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Merry Christmas to our customers, clients, neighbours, family and friends, from your local community businesses

December 18, 2020 - Christmas Greetings


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

A Holiday Message from the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba The festive season always seems to bring out the best in our province, and so it will again, despite the extraordinary challenges of the past year. Our shared community spirit, and willingness to work together for the common good, will guide us through these troubled times, just as surely as they will shine again this holiday season. I am so proud of our citizens, charities and numerous other organizations throughout the province who have shown remarkable resilience and creativity in continuing their good works. They reflect the prairie ingenuity and dedication to purpose and to each other, that is so very Manitoban. Neighbourhoods are aglow with seasonal light displays that bring a colourful sense of frivolity to the times, appealing especially to the young and young-at-heart. Our celebrations might be a little different this year, but the holiday spirit will certainly endure. AVWKH4XHHQÂśVUHSUHVHQWDWLYHLQ0DQLWRED,DPSOHDVHGWRH[WHQGVHDVRQÂśV greetings to all citizens, along with my best wishes for a safe and happy holiday. May the warmth of the season fill your hearts and your homes today, and throughout the coming year.

The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, C.M., O.M. Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

from Virden Mayor Murray Wright The year 2020, has certainly been a challenge for us all. The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a long-lasting impact on the lives of those in our community, and around the world, be it financially, mentally, physically, emotionally and even spiritually. Now is the time to express our deepest gratitude to the front line and essential service workers, and all the volunteers who continue to assist in any way they can, ensuring the well-being of all our citizens. We do not know when this will be over, but we do know that it will. Meanwhile, it is so important for everyone to do what’s in our power to contain the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe,

Mayor Murray Wright while continuing to support each other and our local businesses. Keep our heads cool, our hearts warm, and stand together, even at a distance. It feels strange not being able to shake hands, hug, go to work, see our friends and family, and socialize like we are used to, but the time will come, when we

can once again. During this Christmas Season, I hope you are able to find creative ways of celebrating with loved ones, even if it is over the telephone or online. If there is anything we will take away from this experience, its how important family, friends and our community truly are, and how much we do miss each other when kept apart. On behalf of my wife Sandra, the Council and Staff of the Town of Virden, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season. I look forward to seeing you in the hockey rink or on the streets of Virden when we are safely on the other side. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas & best wishes to you!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

At this festive time of year, we count customers like you among our best reasons to celebrate. Thank you for dropping in on us and for trusting us with your business. We are truly grateful for your support and friendship.

FROM ALL OF US AT 346 King Street, Virden

(204) 748-3331

Serving SW Manitoba & SE Saskatchewan for Over 35 Years


December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance

Thank You to all our Front Line and Essential Service Workers for your care, hard work, dedication and the sacriďŹ ces you are making. We appreciate all you are doing to keep us all safe

Wishing you all a safe and healthy Holiday Season




Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Gestureȑ oĕ kindnesȑ supporȏ otherȑ RM of Wallace-Woodworth

On behalf of Council, Staff, and my family, I would like to send warm wishes for a joyful holiday season to all of our Wallace-Woodworth residents and surrounding neighbours. C elebrations over this festive season will be different from our long-st anding traditions of spending it with

Reeve Clayton Canart family and friends. Let us reimagine and use creativity in f inding

ways to spread the holiday cheer while being safe. It is the season of giving. Let’s take the time to consider those who are less fortunate and think of our neighbours that may be in need of our support during this time. Gestures of kindness may not just be with material gifts but

could be as simple as a phone call to remind someone that you are thinking of them, specially those that may be isolated because of the current situation we are in. Let’s continue to support local businesses who are going through challenging times. We are truly blessed to have

them in our community providing goods and services closer to our homes. I would also like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all essential workers who are dedicated to their profession and are considered as modern-day heroes. We appreciate all the work and sacrifices

that you do. With 2020 coming to a close, let us all look forward to flipping the calendar and starting a fresh new year filled with hope. Once again, wishing ever yone happy holidays! May you and your loved ones have a bright and prosp erous ne w year!

Citizenȑ find positiveȑ tƝ lifȏ spiritȑ Prairie View Municipality

As I write these Christmas greetings on behalf of our Prairie View council and municipal staff, I have just come in from a morning walk enjoying our beautiful weather. I have heard many citizens speak to the fact that this weather is such a great lift to our spirits during the pandemic. Indeed, we are fortunate

to live in rural Manitoba with so many freedoms afforded to us. 2020 has been a very different year due to COVID and yet I marvel at the ways our citizens have been able to find the positives. This year has granted each of us the opportunity to enjoy nature in our own area, wonderful family time

May your heart be light and your cares be few as we celebrate this festive season. Merry Christmas and heartfelt thanks for your support.

and certainly a much more positive harvest for our farmers compared to the previous year. Code Red is difficult. Our council acknowledges the challenges it has presented for many. If you are in need of help, please reach out. But also we wish to ack n ow l e d ge t he go o d t hat has come ab out because of it: exploring

Reeve Linda Clark our home province, the shopping locally and supporting our busi-

nesses that have been there for us since March, the support to our businesses throughout the Christmas season, the b e aut i f u l C h r i s t m a s lights and decorations to brighten up our communities and farms, and the positives found by supporting each other through phone calls, messages and self distanced sidewalk visits

and more. O u r P r a i r i e Vi e w Council and Staff appreciate this opportunity through the Virden Empire-Advance to wish our citizens a slower paced and blessed Christmas, in whatever form that will be for each of you this year. Stay Positive. Test Negative. Be Well. Our best wishes for a healthy and safe 2021!

Wishing W ishing you aand your loved ones a hhappy hap ap appy p & hea healthy holiday season

Kelchris Inc. 585 Seventh Ave. S. (204) 748-3726

Froom Reevve, Councillorss & Staff

Silver Bells, Silver Bells In a year filled with challenges, we are grateful for your continued support. massoncpa.ca Virden | Brandon | Moosomin

As we tie up another year, we are reminded of just how fortunate we are to do business in this warm and welcoming community. Thank you for your year-round support and friendship. We wish you and yours a most merry and beautiful Christmas.



For all your local livestock hauling needs RU 9LUGHQ0%

The year end brings no greater pleasure than the opportunity to express to you season’s greetings and good wishes. Here’s hoping your season is gifted with all the best, including health, happiness, friendship, love, peace and prosperity. Doing business with folks like you brings us joy all year, and we appreciate your trust in us.

May your holidays and new year be filled with Joy.

568 Sixth Avenue South, Virden 204.748.2434

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Liȑ toƻ shalŸ pasȑ MLA for Riding Mountain This past year has been difficult for not only Manitobans, but for the entire world, as we all continue to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. No matter whether you are still working or are retired, whether you are young or old, COVID-19 has impacted you in some way. On Thursday, Dec. 3, the

Greg Nesbitt, MLA final day of the Manitoba Legislature fall sitting, I

delivered the following Member’s Statement. It reflected what we as legislators went through to do our jobs, but also offered a little advice and optimism for the future of all Manitobans. I hope this little bit of prose brings a smile to your face as you celebrate the holiday season in a safe way this year.

