always like giving back.” Across Canada, more than 1,300 seniors were remem-

Through the Helping Hands program, volunteers from Amica at Douglas House prepared holiday gift baskets for other seniors in the community. 

bered last December through the Amica Helping Hands Holiday Baskets Program, as seniors in need each received a gift basket carefully wrapped by an army of dedicated Amica Mature Lifestyles residents and staff. The annual effort stemmed from a small group of caring Amica Mature Lifestyles staff members who had heard about seniors in their com-


munity who were extremely poor and would have nothing that holiday. Out of their own pockets, they purchased items and put together a few small gift baskets. As the numbers grew, they were joined by Amica residents who also wanted to help, and a tradition was born. Donations to Amica Helping Hands basket campaign go directly to seniors in need.

For details, visit ca/About Us/Helping Hands Charity/Donations With various fundraising events throughout the year, the Helping Hands registered charity works to bring a better quality of life to marginalized and less-fortunate seniors, efforts possible thanks to the generous support of donors, staff, community partners and Amica residents.

Ronald A. Postings, R.D. Robin Postings, R.D. 250-383-7227 if No Answer call 250-656-0883

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celebrate the season! • 13



Take your turn as a designated driver Is it your turn to be the designated driver? The province, police and ICBC have embarked upon the annual December impaired driving CounterAttack campaign, and that’s the question they want drivers to ask themselves this holiday season. Plan for a safe ride home and share the responsibility of being the designated driver to help make sure your friends and family get home safely. Police will be conducting CounterAttack roadchecks across the province in December to raise awareness and help reduce impaired driving crashes. On average, 127 lives are lost in impaired-related crashes each year in B.C. “Celebrating with family and friends is an important part of the holidays,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “And getting home safely should be part of everyone’s holiday planning. “We know that B.C.’s tougher impaired driving laws are working – 45 fewer people have lost their lives since the legislation was introduced last year. We are making great progress and we are committed to building on that success.” Expect to see police monitoring area roads – and drivers. “Police will be out in full force across the province conducting CounterAttack road checks,” said Chief Constable Jamie Graham, Victoria Police and Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee. “As police officers, we see the heartbreaking effects of impaired driving all too often, and we know how easily it can be prevented.” While it’s important for everyone to enjoy their holiday season festivities with friends and family, “do

it responsibly – plan ahead for a safe ride home,” said Jon Schubert, ICBC’s president and CEO. “There are so many alternatives. Set an example – take your turn to be the designated driver. Your smart driving decisions can have a significant influence on others.” ICBC supports CounterAttack through enhanced police enforcement and an awareness campaign, and provides CounterAttack materials to businesses, sports facilities and community groups to help prevent impaired driving. ICBC also lends support to Operation Red Nose, a volunteer service in 12 communities across B.C. that provides safe rides home to drivers who have been drinking or feel unfit to drive during the holiday season. For holiday season driving tips and more on the CounterAttack campaign, visit

Plan ahead to get home safely

• The only time to decide how to get home safely is before you start driving • Getting home safe is a shared responsibility – take your turn being the designated driver • Keep money aside for the bus or taxi, or call a sober friend • Don’t get in a car with an impaired driver; ask to get out of the car if necessary • Take a stand and don’t let people drive if they are impaired • Alcohol affects your ability to function and drive – it affects judgment, reaction time, coordination and visual function; the ability to steer, track moving objects and brake appropriately; and the ability to control your speech and lane position.

Getting home safely is a shared responsibility – take your turn as a designated driver.

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14 • celebrate the season!



The need for holiday safety another long-standing tradition Many Christmas traditions – and accompanying hazards – are older than some celebrants might think. The tradition of lighting up a Christmas tree, for example, dates back to the days before Christmas lights. Before electric-powered twinkle lights were invented and even before electricity was discovered, people used actual candles to adorn the Christmas tree.

As one can imagine, having an open flame next to a dried-out tree made for some fast fires. That’s why it was customary to keep a bucket of water next to the tree as well. As if fire wasn’t enough, the tinsel used to decorate trees was made from strips of silver and even lead – something that is now known to be a health hazard to adults and children alike. Although we’ve come a long way from

candles and lead, trees that are overly dry paired with lights that have frayed wires can just as easily lead to fires. Plus, plastic tinsel can be a choking hazard for children and pets. One Christmas staple that has lost its status as a safety hazard is the poinsettia plant. Poinsettias are a tropical plant that have become a fixture during the Christmas season.

