Christmas

In this photo provided by the California Highway Patrol, a man dressed as Santa Claus who was flying on a powered parachute on his way to deliver candy canes to children is seen stuck on power lines in Rio Linda, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. The man was rescued uninjured. The incident happened shortly after the man took off near a school in Rio Linda and then hit and became suspended in power lines, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman told KCRA-TV. (California Highway Patrol via AP)

Man dressed as Santa rescued from power lines in California

Video from the rescue shows the aircraft dangling overhead as Santa sat fastened to the pilot seat

In this photo provided by the California Highway Patrol, a man dressed as Santa Claus who was flying on a powered parachute on his way to deliver candy canes to children is seen stuck on power lines in Rio Linda, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. The man was rescued uninjured. The incident happened shortly after the man took off near a school in Rio Linda and then hit and became suspended in power lines, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman told KCRA-TV. (California Highway Patrol via AP)
In this Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020 photo made available by NASA, Saturn, top, and Jupiter, below, are seen after sunset from Shenandoah National Park in Luray, Va. The two planets are drawing closer to each other in the sky as they head towards a “great conjunction” on Monday, Dec. 21, where the two giant planets will appear a tenth of a degree apart. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)

Jupiter and Saturn align in our skies tonight, to form the Great Conjunction

Stargazers typically gather in groups at observatories or with backyard telescopes for such events

  • Dec 21, 2020
In this Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020 photo made available by NASA, Saturn, top, and Jupiter, below, are seen after sunset from Shenandoah National Park in Luray, Va. The two planets are drawing closer to each other in the sky as they head towards a “great conjunction” on Monday, Dec. 21, where the two giant planets will appear a tenth of a degree apart. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)
Child, youth and family program co-ordinators Hollie Francis, left, and Taylor Oriecuia, right, hold activity kits that they have packaged up to deliver to SOS program participants. Alice Tulia, SOS child, youth and family programs manage, centre. made a plan to deliver the food and activities that would have been used in the cancelled programs. (Lissa Alexander photo)

Delivering joy to Parksville Qualicum Beach families

‘One child was so excited he was vibrating’

Child, youth and family program co-ordinators Hollie Francis, left, and Taylor Oriecuia, right, hold activity kits that they have packaged up to deliver to SOS program participants. Alice Tulia, SOS child, youth and family programs manage, centre. made a plan to deliver the food and activities that would have been used in the cancelled programs. (Lissa Alexander photo)
Jaclyn Mountain says her mother, Cindy Mountain, seen in an undated handout photo, would be thrilled to see her Port Coquitlam, B.C., home decked out in Christmas lights for the first time in15 years. Cindy Mountain, of ‘Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, B.C., died of COVID-19 in April at age 59. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-The Mountain Family, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

The empty chair: Canadians face first Christmas without loved ones lost to COVID-19

Here are the stories of how Canadians who lost loved ones to COVID-19 are coping with Christmas grief

Jaclyn Mountain says her mother, Cindy Mountain, seen in an undated handout photo, would be thrilled to see her Port Coquitlam, B.C., home decked out in Christmas lights for the first time in15 years. Cindy Mountain, of ‘Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay, B.C., died of COVID-19 in April at age 59. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-The Mountain Family, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
After Alanna Wadhwani, seen here with son Nathan, was deluged with orders for her ‘dog poo’ 2020 Christmas ornament, she set up what she described as a factory in her West Maple Maple Ridge home (Special to The News)
After Alanna Wadhwani, seen here with son Nathan, was deluged with orders for her ‘dog poo’ 2020 Christmas ornament, she set up what she described as a factory in her West Maple Maple Ridge home (Special to The News)
Todd and Nicole Cameron dressed son Jack up as 12 characters from various holiday movies, including Bruce Willis’s character from <em>Die Hard</em>. (Nicole Cameron photo)

12 days of Christmas movies: Nanaimo toddler stars in holiday classic photo shoots

Family shares photos of son dressed as characters from Die Hard, Elf and more

Todd and Nicole Cameron dressed son Jack up as 12 characters from various holiday movies, including Bruce Willis’s character from <em>Die Hard</em>. (Nicole Cameron photo)
Neelam and Mark Nagra show one of the three queen mattresses M&N Mattress and Sofa Shop will give to a deserving recipient in their 12 Days of Christmas Free Mattress Give-A-Way. (Submitted photo)