Rememberinğ Armed Forceȑ overseeȑ

I want to take a moment to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. We know that this past year has been challenging, but we look toward the New Year with optimism for better days ahead. The holiday season is also a perfect opportunity for us to give back in our communities. Now, more than ever, we need to support our small businesses and help those who are less fortunate. And let us remember, the brave men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, who are proudly serving Canada overseas and are unable to be home with their families. We are forever grateful for their service and sacrifice. Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming New Year! MP for Brandon-Souris Larry Maguire

“THIS TOO SHALL PASS” Thank you, Madam Speaker It’s the end of a year we’d like to forget, But things will improve next year, you can bet. But before we all go, I’ll share a few rhymes, To perhaps get a smile, in these challenging times. Our jobs they have changed, with constrained Chamber seating, As we sit in our offices, in Zoom Legislative meetings. Sweat pants now can work, when wearing your suit, But remember that when speaking, please first press un-mute. Dr. Roussin and Lanette, whose advice we must take, You deniers please listen, this risk is not fake. Manitobans, we can do this, we’re up to the task, Just maintain your distance, and wear a darn mask! I know that it’s tough, someone’s mood to apprise, But you can tell if they’re smiling, just look at their eyes. In QP in this Chamber, some of you are quite vocal, But this year use your voice, and holler out JUST SHOP LOCAL! These holidays will be different, but still can be sweet, So be thankful and kind, and keep your distance - six feet. Unprecedented times they say, but what do you mean? Don’t you remember, this happened back in 1918. This COVID pandemic has indeed cast a pall, Over life and how we live it, it impacts us all. No concerts, no markets, no festivals to attend, Just think of the party, when it comes to an end. It’s sad for our teams, we’re unable to cheer, Although our Bombers will be champs for two years. But soon, with the promise of a COVID vaccine, We can then go watch a movie on the big screen. Many thanks to the workers, who are on the front lines, Your efforts in this struggle, are a ray of sunshine. Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, let’s all raise a glass, Please stay home, and remember, this too shall pass. -Greg Nesbitt, MLA

merry christmas

Wishing you and yours a happy & healthy Holiday Season

May Happiness Reside in Your Heart & Home This Christmas There’s no place like home for the holidays, and we’re very grateful to be part of such a welcoming community with such supportive friends, neighbours and family. Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy season.



CRAIG RUSSELL (204) 851-0461 century21.ca/craig.russell

LEEANNA RUSSELL (204) 748-7788 century21.ca/leeanna.russell

Wishing you comfort and joy this Christmas and always! Wishing you the very Merriest Christmas Season & all the best in 2021!! Located on the Trans-Canada Highway between Virden, MB (10 minutes) and Oak Lake, MB (10 minutes) GPS: 49°46’46”N/100°45’31”W

aspengrovecampground.com aspengrovecampground@gmail.com | Facebook: Aspen Grove Campground

Proud to be part of our local communities.


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

LanŤ yoɔ foǽ reachinğ ouȬ MLA for Spruce Woods

As we head into what will be a very different holiday season than most of us have ever known, my wife Marilyn and I would like to offer our warmest wishes for a wonderful, safe and very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. I have heard from many of you over the past year, particularly in the last 10 months since COVID-19

Cliff Cullen, MLA arrived in our Province, and I want to thank you for reaching out to express your views as we

tackle this unprecedented public health crisis. I have had the opportunity to assist many individual concerns over the year, b ot h C OV I D - re l at e d and not, and I am happy to continue doing so if ever you need assistance. Please reach out any time to ask a question or share your concerns. Governments around the world are facing dif-

ficult decisions given the current pandemic we find ourselves in, and I certainly recognize that governments do not always get it right. I want to reassure you all that public safety and the health of all Manitobans has remained our top priority, and will remain so. We must continue to do all we can to reduce pressure on our emer-

gency and intensive care facilities to ensure that healthcare is available for emergent situations other than COVID-19. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our frontline workers for continuing to provide their critical ser vices during these challenging times. Moving into the holiday season, it will be more important than ever to

find ways to reach out to family and friends in order to stay connected. While we may not be able to have our traditional large gatherings, we can take a break from our busy lives and spend time with loved ones. I encourage everyone to celebrate heartily and responsibly this year. Stay Safe! Sincerely, Cliff Cullen

Givú thú gifȬ oĕ cheeǽ tƻ Veterans

The holidays will be different for all of us this year. The flights home will be empty; the tables will be set for far fewer. While this time of year is usually about coming together with family and friends, Canadians across the country, including many of our Veterans, will be separated from their loved ones this winter.

If you’ve got some time, let them know you’re thinking of them by sending holiday cheer cards directly to Veterans in long term care homes in your community, or via your local Royal Canadian Legion branch. It’s going to be a difficult winter for a lot of folks, and a small act like sending a holiday card can

brighten the spirits of the Veterans who have sacrificed so much in service of Canada. For more information about the Holiday Cheer Card campaign, please visit veterans.gc.ca/holidays. Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Assoc. Minister of National Defence

May your Trees stay Lit and your Pipes Unclogged this Holiday Season

Merry Christmas

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Christmaȑ Recipeȑ

RUSSIAN TEA BISCUIT Shortbread lovers, you will love this cookie. In Russia, hazelnuts or walnuts are available… and vo dka (or a substitution). For some bakers and home chefs, baking is an ever-evolving experiment. Check the bottom notes for adventure. Pre-heat oven to 325F (165 C) Ingredients: 2 ¼ c. flour

KETO CHRISTMAS FUDGE If you know anyone who is on a low-carb diet, you know someone who misses the sweet stuff. Whether they admit it or not they miss it. While t he y watch you wolf down your figgy pudding they will be happy with this smooth sweet. You might like it too! Prep Time 35 minutes Cooling Time 3 hours

¼ tsp salt 1 c. soft butter ¾ c. icing sugar ¾ hazelnuts finely chopped * 1 tblsp. vodka ** Additional sugar for dusting after baking.

How to: Combine flour and salt (set aside); Cream butter and sugar; beat in vodka Gradually blend in flour/salt Fold in hazel nuts

20 minutes Servings 16 Ingredients 4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate finely chopped 1 cup heavy cream 2/3 cup stevia/erythritol powdered sweetener **see notes** 3 tbsp. collagen 1 tsp vanilla extract 8 ounces cream cheese softened 4 Tablespoons butter room temperature

To bake: Break dough into 1-inch pieces, roll into balls. Place balls on ungreased c o o k i e s h e e t , f l at t e n slightly, bake for 12-15 min. depending upon how thinly they are pressed. When cooked (not too brown), dust hot cookies powdered sugar; cool on wire rack***. Possible substitutions ***last week’s newspaper works **Replace vodka with 1 tsp. Almond extract and/

1 cup pecans chopped (optional) **Ingredient Notes** This recipe uses an artificial sweetener that is twice as sweet as sugar. I have also made it using an artificial sweetener that is equivalent to sugar. I prefer the less sweet version. The important thing is to keep the volume the same whatever sweetener you use. The quantity, 2/3 cup, will produce a sweet or less

& Happy New Year Thank you to all our customers. Wishing you all the best in 2020!

or Vanilla extract and add 1 tbsp. of milk *Toast hazelnuts before crushing: in a 350 F oven, place one generous cup of nuts on baking pan and toast for 5 – 7 min. shake pan at 3 minutes, check at 5 min. Don’t let them burn. Next, roll in tea towel. With a tbsp. of flour grind in grinder and add to recipe above. * If you choose to substitute with pecans or almonds – that’s not Russian.

sweet version depending on the combination of sweeteners. Instructions In a medium saucepan: combine chocolate, cream, and powdered sweetener. Place over low heat and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer very gently for 1 minute. Remove f rom he at and whisk in collagen and vanilla extract. C ool to room temperature.


While chocolate mixtu re i s c o ol i ng , l i n e an 8” x 8” baking dish with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture to cream cheese mixture in small amounts, beating after each addition. Stir in pecans (optional). Spread fudge mixture evenly in the prepared glass pan. Cool in f r idge until s olid

(about 2-3 hours). After it has cooled, cover it. When fudge is completely solid, using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the fudge out of the baking pan to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut into 16 pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The less sweet version is amazing with fresh berries. Dale Davison (k eto chef )


Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season From all of us at

www.virdenmeter.com | 204-748-3704 124 Anson Street, Virden, Manitoba


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Wishing you and yours a safe holiday season.

Thank you for your past and present support. Looking forward to rodeoing with you in the future.

Thank You! DIAMOND PLUS SPONSORS * Tundra Oil & Gas * Sunrise Credit Union * Valleyview Co-op * Virden Mainline Motors DIAMOND SPONSORS * Boston Pizza * Corex Resources * GCS Energy Services Ltd. * RBC Royal Bank * Sparks Sand & Gravel * Subway * Tim Hortons * Virden Chrysler Dodge * Virden Ford PLATINUM PLUS SPONSORS * Black Gold Trucking * Fountain Tire * Guild Insurance * Keystone Wealth Management * Kingston Midstream * Silverline Oilfield Services

PLATINUM SPONSORS * Cam Manser * Castle Oilfield Construction * CD Oilwell Servicing Ltd. * CJRB * Comfort Inn & Suites * Empire-Advance * Higginbotham Electric * MNP * Molsons * Secure Energy Services * Town of Virden * Virden Oil Capitals GOLD SPONSORS * CJ 103 Radio * Q Country 880 AM 91.5 FM * Crude Energy Services * Decisive Farming * Farrell Agencies * Four Season Sales * GoHard Oilfield Services * Home Hardware Building Centre (Virden) * Kenderdine Family * Pembina Pipeline Corp * Pure Country 101.1 * Rodeo Dawg * TL Penner Construction Inc * Wolverine Supplies * Wrangler

SILVER SPONSORS * Alexandra Hotel * Central Hotel * Chapman Farms * Fontana’s Trucking * Bill Hayward & Family * Heartland Livestock Sales * Integra Tire Auto Centre * Jays Inn & Suites * Lemret Investments * Manitoba Bison Association * Myphone Computers & Electronics * Shale Creative * Shari Lyn Fashions * Virden Water & Portable Ltd. BRONZE SPONSORS * A&W Restaurant * Bdo Canada LLP * Cross Plumbing & Heating * Edge Fitness * Fontana Custom Grass Cutting & Snow Blowing * Fotheringham Refrigeration * Gerry Holmes Memorial * H Bullee & Sons Spring Service * Ice Cream Island * Kelly Lyng * Kullberg’s * McNeill Harasymchuk McConnell * Pappell Laser Design

* Renards Meat Service * RFNow * Royal Canadian Legion Br. No. 8 - Virden * Royal LePage Martin-Liberty (Carla McLean & Matt McLean) * Shardon Oak & Glass * Trans Canada Bearing & Machine * Virden HiWay Grocery EVENT SPONSORS * Andrew Agencies Ltd * Cam Manser * Higginbotham Electric * Oakland Industries * Parks Performance Quarter Horses * Sharpe Family in Memory of Gerry Holmes * Valleyview Co-op * Virden Animal Hospital * Warkentin Building Movers CHUTE SPONSORS * A. Wilson Auto Body * CD Oilwell Servicing * Chicken Chief * Dragon Slayer Oilfield Construction * Midwestern Redi-Mix Concrete * Safety Source * Secure Energy Services * Tutthill Construction * Virden Footwear

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

From Oak Lake School, teacher Penny Wallace provided us with Gr. 1 & Gr. 2 letters to Santa. Each student included their name, age, grade and a note to the Claus organization. In some cases, Mrs. Wallace helps decipher the note.

Grayson Smith

Abbigail Rost wonders about Santa’s elves and what other children are receiving.

Vintagú Christmaȑ froƄ 2016

Mary Montgomery School Concert

Glad Tidings to You! May all your hopes and dreams come true this holiday season. Thank you for helping us to realize ours.


Elkhorn Elks food drive.

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS From our family to yours, go our warmest wishes for a happy holiday. We hope it’s filled with friends, family, joy, laughter and every little thing that makes the Christmas season special.

From All of us at


Warmest wishes for a

Happy Holiday Season and a Wonderful New Year from everyone at

204-854-2262 Virden, MB • 204-851-0225

Glad Tidings to You! Warm wishes from the Board and Staff at the Adult Literacy Centre A.P.P.L.E. Association of Parents and Professionals for Literacy Eduction


Virden Empire-Advance

Merry Christmas

December 18, 2020

Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Wishing you a season that blooms with every happiness! We could not have picked better customers than the ones we have right here. Your visits always make us smile, and we’re grateful to be rooted in such a supportive community.


Ella Wohlgemuth wants a teddy, a blue diamond and a painting set.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS We appreciate and value your loyal patronage


HAPPY HOLIDAYS From Our Family to Yours




Did you know we can do most transactions over the phone or by email? We are here to serve you in a safe and effective manner.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Danny, Falk, Gerry, Justin and families. 337 KING STREET E VIRDEN (204) 748-2894

Locally Owned & Operated

322 – 7th Ave. South, Virden, MB 204-748-2734 virden@andrewagencies.com andrewagencies.com

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Garrett Gompf wants a Magladon nerf gun.

Nathan Stothers

Ryker Ward

Jaxson Kreutzer, 6 in Gr. 1 practices his alphabet. He wants a left-handed hockey stick.

There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays

Wherever you may wander, wherever you may roam... There will always be a place for you when you get back home; A place where people know your name and acknowledge what you say Just like we want to acknowledge you at this holiday!

Merry Christmas from Reeve, Council and Staff

Sending warm wishes to you and your loved ones this

Holiday Season Mayor Murray Wright, Deputy Mayor Tina Williams, Councillors Tara Cowan, Grant Gardiner, Karel Munchinsky, Travis Penner and Whitney Wright; CAO Rhonda Stewart and Town of Virden Staff


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Wyatt Black

Ryatt Caswell

hristmas C y rr e M

From our crew to yours, we hope you have a sleighful of fun this holiday season


Happy Holidays

The Board of Directors, Management and Staff at Valleyview Co-op sincerely thank you for your business during the past year and wish you every happiness in the New Year

Valleyview www.valleyview.coop




Dwayne Wiltshire

| All general maintenance | Tire sales and repairs | MPI Safety Inspections | Oil changes

204-851-6224 100 Oxcart Trail, P.O. Box 371, Oak Lake, MB R0M1P0 www.dirtywordcustomz.com


December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Gabe Roulette has a list: PS4 and clothes and a playhouse and an iPhone 11.

Danielle is a budding artist.

Merry Christmas Thank you for the time you’ve spent with us this year. We always enjoy your visits, and we greatly appreciate your support and trust in us. Friends and customers like you make every day special!

Don Carter

Dealer Principal / Managing Partner

Ben Rempel Service Manager

Boe Brown

Sales Consultant / Finance & Insurance

Nicole Madsen

Controller / Managing Partner

Jeff Rempel

Logan McGonigal

Kevin Wrightson

Mike Wurtz

Blair Skayman

General Manager / Managing Partner

Service Technician

Service Technician

Cory Scheuerman

Ryton Thomson

Sales Consultant / Finance & Insurance

Detail Bay

Parts Manager

Service Technician

Don Betke

Sales Consultant - Russell

KENTON - 204.838.2240 | WOODWORTHDODGE.CA | SHOAL LAKE - 204.759.2385


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Tessa Hunter

Phillip hops for a Fitbit and an eye makeup pallet

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Our best wishes to you and your family for health and happiness in the coming year.

Thank you to all our customers we look forward to serving you in 2021!

