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Thoughts of joy
My first grandchild Oliver brings me absolute joy. To see his face light up upon seeing someone special to him, or to watch him discover this world that we live in is very special. Every little ordinary thing fascinates him, and I get to see the world through his eyes. Last Christmas was his first Christmas, so he was too young to enjoy all the festivities, but I am looking forward to this year as our family celebrates Christmas together. It will be joyful!
—Diana Mumford, former Burnaby school trustee
I know it’s a cliché, but seeing Christmas through my children’s eyes brings me joy. Watching them light up is truly amazing. That for me is the true meaning of Christmas.
—Rob Lamoureux, president, Burnaby Firefighters IAFF Local 323
What brings me JOY at this special time of year (and all year round) are the little things or, more specifically, the little ones: children! Their desire to ‘give’ rather than take is heartwarming and contagious. I’m always blown away by the selfless and creative ways Burnaby students band together to support those who are less fortunate in our community—and abroad—with charitable, youth-led initiatives. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
—Harman Pandher, Burnaby School Trustee
Thinking of someone I love brings me joy, and I assume that is what Christmas joy is about when people are thinking of Jesus the Christ, who brought peace to the world, and encouraged people to prefer love instead of fear for the sake of peace.
Being able to give and see the happiness that it brings to people. Friendship and honesty, generosity and will to help, happy children and loving parents, and peace in the world.
Many can experience joy in a transient sense. But it is only when we are in fellowship with our transcendent creator that our joy can be full and complete.
That concept is inherent in the term “Christmas joy.”
To me joy is the rush of seeing salmon returning to spawn in our local urban creeks. It’s the excitement of patrolling Byrne Creek in the cool, fresh air, amidst the blazing leaves, hoping to see salmon, and the immense reward when you find a few. Joy is the awestruck face of a child who sees a huge, colourful salmon in the creek for the first time, along with the realization that it’s nearly in their back yard. Joy is a child peppering you with eager questions, and watching a seeking mind making connections with the natural world that supports us all.
—Paul Cipywnyk, Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society
Joy comes from marvelling at the beauty, complexity and vastness of nature, and realizing that there is more to the big picture than our short stay on earth. Joy comes from being pain-free after a period of ill health. Joy comes from doing a good job, and from doing things that make the world a better place, and from being kind to people. Joy comes from teaching someone something and being there to witness the moment that they “get it.” Joy comes from laughing and making others laugh. Joy comes from getting through a difficult year and finding strength and resilience that I didn’t know I had.
Joy is a beautiful sky, a sleeping kitty curled up in a chair, looking up as I drive to work and seeing the moon in the day sky, and from my days in Prince George, the memory of my husband’s kiss when he would come in from shoveling snow with his beard all frosty.
What brings me “Joy?”
In my experience, “Joy” is not brought, it is found.
And after I wrote that last sentence, I paused and looked out my window waiting the next few words to come and wow—what an amazing sunset! The clouds are shades of gold and the sky that amazing blue, sky-blue pink my youngest brother used to call it. And I felt “Joy.”
Joy is there in the small things of everyday life. Joy seems to come unexpectedly and yet it is there all the time. Waiting for me to notice. Waiting for me to be open...
—Edel Toner-Rogala, chief librarian, Burnaby Public Library
Many things bring me joy, daily. But during this hectic period of our lives when the kids are very small and there is always something to take care of, and often somewhere to rush to, it can be stressful trying to balance everything. Therefore, something I’m more conscious of that makes me happy is when my husband, my young kids, and I all sleep soundly, wake up happy, and our family is not feeling hurried or stressed. That’s the equivalent of winning a Mommy Lottery.
—Isabel Kolic, executive director, Burnaby Heights Merchants Association
Growing up, we celebrated Christmas on Dec. 24. After supper my father would sneak into the living room, turn off all the lights except those on the Christmas tree, and ring a little bell to let us know that Santa had indeed come. The door would open and there it was, the tree and all our presents perfectly wrapped. And my father with an ear-to-ear grin watching as we absorbed the magic of the moment. Now on Christmas Eve I dim all the lights and ring that little bell. And stand there with an ear-to-ear grin as my heart fills with joy as I watch my two daughters experience that perfect moment.
It brings me joy to gather with my family and friends during the holiday season but also to do so throughout the year. With such a busy work and volunteer schedule, I appreciate taking the time for a rest in the security and comfort of our home but to also share this home with others. I feel joy when my husband and I invite and host international students into our family and when we invite neighbours and friends to share in family meals. This happens often throughout the year.
—Antonia Beck, Burnaby Neighbourhood House
Christmas gives me joy to have my family with us for the holidays. Over the past ten years our three children have been attending university in eastern Canada and it has always been challenging getting everyone together. The uncertain weather, airline schedules, exam times and lots of trips to and from the airport created a high degree of stress that only dissipated once everyone was safely at home. Christmas is a time for family and I have lots of very joyful memories of our annual Christmas homecomings.
J.A. (John) Buis, M.O.M., Staff Sergeant Major
Executive NCO to the OIC - Burnaby Detachment