Merry Christmas Chestermere! As we go into the New Year, I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to everyone for your faith in me, and for affording me the opportunity to represent you at the provincial level. My next few articles will outline some of the bills that were passed in the last legislative sitting, but for now, lets enjoy each other, our community, and the spirit of giving that is in every Albertan’s DNA. It is one of my most cherished descriptions of this beautiful province, our generosity that was not given to us by government or any other agency. It is a pillar of the people of this province and I could not be prouder to be a part of your lives. As many of you know I love Christmas carols, so the next part of this article will reflect my favorite carols, and the for me, the meaning behind this season for so many of us.
As you munch on roasted chestnuts (something I have never done), and wait for Santa Claus Coming to Town, and dream of being Home for Christmas, we are grateful to sleep snug in our precious warm beds during the Silent Night, and give each other kisses Under the Mistletoe. In China they sing “Huānlè Jiāyīn Gē” (Shout the Glad Tidings), in Arabic, “Ya Maryam el Bekr” (Oh Virgin Mary), in Croatian “Djetešce nam se rodilo” (A child was born unto us), in Czech, “Pásli ovce valaši” (The men from Valassko are taking sheep out.). The Danish tradition is to carol around the Christmas tree, hands linked. In Dutch, Gloria in Excelsis Deo “Eer zij God in onze/deze dagen” a.k.a. “Engelkens, door het luchtruim zwevend” and in Tagalog, “Ang Pasko ay Sumapit” (Christmas Has Come), in Finnish- “Joulupuu on rakennettu” (Christmas tree has been built), in French “Quelle est cette odeur agréable? (Whence Is That Goodly Fragrance Flowing?), In German, “In dulci jubilo” (In Sweet Rejoicing), to Ireland “Don Oíche úd Im Beithil” (That Night In Bethlehem), in Italy “Gesù bambino” (The Infant Jesus), in Polish “Nie było miejsca dla Ciebie” (There was no place for you), in Portuguese “O Menino está com frio” (The Infant Jesus Is Cold), in Spain “A la Nanita Nana” (Come, let’s sing a little lullaby), in Ukrainian “Nova radist’ stala” (A New Joy Came), and these are just some.
Hopefully this list will inspire you to listen to some new carols, and will bring us as a nation and a world a little closer together for a few minutes as we sit and appreciate how all of us celebrate in our own and unique way. The amazing diversity of our little city, the love and kindness that we shower on one another, and the smiles and kind faces when seeing all of you late at night at the Shoppers Drug Mart picking up diapers, or cough medicine, or at one of our local businesses that keep bustling along as they survive this economic turmoil, or just out on the dog path on those rare occasions where I get to see you outside enjoying the pathways. I want to thank you for giving my work purpose, and for making my life better just by knowing you. I hope and pray that you have a beautiful holiday, and that you find time to breathe in our beautiful and pristine Alberta air on those crisp winter nights. Please remember that many of us do not have as much as our neighbours, and please give generously over the holidays to pass on love and joy to those who are less fortunate. From my office, and my staff, and my family: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!