EDITORIAL: Yes, there is a Christmas spirit

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the New York Sun’s editorial Is There a Santa Claus? The editorial, penned by Francis Pharcellus Church in 1917, contains the universally recognized line, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” and it has become the most reprinted editorial in the English language.

With that many reprints, we don’t need to give it another run here. However, the entire staff at the Parksville Qualicum Beach News would like to wish our readers and advertisers the best this holiday season, regardless of how you choose to celebrate.

Merry Christmas? Absolutely. But while it is named for the Christian holiday, this end-of-year celebration encompasses a community spirit that extends well beyond believers in the Christian faith.

The Jewish community just wrapped up Hanukkah, its eight-day Festival of Lights. On Dec. 26, African-American celebrants will begin their seven-day observation of Kwanzaa. Russian Orthodox worshipers and the Chinese observe their respective New Years on a different calendar.

And, of course, there’s a Festivus for the rest of us.

Regardless of the traditions and reasons for worship and celebration, the reasons they take place this time of year stem from the winter solstice, which pagans celebrated as a return of the sun following the shortest day of the year.

Plenty of bright lights are shining on Parksville Qualicum Beach right now. The Society of Organized Services is nearing the $100,000 mark in its 50th annual Caring for Community at Christmas campaign, which provides toys, food vouchers and other necessary items to families in need.

SOS has received direct and indirect contributions from numerous other organizations, individuals and businesses, and others give to the needy through their own initiatives, such as the Falkenberg family donations featured on page A13 of this edition.

Other organizations and, yes, churches have been hosting free, community dinners to bring together neighbours and those in need of a hot meal and companionship.

These examples of human compassion reflect what Jesus Christ taught in the New Testament. And they show that we’re all capable of following those teachings, whether or not we “believe” in the teacher.

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Just Posted

Mediators appointed to help address issues in IHealth review

B.C. health minister appoints Jane Morley and Jean Greatbatch as mediators

SOGI rally disrupts school board meeting, but business carries on

Chilliwack school board makes statement in support of B.C.-wide gender identity teaching resource

Homes, roads flooded in Whiskey Creek following downpour

Crews aid flooded homeowners while roads near Hwy 4 closed Sunday morning

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Oceanside Generals stun Victoria, 3-2

Junior B club snaps seven-year losing streak to Cougars

Parksville MakerSpace members ride the rails

New room added for model train enthusiasts; workshop set for Jan. 21

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

UPDATE: Ferries sailing again after stormy weather caused cancellations

B.C. Ferries cancelled numerous sailings around Vancouver Island today, Jan. 21

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

UPDATE: Police continue to seek missing Qualicum Beach woman

Oceanside RCMP requesting public assistance in locating Carmel Georgina Gilmour

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Most Read