Dear Santa: I have tried to be good this year and I think for the most part my family would agree. There has been some whining, complaining and what some might call nagging but always in the best interest of others (maybe). Perhaps I have been a bit self-focused. So this year I am wishing for many as well.
Is it possible to get funding for the Whitevalley Community Centre so they can continue to do the amazing work they do there in supporting their community? I have never known an organization to truly be as effective at being a community centre as the one in Lumby with that outstanding Gay Jewitt and her tireless staff, who are all underpaid, and their dynamic volunteers who rise to every occasion. It can be exhausting and they need help for core funding, and lots of it please, annualized for years to come.
For myself I would like a sauna because I think it would be good for my health, and for reducing stress.
I hope that you can see, through your incredible network of connections, that the food bank stays full year-round, that people who are homeless and hungry find their way to the Mission and the shelters to enjoy a meal and a warm bed. That all the local community organizations receive the community support they need for funding, have plenty of donations and folks for their volunteer roles.
Better yet, Santa, I wish for our new councils to be able to work collaboratively with our business community and beyond in being able to bring jobs to Vernon. A variety of jobs that pay decent wages, require a host of skills and abilities so that young people will stay or move here, that people can stay here with their families and not leave home for work, that those seeking employment can find it.
I wish that those who live in our community who are lonely find friends, and neighbours that they can connect with, whose company they may enjoy not just once but build a relationship with to share their histories and futures with.
I wish that Kin racetrack stays as Kin racetrack, and that the hospital gets the floors opened up plus more long-term care beds in the community.
I would like to enjoy good health, to give up insomnia and become a skinny b—- again. I want great health for my whole family as well. Let this be the year that we can all get together for a happy carefree occasion and not a funeral.
My other wish is that my sons have safe travels this year as they venture around the world. That they are curious and kind, healthy and wise as they explore new worlds. I wish for them to find the work that will fulfill their passions and that they will always return home.
I wish for time, Santa. Time to sit on the dock and enjoy the beauty of Okanagan Lake on a summer’s evening and the company of our friends and neighbours. Time with my sons who are moving on. Time to snowshoe, hike with the dog, for guilt-free reading. Time to participate in the community. Time for work. Time to enjoy the company of my amazing friends, and neighbours, to know my clients more and to make certain that I appreciate every day.
Thank you and I know you will do your best, Santa. The very merriest of holidays to all.
Michele Blais is a longtime columnist for The Morning Star, who writes every other Saturday on a variety of issues.