Parksville business to give away 15 mattresses for Christmas

M&N Mattress and Sofa Shop owners give back to community

Neelam and Mark Nagra show one of the three queen mattresses M&N Mattress and Sofa Shop will give to a deserving recipient in their 12 Days of Christmas Free Mattress Give-A-Way. (Submitted photo)
New Westminster resident is looking to sell hand-made ornaments for the holiday season

B.C. woman creates unique baked bean holiday ornament

Buy local this holiday season - with a baked bean ornament

New Westminster resident is looking to sell hand-made ornaments for the holiday season
Parksville’s Christiana Conway, left, husband Chris Conway, right, and friend Elizabeth Doell write letters designed to bring Christmas cheer to senior residents at area care homes. (Submitted photo)

Parksville woman helps create special messages of Christmas cheer for seniors

Hand-written letters designed to help lonely residents during holiday season

Parksville’s Christiana Conway, left, husband Chris Conway, right, and friend Elizabeth Doell write letters designed to bring Christmas cheer to senior residents at area care homes. (Submitted photo)
The Parksville Museum’s building lights get the nod of the judges in the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce’s Oceanside Holiday Light Up contest. (Parksville Museum Photo)

Parksville chamber announces Holiday Light Up winners

Businesses bring some festive cheer with bright decorations

The Parksville Museum’s building lights get the nod of the judges in the Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce’s Oceanside Holiday Light Up contest. (Parksville Museum Photo)
(CP Photo)
(CP Photo)
A giant star hoisted onto the back of a Colwood home can be seen from West Shore communities below. (Facebook/Leah Moreau)
A giant star hoisted onto the back of a Colwood home can be seen from West Shore communities below. (Facebook/Leah Moreau)
You can wave back to Santa at 2952 Severne St. in Chemainus on weekday afternoons and weekends from late morning until early afternoon. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Visiting hours set for socially-distanced Santa greetings in Chemainus

Walkers and drive-bys welcome at 2952 Severne St. in Chemainus until Dec. 20

You can wave back to Santa at 2952 Severne St. in Chemainus on weekday afternoons and weekends from late morning until early afternoon. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chris and Cheryl Cote run the Oceanside Christmas Wishes and help a minimum of 10 low-income families every year, from gifts to groceries and more. (Facebook photo)

Christmas Wishes group offers boost for low-income families in Parksville Qualicum Beach

‘We want to cover everything so it’s not just about the gifts’

Chris and Cheryl Cote run the Oceanside Christmas Wishes and help a minimum of 10 low-income families every year, from gifts to groceries and more. (Facebook photo)
Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston

‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
Patricia Taylor and Debra Strut at the Salvation Army on Friday, Nov. 27, handing out winter boots and gift bags to those in need. Taylor says they'll be back until all her supplies are gone.(Mandy Moraes photo)

Parksville residents distribute gifts and winter boots in Salvation Army parking lot

‘I’m hoping to open the eyes of the community to realize that everybody has value’

Patricia Taylor and Debra Strut at the Salvation Army on Friday, Nov. 27, handing out winter boots and gift bags to those in need. Taylor says they'll be back until all her supplies are gone.(Mandy Moraes photo)
Having Christmas lights up a little early this year isn’t so bad. (Black Press file photo)

OPINION: Retaining a sense of normalcy is important amid COVID-19 restrictions

Early Christmas celebrations can be overlooked in 2020

Having Christmas lights up a little early this year isn’t so bad. (Black Press file photo)
The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)

Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

Statistics show British Columbians anticipate worsening mental health

The Vancouver Island Crisis Society has seen a five per cent rise in call volumes compared to this time last year. (Black Press Media file photo)
David Darmadi, owner of Kalvas - The Log House restaurant, is offering a sweet initiative for SOS. Guests can bring in a new, unwrapped gift or financial donation for SOS, and receive a free dessert. (Lissa Alexander photo)

Sweet initiative to support Parksville Qualicum Beach residents

‘A lot of our guests are very generous and they want to help out’

David Darmadi, owner of Kalvas - The Log House restaurant, is offering a sweet initiative for SOS. Guests can bring in a new, unwrapped gift or financial donation for SOS, and receive a free dessert. (Lissa Alexander photo)
People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes