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Remember This? Christmas is just around the corner...

Christmas 1966
Christmas 1966. (via Contributed)

Christmas 2019 is just a few weeks away and the excitement of the Christmas season is starting to build!

As a kid growing up in Kamloops, there was always a reassuring pattern of events and activities building up to the frenzy of gift unwrapping on Christmas day, some of which was enthusiastically looked forward to. Others, a trial to be endured year after year.  

The first sign of Christmas was always the arrival of the Christmas Wish catalogs from Simpsons-Sears and Eatons. What a read for a young kid. Tonka trucks, train sets, car racing sets... page after page after page. So many toys that might be under the tree on Christmas Day!

By early December, Woodward's department store had a toy section second to none that could keep your attention for hours. But on the other side, December brought excruciating Christmas visits to relatives and parents' friends that required you to be dressed uncomfortably in your Sunday best, and to be on your best behaviour (or else).

For some reason, one of the annual activities that always seemed to occur just after the arrival of the Christmas catalogs was the selection of toys to be donated to the fire hall for other families.

Even now, I can hear my mother saying, “There are other children out there that could make better use of some of those toys than you. Go through your room and pick out what we can give to them.” 

I’d be lying through my teeth if I told you that I didn’t follow through with great reluctance. Toys that I had outgrown and hadn’t looked at for months regained their appeal and only sadly went into a box that we would drop off at the Kamloops fire hall.

I understand now that I was being taught a life lesson, but at the time I sure had trouble seeing the bigger picture. Mom was right, there are kids who might not have much under the tree without some help from other families. Christmas is as much about giving as receiving.

So whether it's a teddy bear toss at the next hockey game, or at a toy ride for kids, be sure to open your heart this year and give something for those less fortunate.

Chris Moser runs the Kamloops History Facebook page and is a contributing writer for KamloopsMatters.