Royal Canadian Legion Br. No. 8


From our family to yours, best wishes for a





@v dena @vir n g

Wishing our community a happy and healthy holiday season! We thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to serving you in the New Year! W O LVERIN E S UPPLI ES - V IR D EN EN, MB | V IE W O UR HOO L ID A Y HOO UR S O NL INE ! W O LV E R I N E S U P P L I E S . C O M #SUPPORTLOCAL

Thank you for delighting us with your visits this year. We look forward to serving you again soon, and we wish you the merriest of holidays. 590 SEVENTH AVE, VIRDEN 204.748.1340

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


A Letter from Santa Claus by Mark Twain Mark Twain (Sammuel Clemens) wrote this letter to his three-year-old daughter from Santa Claus in 1875. You could say he was over the moon for her. Palace of Saint Nicholas in the Moon Christmas Morning My Dear Susy Clemens, I have received and read all the letters which you and your little sister have written me . . . . I can read your and your baby sister’s jagged and fantastic marks without any trouble at all. But I had trouble with those letters which you dictated through your mother and the nurses, for I am a foreigner and cannot read English writing well. You will find that I made no mistakes about the things which you and the baby ordered in your own letters--I went down your chimney at midnight when you were asleep and delivered them all myself-and kissed both of you, too. But . . . there were one or two small orders which I could not fill because we ran out of stock. There was a word or two in your mama’s letter which I took to be “a trunk full of doll’s clothes.” Is that it? I will call at your kitchen door about nine o’clock this morning to inquire. But I must not see anybody and I must not speak to anybody but you. When the kitchen doorbell rings, George must be blindfolded and sent to the door. You must tell George he must walk on tiptoe and not speak-- otherwise he will die someday. Then you must go up to the nursery and stand on a chair or the nurse’s bed and put your ear to the speaking tube that leads down to the kitchen and when I whistle through it you must speak in the tube and say, “Welcome, Santa Claus!” Then I will ask whether it was a trunk you ordered or not. If you say it was, I shall ask you what color you want the trunk to be . . . and then you must tell me every single thing in detail which you want the trunk to contain. Then when I say “Goodby and a merry Christmas

to my little Susy Clemens,” you must say “Good-by, good old Santa Claus, I thank you very much.” Then you must go down into the library and make George close all the doors that open into the main hall, and everybody must keep still for a little while. I will go to the moon and get those things and in a few minutes, I will come down the chimney that belongs to the fireplace that is in the hall--if it is a trunk you want--because I couldn’t get such a thing as a trunk down the nursery chimney, you know. If I should leave any snow in the hall, you must tell George to sweep it into the fireplace, for I haven’t time to do such things. George must not use a broom, but a rag--else he will die someday. If my boot should leave a stain on the marble, George must not holystone it away.

Girl inspecting her hope chest. Painter, Friis Nybo

Leave it there always in memory of my visit; and whenever you look at it

or show it to anybody you must let it remind you to be a good little girl. When-


ever you are naughty and someone points to that mark which your good old

Santa Claus’s boot made on the marble, what will you say, little sweetheart?

Our Express Wishes for a Wonderful Holiday Season Another Christmas is coming around the bend, so we’d like to slow down and share our thanks and best wishes with our valued customers and friends. This past year has brought many bumps in the road for all of us, but it has also made us especially grateful for the friends, family and loved ones who make every day precious. We’re grateful to customers like you for staying on board with us through the steep challenges of 2020. We couldn’t keep on track without the loyal support of this community and all of the fine folks who make it so special.

As we approach a new year, we hope it brings health, happiness, peace, love and good fortune to you and everyone you hold dear. Please accept our sincere Best Wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy Holiday Season.

298 Sixth Avenue South, Virden, Manitoba

204-748-2011 www.homehardware.ca


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Juanita Star says, “I like something that is beautiful and nice, glittery. From lovely and hardy Juanita.”

We hope you enjoy the day that comes but once a year and that you create many special memories that will last a life time

Rhett Klassen

Sending Cozy

Christmas Wishes to you and your loved ones from all of us at

Border Regional Library There is no time more fitting to say

“Thank You” & to wish you a Merry Christmas, and a New Year of Health, Happiness, & Prosperity

Proudly Serving Virden & Southwestern Manitoba

Carla McLean

MaƩ McLean



Sales RepresentaƟve/ Partner

carlamclean@royallepage.ca Head Office: 633 18th Street Brandon, MB

Sales RepresentaƟve



Toll Free: 1-888-277-6206

Virden | Elkhorn | McAuley

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Sam Pounder, “Please can I have Days Gone?”

Harlow Carr

Fond memories of Sanderson School Dear Editor: I have been sorting old files and documents from my mother’s belongings and came across the attached story which I wrote more than a decade ago to send out with Christmas cards. She had saved it in a box of special things. With COVID restricting many normal Christmas activities, including concerts, I wondered if your readers might enjoy some nostalgia. The story is about one special Christmas when Santa visited our one room country school in the Sanderson district just outside of Cromer. For many decades, the one room country school was the only source of elementary education for thousands of rural children. These little schools were also critical community hubs, emblematic of the communities they served. Their zenith was in the 1930s and ‘40s when rural populations exploded with each new wave of immigration. In the 1950s, Normal School was providing teachers with a diploma in a year to satisfy the rapidly expanding public education system, sending them off to school districts hungry for teachers who could

educate eight grades under one roof. Many teachers were barely out of their teens and far away from home; job descriptions often included athletic

director, nurse, plumber, heating technician and social director. Former students will remember the blizzards, the horse teams and the

outhouse, the school picnics, the Field Days and the Christmas concerts. They will also recall the lessons learned that were not in the curriculum: self-reliance

and fortitude, cooperation, commitment and ingenuity. I have many fond memories of our little school, Sanderson. Do let me know if you might be interested in

printing the story or if you need further information. Kind regards, Arvel Gray, Radio host and writer, Winnipeg Pg 19


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Nevaeh Huff wants a baby owl squishy.

Cali Ferris hopes for a Rudolf barbie deer.


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Thank you for your continued support this past year From the Staff & Management of Bonneville Transport, Reston, MB


A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS With glad tidings from our entire staff this holiday season, we thank you for your kind patronage. - David, Julie, Rhonda, Amanda, Cheryl, Kenzie and Melissa

Peace on Earth

The beauty of the winter season reminds us of how blessed we are in so many ways, including the friendship of neighbors like you. Happy Holidays! - Reeve, Council & Staff

RM OF ELLICE-ARCHIE MCAULEY: 204.722.2053 | ST. LAZARE: 204.683.2241 www.rmofellicearchie.ca

- Diane, Ashley, Baylee, Carly & Lori

Nu-Art Beauty Salon 178 Nelson Street West, Virden | (204) 748-2779

Merry Christmas

Wishing you Happiness & Health in



170 Nelson Street W, Virden, MB • (204) 748-1094

Wishing you all a happy holiday & all the best in the new year! Thank you for your patronage.

Elkhorn, MB | 204-845-2315

May your holidays be full of health, peace and happiness - and may it continue into the coming year!

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Santa visits Cromer Pg 17 THE BIG FIB The night was black. Not dark like pitch, but blue black, a rich velvet dome of azure, thick and heavy like theatre curtains. This night had its own pale glow, dim but serviceable, as if someone had turned on a 25-watt bulb to light the world. Perhaps that’s why I remember it so vividly. The light made the landscape surreal, the sky and stars and snow saturated with intensity - a frozen theatre-in-the-round to the families spilling from their cars and entering the oneroom schoolhouse. I was five. I was not a pupil myself at this strange and wonderful place which allowed you your very own wooden pencil box purchased personally by your mother at Robinson’s Store in Virden. That honour belonged to my sister. I was merely a postulant, fully aware of the ritual but not allowed membership to this mysterious order of learning. School was a rite of passage, a vehicle to the adult world, a prophecy of wonderful things yet to come. School was also the heart of our rural community, anchoring our lives with a sense of belonging, regardless of age or gender. The school hosted whist drives and bingo, summer picnics and ballgames but no event in the district begged more excitement, preparation or anticipation than the annual Christmas concert. For weeks, my sister had indulged me with daily descriptions of its launch. Volunteers had arrived to build a makeshift stage from lumber and sawhorses, and the women had hung green rayon drapes on a thick wire stretched wall to wall. The younger students had decorated the blackboards with ropes of silver tinsel, paper poinsettias and Christmas bells. A month before the concert on Thursday and Friday afternoons, Annie Roach came to play the piano and tune up twenty voices that were never going to perform at Carnegie Hall. The most delicious piece

of news came from Mother. She told me that at the end of the concert Santa would be making a personal appearance. Who had arranged this I couldn’t imagine, but the vision of Saint Nicholas making his way from the North Pole to Manitoba’s snow swept prairie was just too wonderful for words. People were pouring into the school now, filling the wooden benches lined end to end in the classroom. The desks had been pushed against the side walls and some of the younger pupils scrambled to sit there, like merrymakers piling onto a ride at Brandon Fair. A few men stood by the back door, casually smoking, as if Santa Claus coming to your community was an everyday occurrence. They seemed uneasy in their Sunday suits and starched collars, scratching necks that were used to more comfortable clothing. All the women were in their finery: good wool suits and crepe dresses, heirloom brooches and wedding pearls. Several matrons had been into the home Toni box. The old piano broke the chatter with the first notes of “Silver Bells,” prompting men to shuffle to their seats and young children to scuttle to their family rows. The pupils filed in ceremoniously on stage as if they were foreign ministers quietly gathering for some secret summit. My Uncle Herby was Master of Ceremonies and I felt his position would stand us in good stead with Santa. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, will you please rise for O Canada.” We all stood and I tried to join in with the few phrases I knew, ending with a flourish by adding a bit of volume to We stand on guard for THEE! The curtain was drawn, releasing the faint odor of mothballs, a pungent addition to a warm room already heady with fresh pine and Lily of the Valley perfume. One of the youngest boys poked his head through the opening and grinned, begging laughter from the audience, until his face just

as quickly disappeared. The curtain opened and weeks of rehearsal came alive on stage. Recitations began. Skits ended. Parents craned necks to view their youngsters and a few well meaning souls would advertise when their relative appeared on stage. “That’s Donna!” or “That’s Ronnie’s girl,” as if the costume would negate instant recognition. My sister was an elf, in a homemade creation of cotton fabric and Reynolds aluminum foil. She did not look good in green and it gave me solace.

Occasionally the audience was asked to join in on the songs, which we did with enthusiasm. We were just finishing the last chorus of “Silent Night” when a man slipped Uncle Herby a small square of paper, which he carefully unfolded and delivered to the curious assembly. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I have just been given a note here from Santa Claus. And it says, ‘I am leaving Reston and I’m on my way to Cromer! Rudolph is just checking the map so we don’t get lost.’”

When Dad took us to Cromer in the old truck the ride was as long as three songs on the radio. The news of Santa being that close made my heart beat a little faster. Three songs wasn’t very long at all. “This letter has just been delivered by one of Santa’s elves,” Uncle Herby concluded. Children squirmed in their seats and a muffled giggle passed through the crowd. I had never seen a real elf before and we were close enough to the back door

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for a quick peek. I turned to my mother for a cue to make a move. But Mother sat motionless. “Mom, there’s an elf outside!” I reminded her. “Oh, he’ll be gone now,” she announced calmly. “He’ll be on his way back to Santa.” The world of adults confused me. When anyone came to visit us on the farm, they were ushered in like royalty, escorted to the kitchen table and offered tea and baking. It didn’t matter if you were a distant relative or a lost Pg 21


| keystonewealth.ca


Virden Empire-Advance


December 18, 2020


As we celebrate the Miracle that took place in a simple manger so many Christmases ago, we are filled with a sense of peace, joy, contentment and love that we want to share with all of our good friends and neighbors here in the community.


We wish you and your family all the blessings this holy season holds. Thank you for your kindness, friendship and support. Merry Christmas!


- Henry, Shari, Brad, Mandy, staff and families



Merry Christmas

15 Goodridge Rd, Virden • 204.748.2466 • fountaintire.com GEOVERRA INC. R0011848869

HAPPY HOLIDAYS To our clients, friends and members of the community: It has been a challenging season for all of us, but we're grateful for the support you've shown over the last year.

With warm wishes and heartfelt thanks to our customers and friends this holiday season. It’s been a pleasure serving you this year.

At the end of June, we transitioned to our new company, GeoVerra, and we couldn't have done it without partners like you. Wishing you all the best - here's to 2021!

- Management and staff

333 Seventh Avenue, Virden • 204-748-1666

S ur ve y ing a nd Geo ma t i c s / g eo v er r a . c o m

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Elf outside in the cold Pg 19 traveler - the kettle was always on and an emergency cake was always in the freezer. Now a very important workshop representative was at our school door, and not one adult thought to ask him in. The crowd settled and the concert continued. Uncle Herby announced a

“drill” which is the country school version of the opening of the Olympics. Annie started up again on the piano, prompting forty feet to tap out patterns and designs on the stage. In the finale, the children held up white cardboard squares with red and green letters that spelled Merry Christmas. A boy in the

front row dropped his prop and started to cry. His behavior was disquieting with an elf that close. I was beginning to question Rudolph’s navigational abilities, worrying that he had flown over Cromer by mistake, missing the twin grain elevators that marked the village entrance. But at that very moment there

was a second knock on the door and a second note delivered. Mr. Mathieson brought it right up to the front, brandishing it in the air as if the Queen had just dropped off an unexpected invitation to tea. My uncle scanned its contents. “Santa Claus is delayed!” he cried. “He’s been spotted somewhere over Cruick-

shank’s field. He’s caught his suit on a barbed wire fence and Rudolph is trying to get him loose.” A dull ache started in the pit of my stomach as I began to process this information. When Mother first confirmed Santa would be coming to the Christmas concert, I refused to believe it. Logic told me

he couldn’t find our little country school, and even if he could, he certainly wouldn’t appear in person. But Mother assured me that Santa would find his way and that he would have a gift for each and every child. Now, the miracle was in jeopardy because of a barbed wire fence. Pg 24

Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Mackenzie Brydon asks about the reindeer, Santa, and Mrs. Claus.

Langley Gerrard

May Christmas Blessings be on one and all. Enjoy this Festive Season with care!

Merry Christmas

AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR to friends, relatives, neighbours, and customers from Freehand Media your Amway of Canada Independent Business Owner, Virden Historical Walking and Bike Tours, Advertising/Writing Business, Have Pen Will Travel, and Vintage Tutoring (half academics & half fitness). OF CANADA... Essential Home (Healthy Home Solutions), Real Beauty (Healthy Beauty Solutions), and Optimal Health (Healthy Nutrition Solutions). We also sell good protection against germs.

Your contact phone number is 204-748-3321 with an answering machine. Kel Smith MANY THANKS TO VIRDEN & AREA CUSTOMERS! AGAIN, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Happy Holidays Merry Christmas Wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a joyous New Year.

Gre g N e s b itt Member of the Legislative Assembly Riding Mountain Constituency Constituency Office: #7 – 515 – 4th Avenue P.O. Box 100 Shoal Lake, MB R0J 1Z0 Phone (204) 759-3313 Mobile (204) 365-7771 Toll Free 1-844-877-7767 E-mail gregnesbittmla@mymts.net


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Happy Holidays Thank you for your continued support throughout the past year and wish you a healthy and happy 2021

Merry Christmas This festive holid holiday day season feels like the right time to share our sincerest and warmest thanks for the opportunity to be a part of such a supportive community. Thank you for sticking with us this past year.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy & healthy holiday season

204-748-2261 580 Commonwealth Drive, Virden


Greetings Not only at Christmas time but all the year through, the joy you give others is the joy that comes back to you.

Merry Christmas

A message of thanks

at the holiday season

We are feeling merry this holiday season and your kind friendship is the reason. For your support we're grateful too, because we would not be here without all of you! Dan Wharf, Lisa Andrew Suzanne Chapman, Nancy Gertz, Madison Johnston, Andrew Foreman, Nicole Jarvie, Kat Sauter & Amanda Holden

- Reeve,, Councillors & Staff

BDO Canada LLP Chartered Professional Accountants 255 Wellington Street West, Virden, MB (204) 748-1200

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Flora Sander wants a sparkly gem and says, “How’s the elves?”

Zayden Hunkin


DRC Seed Cleaning Merry Christmas

In a year filled with challenges, we are grateful for your support

from David & Lisa

Reston & District Library


restondistrictlibrary.ca 204-877-3673

Goodridge Rd, Virden




We thank you for giving us so many reasons to celebrate, and we hope your Christmas is full of happy surprises.

DAVID COOK • RESTON • H: 204-877-3878 • C: 204-851-1122


Happy Holidays

Specializing in Custom Grain Cleaning Also Available: Bagged Proso Millet Seed


To our neighbours, customers, associates and friends, we offer our warm wishes for the holiday season!

With best wishes and gratitude this holiday season. It's been great getting to know you and we look forward to seeing you again next year! - Rick and Brenda Park, family and staff Wish wish to send a big thank you to Mrs. Wallace’s Grade 1 & 2 Class at Oak Lake Community School for sending us their Letters to Santa for the Community Christmas Greetings edition

Virden, MB Serving all your Canadian and US Trucking needs! (Hopper Bottoms)

B: (701) 340-2517 H: (204) 748-2303 F: (204) 748-1396




Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Cromer memories last lifetime Pg 21 “Is he going to get here, Mom?” I trembled. “Oh, don’t you worry. Santa Claus will get here.” Still, I was wary. The audience hushed as the curtain opened and a manger scene appeared. Real straw was bunched up at the front of the stage and someone had stuck a doll in the middle. The oldest girl in the school started to recite The Christmas Story. “And so it came to pass that a child was born in Bethlehem...” Shepherds shuffled onto the stage. Angels appeared. Two younger boys crawled in dressed as a cow. The narrator called them an ox and I wondered if an ox was a cow wearing a brown bedspread. Three Wise Men entered with gifts and a gold star taped to a broom handle. The teacher, Miss

Brownell, came from behind the curtain to say how hard the children all had worked and to thank everybody for coming and for the wonderful sandwiches and cake the women had brought for after the show and to the School Board for the opportunity to teach at Sanderson #442. Sheets of steam now devoured the mullioned windowpanes, completely obscuring any sign of movement in the lane and fields beyond. I was too young to read but Mother had been following the printed program with her finger and when it rested on the final carol, I resigned myself to the bitter truth. Santa would not be coming. The pupils snaked back on stage into three neat rows and the teacher invited everyone to sing, “Joy

‘This is for you’ Santa whispered – Arvel Gray

to the World,” which we did with vigour. At first, the enthusiastic choir didn’t notice the stomping on the roof. But with each new loud thump and shake, voices faltered, the piano stopped and the room fell silent to the unmistakable tinkle of bells overhead. A man rushed forward from the cloak room and whispered something to Uncle Herby who cleared his throat before delivering the memorandum. “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Santa Claus and his eight reindeer are now on the roof of the school!” This was stunning news! I was prepared to see Santa Claus in the flesh but the possibility of Rudolph and Prancer and Vixen too, seemed an extraordinary piece of good luck. I imagined those flying reindeer and that wondrous sleigh against the brilliant night sky. “Mom,” I cried, tugging at her sleeve, “aren’t we going to go out and look?!” She stared hard at me, calculating the proposition, as if she were Buddha being persuaded to see the Pope. “No, we can’t,” she finally replied. “If you go out and look, Santa won’t come to our house at Christmas.” The choice was unbearable. Later, tucked up in bed, I remembered a woman in the Bible had turned to salt for taking a forbidden look and I reasoned that perhaps Mother was right to be cautious. And yet, when Saint Nicholas finally burst through the schoolhouse door, he stood as a radiant symbol of hope, an emissary of the impossible. I was stunned by his beauty: rich, red coat, fine white gloves, robust, solid belly.

Silken hair spilled from his cap and chin. He was charming and seductive, like a prophet who easily persuades you to his ideology. He headed straight for the stage, hauling his sack heavy with fruit and candy for every child in the room. Uncle Herby started summoning pupils and a steady stream headed to

the front. Sandra Ritchie. Ralph Cruickshank. Joan Forsythe. My name was called and I approached with care. “This is for you,” Santa whispered. He bent low and gave me my package. “Don’t forget I’ll be back on Christmas Eve to see you.” I clutched my parcel and carried it back to smiling parents. I couldn’t tell them what I was feeling. That Santa’s real gift did

not lie in a paper sack with oranges and peppermints. That he saw in each of us an inner light and understood the inherent possibilities. That we must grasp opportunities when they happen and allow ourselves miracles. That the magic of this beautiful man was the gift we all seek, unconditional love. The fruit he gave me lasted a day, the candy, a week. But the memories have lasted a lifetime.

Letterȑ tƻ Santƒ

Rhymths’ hopes include a make-up pallet.

Wishing You a Magical, Merry Christmas

We’re rounding up our good cheer, to thank all the folks who’ve stopped by here; so saddle up and celebrate a Christmas season that’s really great! First Sale of 2021 Wednesday, January 6 - Feeder/Butcher Sale

- Robin Hill and all the staff at

Virden, Manitoba • P: 748-2809 • F: 748-3478

We’re over the moon about customers like you! Thanks for making 2020 a great year for us. We look forward to serving you again soon.

‘Tis the season for celebrating friends & neighbours like you! Greetings and best wishes to all of the folks who make our town such a wonderful place to work and live. We can’t imagine anywhere we’d rather be this holiday season, and we’re especially grateful for your support through the challenges and setbacks of this past year.

Barry Hutchison 204-851-6157

From Randy, Shannon, Rick, & Charlene

204-748-5850 VIRDEN, MB

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Restoƕ ablazú witİ lighȬ and colouǽ This year a majority of the town has stepped up to light up!

Near Reston, Curtis and Janelle Campbell’s bales become a huge glowing Christmas tree.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse are lit up along with the Star on Rick and Lorelei Bloomer’s home in Reston.

Multiple mini trees feature in this yard belong to Tyler and Angie Henderson north of Reston. PHOTOS/SHERRY KENDRICK

Wishing You All the Ingredients of a Merry Christmas! We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patronage. At the holidays and all year, it’s a pleasure serving folks like you!


137 4th Street, Reston | 204-877-3501




Turnbull Sales & Service Bob, Teresa, family & staff


Pipestone, Manitoba

Season’s Greetings One of the real joys of the Holiday Season is the opportunity is to say Thank You and wish you health and happiness in the new year. From Council and Staff at


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

AdapȬ and enjoɼ thú holidayȑ How are we going to celebrate Christmas with family outside of our home ‘bubble’? Well, the obvious answer is, we are going to adapt! We are VIRTUALLY going to celebrate. A video chat or even just a phone call can be exhilarating. Looking on the bright side, you don’t have to clean your house within an inch of its life. One festive room will do the trick.

PLAN AHEAD AND MAXIMIZE THE EXPERIENCE: Pick a bright, festive spot: Set up your tablet, smartphone or computer in a bright area with a festive backdrop so those who join the virtual hangout can see you clearly. A Christmas tree or decorated fireplace in the background can set the scene. Choose the right conferencing app If everyone has the same operating system platform

(iOS or Android), you may be able to use an app inherent to that system which won’t require a separate download or login. Are you planning a Zoom meeting? Do your homework and conduct a test run prior to the holidays. Keep props nearby If the goal is to open gifts virtually, be sure to have everyone gathered and gifts nearby so no one is scrambling in and out of view. Use mute when not speaking

Muting yourself (and encouraging others to do the same) when you are not speaking will limit background noise. As the host, serve as the moderator and encourage everyone to speak one at a time. Choose a visual cue to signal when someone has the floor to speak, such as raising a hand or even showing a festive picture. Position the camera at eye level Set up the camera so you’re not looking up or down (a

small device tripod can come in handy). Practice looking straight into the camera instead of at yourself in the minimized window or even others on the screen. This way you’ll appear engaged. Tune into virtual worship If your place of worship offers services via YouTube or another video platform, gather around and watch together and participate just as if you were there in person. Better yet, share the link with other family and friends so they can tune in

as well. It can be a point of sharing. Share dinner ‘together’ Set up your camera source so it captures the holiday table. All parties gathering virtually can then sit down to the holiday meal as one and enjoy one of the season’s more endearing traditions. Virtual celebrations can continue through the holiday season. Christmas Day might be a busy one over the air waves, so adapt. Plan alternate dates and time and make Christmas work!

Answers on Page 31









Whatever is good, whatever brings you joy...may it be yours during this magical season and throughout the coming year.

MVDD  \DCEF^[E and all the best to you in 2020! FORT LA BOSSE SCHOOL DIVISION

Merry Christmas Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season.

Thank you for Sticking with us this year!

Dean Jago

Sales Manager + Regional Sales Ph 204.717.8189 | TF 1.888.756.4433 | leechprint.com


December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


Vintagú Christmaȑ froƄ 2016

Boundary Lane Christmas (l & r).


Goulter School Concert (l & r).


With Warm Wishes at the winter season

At the first sign of winter’s chill, We’re reminded of your goodwill... And as snow blankets the ground, We thank you all for coming ‘round For it may be cold outside, it’s true... But our hearts are warmed by thoughts of you! Thank you for your valued business all year long. Glen, Anique, Larissa and Staff

erous with gen ou d e ll fi is find y ason l. May it oliday se g your h ent and goodwil and the festive in p o h ones Here’s xcitem of joy, e ompany of loved ery special. c v helpings e o rs ed by th of year s custome surround akes this time nds and all of you ie fr m r t u a o k g spirit th t to than r. Servin n a mome ur table this yea o e to take We’d lik have brought to stmas! rry Chri ey e th M ll . a r re u fo s a le p r u no has bee

indsor W g n i m Fle rill Bar & G

McNeill | Harasymchuk | McConnell 243 Raglan Street West, Virden • 204.748.1220

ewan Saskatch Fleming, 4 07 306-435-2 turday Sa y a d s e Open Tu

Tidings of Comfort & Peace As we usher in the holiday season, we are moved to remember all of the loved ones past and present who have brought so much joy and light to our lives. We cherish their presence and their memories, and all of the blessings that touch our hearts and spirits. We hope that this Christmas and the New Year deliver much happiness, goodwill and good fortune to you and yours. Thank you for your trust in us and your friendship.

virden | moosomin | carscaddenfuneralchapel.com


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Christmas is not cancelled Linda Clark, Lay Minister Miniota United Church

“It is impossible to cancel Christmas. Christmas is celebrated each time a disciple of Jesus lives love. Christmas isn’t an event. Christmas is,” the words penned by Rev. Richard Bott, Moderator of the United Church of Canada, in response to the question, “What will we do if we can`t have Christmas?” And yes, many of us question what Christmas 2020 can and will be.

Chr istmas is ab out Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and the birth of the Christ Child. Each Christmas season, our Miniota congregation lights the five advent wreath candles – a wonderful meaningful tradition. Through online worship this Christmas season with Dr. Rev. Michael Wilson, former minister of Birtle-Isabella-Miniota Pastoral Charge, now of Charleswood United in Winnipeg, we have been invited virtually to those same traditions. Just this week, we re-

ceived the Charleswood Women’s Advent service. With coffee in hand, I listened to scripture, b e aut i f u l C h r i s t m a s music, to two women’s testimonials of life for their families in COVID times, and Kevin McCormick’s 2020 poem, “If This Time.” In this video enhanced with beautiful scener y, we heard Kevin’s Irish voice share his thoughts on our 2020 time. His words made me think, “What is the real meaning of Chr istmas? ” and yes beyond … “What is the

real meaning of life?” and “Will we make changes to our lives following COVID and 2020?” The author invites us to look inwardly with compassion and kindness, and to be kind to ours elves. One of the verses says that the opposite of love is not hate, but fear, the fear of losing that to which we have become attached. He also said when you pay attention to what you have to be grateful for, you forget what you are missing. His words on HOPE

spoke to me for he said, “Hope matters and we can not live without it. Hope is not a wish nor a desire for things to be different. It is a combination of mind and matter, a course of action.” We are the hands and feet of Christ and this is the time of year to do His work in kindness. My prayers go out to all those who are grieving this Christmas for a loved one, to those who are sick and seeking treatments and to those who are lonely. I invite each of you to

take the time to check on neighbours, especially those who live alone. May each of us chart a course for a meaningful Christmas. May each of us continue to be hopeful for a better world where COVID and other diseases can be conquered, and humanity can be at its best. We are here…We are now. We await the birth of the Christ Child. May your slower paced Christmas 2020 leave you feeling hopeful, loved, and bring you peace as the Christ Child arrives.

IMMANUEL - The Broader Picture Dr. Simeon Norton, Pastor, Virden Alliance Church

Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 What comes to mind when you read this verse,

or when you listen to the many Immanuel carols? How do these words affect you? Do they bring you soothing, peaceful assurance about God’s plans for you, to bring you relief from all that may be threatening you? To the person who first heard these, it was as an intrusion of God med-

dling in his life. About 700 years before the birth of Christ, God sent His prophet Isaiah with these words of a pledge to king Ahaz, that He would be providing release from threats in his life. This was a prophecy of what we now celebrate as Christmas. This promise from God

to king Ahaz was to assure him that his two enemies would not destroy him and his people—God was going to bring relief. In the same way, this season, God wants all who would put their trust in Him, to be assured, that, whatever threats they may be facing, He will bring about relief for them.

This promise was not accepted. At first glance, the rejection appears to be from a position of humility— “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to the test” Isaiah 7:13. More of the story is revealed in II Kings 16 and II Chronicles 28. Ahaz was not humble. He was rebellious. He

preferred to trust his own strategies. In similar ways, today, many may choose their own ways instead of God’s relief. This promise is God’s prophesy to be fulfilled in you. Receive God’s Immanuel! Reorder your life to accommodate Him! Receive His relief from all fears!

Martin Luther’s wisdom for today Rev. Liz Carter-Morgan, St. Paul’s United Church

We speak of this being an unprecedented year. Few us have memories going back to 1918-1919. Some of us remember when quarantines were common for scarlet fever or polio. God remembers. Five hundred years ago, Europe faced an outbreak of the Black Death. In 1527, Martin Luther wrote Therefore, I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid persons and

places where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, He will surely find me, and I have done what He has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. God remembers. At the same time, new global travel meant new diseases. Common childhood illnesses of Europe wiped out whole communities and decimated the

population of the Americas. God remembers. As the Bible tells it, two thousand years ago, a couple of newlyweds were forced to migrate. Far away from her home and family, her aunties and sisters and her own village midwife, Mary had a baby boy. The rage of a deadly king left them running for their lives to a foreign land. God remembers. Christmas this year will be different. The promise of Christmas is that God will be with us - through the long anxious nights and short, uneasy days.

For unto us a child is born and his name shall be called Emmanuel - God

- Kenneth & Cyndi, Lynn & Vicki, Steven & Larissa, Royden & Kristina, families and staff

As we reflect on the events of 2020 we look forward to 2021 with hope! Thank you for your continued support, wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas!

- Bruce & Staff 175 Wellington Street West, Virden



Our worship services are available on YouTubesearch for lizcartermorgan

Merry Christmas

Merrɼ Christmaȑ! We wish you all the best at Christmas time and we truly value your loyal patronage.

with us. God has been this way before, and God remembers.


We wish to thank everyone for their support during our first year as owners of the Reston Car Wash. Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season - Dallas & Kerri Coulter

December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


God, still present and at work Fr. Matt Koovisk, Rector Anglican Church - St. Mary’s (Virden), St. John’s (Reston)

This year’s Christmas will look a little different than it normally does. I suspect you knew that already, though. Many of the things that we do normally, for instance, celebrating with family and friends, going to a church on Christmas

Eve (with at least one hymn by candlelight) are no longer available to us in the midst of

this pandemic. All of this might lead us to think that “Christmas is cancelled.” If we can’t do Christmas like we normally would, what’s the point? The thing is – I’m very much convinced that God is still present and at work in the world, even if the world isn’t exactly like it normally is, and for our own safety (and the safety of those

around us), we’re limited in what we can do. This idea that God has come to earth and is present with us, my friends, is something to be celebrated – Christmas is the time of year where we celebrate the uniting of heaven and earth in a gurgling, burping baby b oy, w here G o d, t he Creator of the Universe, makes Himself present to us in human form.

