BEYOND THE HEADLINES: Dear Santa...
Santa Claus heads out on his whirlwind journey of the globe in a few hours, bringing gifts to all of the good girls and boys.
And the pressure to perform is daunting for the old elf.
Besides keeping up with the latest gadgets and the popular toys, some special requests have found their way to the North Pole.
“I want the rural roads to be cleared of snow, and sanded in a timely manner.” — Jackie Pearase, rural Enderby director
“I would like a healthy hockey team and a long win streak. I am also having a baby in the new year and would like a healthy newborn.” — Jason Williamson, Vernon Vipers head coach
“The one thing I would like Santa to bring is for the entire community to recognize the value of sport and recreation in terms of community health, and that the region be recognized as the healthiest community in Canada.” — Jim McEwan, Funtastic executive director
“If I could ask Santa for anything, I would ask he give my wish to someone who truly needs it. I am one of those fortunate people who have more than they need but have the opportunities to see there are many who are not so lucky.” — Owen Dickie, Lake Country councillor
“I would wish for three more companies in responsible industries to choose Vernon for their corporate headquarters. Or Wayne Gretzky’s hockey abilities when I was his age. Or Toronto’s Rob Ford to be the mayor of a neighbouring community to make the rest of us look good.” — Rob Sawatzky, Vernon mayor
“My wish is for everyone who is just trying to make it through the holidays, those who dread the Christmas season because of bad memories, disappointments or not being with family for Christmas. My wish would be that their negative memories would be replaced with new ones. That individuals and families would be inclusive, inviting others to experience being welcomed, feeling joyful and being a part of making new hopeful Christmas memories, that no one would feel alone and unnoticed.” — Lisa Froom, Upper Room Mission general manager
“Dear Santa, the farming families of the North Okanagan know you like to eat so my request is that their year-long desire for (meat processing ) licenses be tucked in their stockings.” — Patrick Nicol, Regional District of North Okanagan chairperson
“I want everything that hockey players have and hockey stickers, but no doubles.” — Lucas VanderVelde, four, inspiration for the book Marshall Plays Hockey.
“International peace and stability.” — George Abbott, Shuswap MLA
“I would ask Santa to help us all do our best to be more accepting of differences and not only tolerant of young and tolerant of older, but an appreciation of diversity in culture and the contributions that all make to the community.” — Gay Jewitt, executive director of the Whitevalley Community Resource Centre in Lumby
“If I could ask Santa for one thing this Christmas, it would be that he turn Vernon into Whoville for one day and all of the residents would meet around a very large Christmas tree in the middle of town and sing Dabu Doray.” — Andrew Allen, entertainer
No matter what Santa brings you, I wish you peace and joy. A very merry Christmas and all of the best in the new year.