It has long been thought that poinsettias are poisonous to people and animals. While there is some toxicity to the plant, it would require the ingestion of hundreds of leaves to get a toxic dose of a plant’s poison. Ingestion may simply cause a case of vomiting or diarrhea instead. But poinsettia leaves are said to have an unpleasant taste, so one bite and most children and animals will probably turn away.

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The holiday spirit is alive and well in Esquimalt, where the Township and its CUPE employees are once again collecting food items from Esquimalt households for the 12th annual Esquimalt Christmas Food Drive. Continuing through Thursday, Dec. 22, the food will support Esquimalt Neighbourhood House, a multi-service social service agency that provides emergency meals for individuals and families in Esquimalt. Esquimalt residents are invited to place non-perishable food items in bags labelled “Food Drive” and set them alongside their garbage cans on collection day for pick up. Food items will be collected by Township crews on normal pick-up days according to the following schedule: • To Dec. 16, food bags will be gathered from the north side route (north of Old Esquimalt Road). • From Dec. 19 to 22, food bags will be gathered from the south side route (south of Old Esquimalt Road). Food donations will also be accepted at the Municipal Hall at 1229 Esquimalt Rd. or the Esquimalt Public Works Yard, 601 Canteen Rd., to Dec. 22.

Photo courtesy Municipality of Esquimalt

Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins, with municipal and Neighbourhood House staff, with some of the food donations collected during last year’s Christmas Food Drive.

Greetings of the Season

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celebrate the season! • 15



Stay safe this Christmas season At a time when friends and family gather to celebrate the season, the last thing people want is to risk their home and safety with a holiday fire hazard. The Oak Bay Fire Department offers a few tips to help keep you and yours safe.

Trees A dry tree is a fire hazard tree. Test it for freshness before you buy first by drawing your hand along a branch to ensure the needles don’t come off. Bang the stump end of the tree sharply on the ground; a freshly cut tree should not lose its green needles. Finally, fold a needle back until the tip touches the stem making a circle. The needle should not break but should bounce back into shape. Once at home, store tree the outdoors or on a cool porch or patio if it will be several days before decorating, and before setting up the tree, cut two inches (5cm) diagonally off the butt. Setting the tree up away from heat sources and not blocking doors or windows, be sure to use a tree stand with wide-spread legs for better balance and a large water reservoir in which to immerse the butt. Remembering that trees can drink up to four litres of water per day, be sure to check daily and add fresh water as needed. If the water level drops below the bottom of the tree butt, a seal will form and a new cut will be necessary. Remove the tree after 10 to 14 days – after that,

even the freshest tree will dry out in a heated building.

Candles The Oak Bay fire department recommends using battery-operated candles. If opting for real candles, be sure to place them well away from any combustibles and always place holders on sturdy surfaces, away from curtains and drafts. Never leave a burning candle unattended – not even for a moment – and never use lighted candles on Christmas trees.

Decorations Do not use electric light strings on metallic trees since a faulty system could energize the tree and create a shock hazard. Choose decorations that are flame-retardant, non-combustible and non-conductive. Avoid using angel hair (glass wool) together with sprayon snow, a highly combustible combination. Use only CSA-certified light strings, testing and inspecting before use for cracked bulbs and broken, cracked or frayed wires and discard if faulty. Use the proper lights for the environment – indoor light strings do not have waterproof connections to be used outside and some outdoor strings burn too hot indoors. Turn off tree lights when you leave home or before retiring at night. Avoid overloading wall outlets during the holiContinued on page 16


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16 • celebrate the season!



Help your furry friends have a happy holiday

Continued from page 15

day season – unsafe, even for short periods – and be sure to insert plugs fully into wall receptacles. Poor contacts may cause overheating or shock hazards. To avoid possible overheating, do not coil or bunch an extension cord which is in use and don’t run any electrical cords under carpets or rugs.

Clean-up Never burn Christmas trees, including branches and needles, in a fireplace or wood stove. The same goes for gift wrapping, boxes, cartons and other packing material – they burn too rapidly and hot. Instead, take advantage of one of the many tree chipping fundraisers for local charities – see page 3 for more ideas. For more fire safety information, callyour local fire prevetion office.

Fire-safe Holiday Gift Ideas Need a few practical gift ideas this holiday season? Oak Bay firefighters offer the following suggestions: • Smoke alarms • Carbon monoxide detectors. • Multi-purpose (ABC) Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher

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highly serious pancreatitis and other toxic reactions. Remove trash from the house regularly while entertaining to ensure pets don’t get inside of garbage cans and trash bags to steal scraps. Keep pets away from the dining table and maintain a close eye on scavengers. Gifts like food baskets and chocolates should be kept out of reach of pets. Buy pet-safe treats this time of year to reward animals so they will not be inclined to steal snacks. Holiday Stress – Having a houseful of people can be stressful for pets unused to the company. Keep pets contained in a quiet room away from guests if they are prone to skittishness and try to keep feeding and watering schedules consistent so pets will have the comfort of their routines. Be sure to spend time with the animals so they are not feeling neglected.

Go ‘wild’ this season Looking for a gift for that animal lover who has everything? The Victoria SPCA suggests going a little “wild” by sponsoring a special wild animal in need in their name. This year the BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) treated 10 per cent more animals than ever before, from tiny baby hummingbirds to eagles, owls, otters and deer fawns. One of Wild ARC’s biggest costs caring for such diverse species is the wide vari-

ety of food they eat. More animals means more food, which can strain the limited financial resources as Wild ARC relies almost exclusively on public donations. A selection of special wild animals can be sponsored online at www.wildarc. com. Tax deductible donation levels range from $25 to $100 and the gift recipient will receive a wildlife e-card or printable card featuring stunning photographs from our annual wildlife photography contest.

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While many family members eagerly anticipate the excitement of the Christmas season, those same celebrations can in fact be hazardous to pets. A few simple safety precautions, however, can help keep the holidays happy and healthy for all family members. Know What’s Toxic – This includes everything from snow globes to tinsel that can wreak havoc on pets’ delicate intestinal systems. Snow sprays and snow flock contain chemicals that can be irritants if inhaled or consumed. Tinsel and pine needles can cause choking and intestinal obstruction if consumed by smaller animals, like cats and rodents. Decorating Dangers – Decorative glassware, trinkets and other breakables can prove hazardous to animals. It’s easy for lit candles to be knocked over and even Christmas trees to be pulled down by boisterous pets. Water kept in Christmas tree stands and other decor may harbor harmful microorganisms or chemicals that become dangerous if lapped up. Cords and lights may look like chew toys to rodents, dogs and cats, who can become electrocuted or strangled while investigating. Goodie Gluttony – Many pets have nibbled “people food” from time to time but some items can be dangerous, including fatty meats, gravies, poultry skin, poultry bones, chocolate and alcohol. These items can cause illnesses from vomiting and diarrhea to

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celebrate the season! • 17


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2018 Douglas St. 250-380-0069

589 Cliffe Ave. 250-338-0669

(Between Pembroke & Discovery)


80B Trunk Rd. 250-597-0122

Owned & Operated Locally by Women

Cleanse, replenish and revitalize using the best products from all over the world. BlendTec Total Blender

GreenStar Juicer

Now available in 2 or 3 quart containers

Radiant Health Sauna with CarbonFlow™ heating - the latest far-infrared technology from Japan at a price lower than most competitors.

We now have 100% Latex natural mattresses, mattress pads & pillows

Stay in shape with our Weighted Hula Hoops 10 minutes a day

Titanium Non-Stick Cookware Set Excalibur Dehydrator

Preparing Food and preserving nutrients is simple using the best tools BlendTec Blender, Excalibur Dehydrator, GreenStar 5000 Juicer & Titanium Non-Stick Cookware from Germany

Weighted Acu Hula Hoops


770 Spruce Avenue

18 • celebrate the season!



Considering a new pet? Ask a few questions first While pets are valuable additions to a household, sibility pets present. If the family schedule is already that doesn’t mean that doggy in the window will too much to handle, the new pet will be the one who automatically be a great fit with every family. suffers most. Pets – while a valuable addition to most Before adding a four-legged friend to families – aren’t for everyone. To avoid adopting your family this holiday season, cona pet you don’t have enough time to care for, sider the following questions. determine if you truly have the time to • Can it wait? The holidays are devote to a new addition. often a hectic time of year for • Can your kids handle it? Age alone families. Travel plans, holiday should not determine if your child • Healthy pet treats parties, school pageants, etc. can handle the responsibility of a pet. • A new toy – especially one that can take up time and increase Some toddlers might be able to help you have to help with! stress levels as well. That care for a pet, while some teenag• A cosy new pet bed or blanket makes the holiday season a less ers might struggle with the responsi• Food & water bowl than ideal time to add a pet, bility. Consider how they’ve handled designed for travel particularly a puppy or kitten, responsibility in the past. A child who • New collar, to a household. Puppies and kithas never had any responsibilities, such leash or harness tens need special attention, more so as taking out the trash or cleaning their than older pets that are already houseroom, is probably not ready to be the primary broken. Consider waiting until after the caregiver for a pet. However, a child who has hanholidays to adopt a pet. This doesn’t have to take away dled chores and demonstrated an ability to adequately from the excitement of giving a child a pet on Christ- handle such responsibilities over time, is probably ready mas morning. Rather, give a child a gift certificate to an for the responsibility of caring for a pet. animal shelter and promise to take them once the stress • Can you handle the financial responsibility of a pet? of the season dies down. Pets are as much a financial commitment as an emo• Can you, the adult, handle the extra responsibility? tional one. Visits to the veterinarian can be expensive. As much as Mom and Dad might emphasize to their And as veterinary medicine has advanced, the costs of kids that the new member of the family is the kids’ caring for pets have risen. It’s also important to note responsibility, realistically, most of the duties will end that pampering pets has become the norm, so kids up falling to Mom and Dad. Far too often, busy parents might want to provide a certain level of care for their adopt pets around the holidays only to eventually return pets that can get expensive. Consider these costs, and them to a shelter down the road. The excitement of a whether or not you’re willing to pay them, before addnew pet can wear off under the weight of the respon- ing a pet to the family.

Gift ideas for pets & pet lovers

Cute and cuddly, pets can be a great addition to the home, though the holidays can be a difficult time to welcome a new member to the family.

For that special someone who shows you unconditional love all year long. Pets West in Broadmead Village Carrying one of the largest selections of Christmas gifts and toys for all types of pets in Victoria

Pets West

Broadmead BroadmeadVillage Village -–Royal Royal Oak Oak Dr Dr -– 250-744-1779 250 -744-1779

celebrate the season! • 19



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Phone (250) 381-9800 ext. 227 or 224


20 • celebrate the season!




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THYME ROASTED QUAIL Baby Greens, Caramelized Red Onion, Red Pepper Vinaigrette


or SEARED DIVER SCALLOPS Polenta Bean Cake, Braised Leeks, Citrus Butter

Call to reserve 1 (800) 668-7926


Winter Squash Soup

or SMOKED TOMATO BISQUE Salted Brie Crouton

*Subject to availability. For a limited time only.

Maple Syrup Crème Fraiche or

Grilled Prawn Satay


Pumpkin PurĂŠe, Roasted Beet Syrup PA L AT E C L E A N S E R

GRILLED AAA BLACK ANGUS FILET MIGNON Sooke Chanterelle Sauce, Roasted Garlic Potatoes, Winter Vegetables


Burnt Orange and Lemon GranitĂŠ MAIN

Traditional Roasted Fraser Valley Turkey Dinner Honey Glaze, Pan Gravy, Sundried Cranberry and Hazelnut Dressing, Herb Mashed Potatoes, Winter Vegetables

or BAKED HALIBUT FILET Herb and Blue Swimming Crab Crust, Wild Rice Salad, Winter Vegetables or PAN ROASTED BREAST OF DUCK Sundried Apricot Jus, Roasted Garlic Potatoes, Winter Vegetables

DECEMBER 31, 2011


Rosemary and Garlic AAA Black Angus Striploin


Port Jus Lie, Baby Roasted Potatoes, Winter Vegetables or

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Baked Alaskan Halibut Pear and Apple Relish, Wild Rice Salad, Winter Vegetables


Live Band : ‘FREEFALL’


Frozen Orange Brandy Mousse Candied Pecans

or CHOCOLATE BAVAROIS Warm Apple Compote, Orange Sugar



White Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake Dark Chocolate Sauce


~ Choice of Coffee or Tea ~


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