So, while we are unable to celebrate this feast day in the ways that we have come to know and love, we can still celebrate in small ways. Yes, we can’t go to church, but we can join in with online services from our own homes (such as the one from St. Mary’s/St. John’s Anglican.) Yes, we can’t gather with our f am i l i e s for m a s s ive feasts, but we can still

keep in touch via phone or the internet. While these aren’t the ways we would normally do things, it is something, and right now, it is good enough. However you decide to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, into the midst of the darkness of the world, may you and yours have a blessed Christmas this year.

God-focus produces energetic faith Pastor Tim Challen, Virden Baptist Church

Let’s start with the obvious: no one is going to be having the Christmas of their dreams this year. But that doesn’t mean that Christmas has to be disappointing. As much as certain things are beyond our control, especially this year, our own attitude is not one of them. Now, regulating our emotions is quite difficult in the short-term. Anyone who has ever felt angry, and then had

someone else tell them “don’t be angry” can attest to how pointless that is. But as the immediate stimulus subsides, how we feel over the longterm is shaped by our

attitudes, by our patterns of thinking, by our worldview, and by our trust in a higher power. So when something o c c u rs w hich dis appoints us, like having our Chr istmas plans being affected by government restrictions that we might or might not think are necessary, we have a choice to make. As we go forward, we can allow ourselves to keep feeling disappointed, or we can choose to focus on what will make us feel optimistic and assured. Even in the midst of very

difficult situations, we can choose to turn our thoughts back to hope and joy. We can choose to turn our thoughts back to the God who loves us, and to what He is doing to give us hope and joy, even as we are enduring

pain and sorrow. The Christian Biblical Scholar Eugene Peterson once wrote about how paying attention to God releases the energetic wonder of faith. So, although this Christmas season will be marked

by a great deal of uncertainty, and probably a lot of disappointment as well, our lives can still be filled with wonder, and love, and joy. It all depends on our attitude, and on what, or who, we pay attention to.

Fr o m m y f a m i l y t o y o u r s . . . Sutton-Harrison Realty AN INDEPENDENT MEMBER BROKER

“Wishing you the warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a very happy New Year.”


(204) 851-5332 kgerrand@sutton.com

Merry Christmas

One of the real joys of the

Holiday Season

Wishing our customers, community, friends & family a Christmas filled with Happiness and Health.

is the opportunity to say

Thank You

Thank you for your continued support throughout the past year.

And to wish you

the very best



For the New Year

HOLIDAY HOURS: CLOSED December 24 & 31 at 3PM CLOSED December 25 & 28 CLOSED January 1



Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

A child shall lead them Matthew Enns, Oak Lake Berean Church

Kids are so fun! They get a big idea so quick, and lose it just as fast. The other day my pre-6year-old girls got hold of a cardboard toilet paper roll and were fighting over it. They have hundreds of dollars in toys, but can’t seem to focus

on the big picture when a smooth four- inch cardboard roll is at hand.

So, my wife brought up a comparison which I expanded on: “Would you rather play with this and we can take away some Christmas toys, or give me this and you can have the Christmas toys?� They both quickly understood the value of the proposition I was presenting and easily

gave up the crumpled toilet paper roll. You know where I’m going. Here we are, adults, reading a newspaper, functioning in a society that is the envy of the globe, and yet when it comes to Christmas, do we have the perception to see what is important? We are blessed in this country to the maximum,

the pinnacle of history to be sure. But when baby Jesus was born what did he represent? Nothing less than the best of heaven, the very essence of God. I wonder, do we have the eyes to see that baby in His worth, even amidst the cardboard, plastic, an d m e t a l g i f t s n ow deemed non-essential

items? No, we won’t have a normal Christmas this year, but if there is no great value in the Christ then all Christmas has ever been is a cardboard roll. Yet, if the Christ is the Gift of Christmas, then surely no one and no regulation can take what is rightfully ours: a very Merry Christmas!

Vintagú Christmaȑ froƄ 2016

Elkhorn Christmas Light-up

Elkhorn Parade



GREETINGS from the North Pole - And from us!

isn’t cancelled...it’s just going to look a little different this year... With appreciation at the holidays Because we value your business and friendship too, we’re sending this message to each one of you - to express our best wishes along with our gratitude for your support and goodwill and your most winning attitude! - Don, Shelley and staff


Wherever the holidays find you, May they bring much peace and joy your way. For your visits to us this year, we are sincerely thankful. - Craig, Marianne, Blair, Danny, Roy & Matt

WHYTE’S LUMBER LTD Business 838-2265 | Fax 838-2260 | Kenton, MB

Phone: 204-748-3019 Cell: 204-748-7992 • Virden

710 Seventh Avenue North, Virden | 204-748-6262


Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

And many thanks for all the goodwill you’ve shown toward us this year.

We wish you a Christmas ďŹ lled with joy, thank you for your continued support With best wishes and gratitude to the best bunch of folks we know - our customers!

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December 18, 2020

Virden Empire-Advance


FroƄ ouǽ heartȑ tƻ yourȑ

We hope that you have enjoyed this issue of the EmpireAdvance. It’s a community touch-point, kind of like a newsprint Christmas tree. All of our contributors are the lights and decorations and it is heartwarming to see you and your businesses represented throughout this Greetings issue. We do love knowing that our printed paper is reaching you in Cromer, Elkhorn, Kenton, Kola, Lenore, Miniota, Oak Lake, Pipestone, Reston, Sinclair, Virden, all the readers sandwiched in between and families on the outskirts of our readership. And we greet friends from afar who read this in print or digitally. Thank you for 135 years of supporting the EmpireAdvance. Times are tough for everyone and we recognize it is our businesses and individuals whose continued support of the newspaper allows us to share community stories and business messages. Stay home, stay safe, have a cozy happy Christmas! -The Empire-Advance Staff

“I am appreciative of the support and the welcome I have received as I moved into the Sales position full-time in September.” - Candice McLauchlan

“You are the reason we publish the Empire-Advance. Our communities are filled with interesting people.” – Marian Braybrook.

“To all our contributors, community columnists and freelance journalists, thank you for another wonderful year of stories and photos. We hope we are helping you to feel the togetherness of community in a time of distancing.” – Anne Davison

Christmaȑ Recipú


They say that you can never be too rich or too thin, and this recipe proves it. These chocolate wafers are just as delicious as the store-bought variety. Cooking Time: 12 min Ingredients 1 stick butter

2 tablespoon chocolate, unsweetened 1 egg, slightly beaten 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 cup flour 1 1/2 cup sugar Instructions Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Melt the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Combine with egg and rest of ingredients. Drop by scant teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheets. The finished cookies will be 3 to 4 inches in diameter, so space them accordingly. Bake in preheated oven

here w s i E HOM T is! R A E H the n is a

so holiday sea ht! r u o y g in p Here’s ho t of merry and brig whole lo ew Year s N & s a m t ines Chris May your dance of health, happ u love. es yo abun deliver an ne to you and the on ortu and good f r eciation fo ar! r p p a h it W e this past y t r o p p u s r you

of 325 degrees F for about 12 minutes. Watch carefully to prevent burning. When nearly cool, remove from the cookie sheet with spatula. (I use the metal type. Hint: press under the cookie with pressure against the sheet and they remove easily without crumbling) Place on racks to cool completely, and serve.

Joy to the world and many thanks to all of you this holiday season. It’s been a privilege and a joy serving you.




204-748-3833 or 748-3884 • King Street, Virden, MB


Virden Empire-Advance

December 18, 2020

Season’s Readings! As we turn the page to another holiday season, we’d like to take a moment to thank you, our loyal readers, for your trust and support. We hope this Christmas delivers all the good news you’ve been hoping for and more. Happy Holidays!

Your Local Source for Print & Digital Advertising, Commercial Printing and Digital Marketing Solutions

305 Nelson St W, Virden | 204-748-3931 | empireadvance.ca

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Christmas Greetings 2020  

Happy Holidays from Community Businesses

Christmas Greetings 2020  

Happy Holidays from Community Businesses