Lethbridge: Organizations Delivering Christmas Spirit
CALGARY-Christmas will be different for many Albertans this year. The province has banned all indoor, and outdoor, social gatherings for the next four weeks.
The ban will essentially kill holiday family reunions.
Prime Minister Jason Kenney says the harsh truth is the biggest single source of viral transmission is home gatherings. “If we relax public health measures for large family gatherings in just three weeks, we will undoubtedly see a sharp increase in hospitalizations and deaths,” Kenney said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
COVID-19 has already led to the cancellation of many annual Christmas events in southern Alberta. The santa Clause Christmas Parade in Fort Macleod will not be held for the first time in 38 years and Santa has canceled his visit to the Park Place Mall. “
“We just can’t allow this to become a tragedy for many families,” Kenney said.
Deliver the Christmas atmosphere remotely
While there is disappointing news for many, some organizations are making plans to deliver the Christmas spirit-remotely.
Employees at Southminster United Church plan to live stream their annual Christmas Eve service. They usually see about 500 people in person, so they wanted to find a way to connect people online. Special musical guests will perform on their Facebook page on December 24 at 7pm. “we don’t want to lose all the Christmas charm,” Reverend Taylor said, ” so we’re trying to make a Christmas event as big as possible.”
New provincial regulations have limited places of worship to 15% of their fire protection capacity.
They are not the only ones offering safe Christmas Activities. Nikko Yuko Japanese Gardens is hosting its Christmas Lights Festival and the drive-up display of Groves Christmas lights is also continuing.
For those struggling with the idea of not seeing their families during the holidays, councillors say it’s important to find support. “There is an increase in stress and we feel more isolated than in previous years,” said Elliot Kemmet, of Lethbridge Family Services ” it is important that people seek help with problems such as counseling or a doctor.”
The province says they know it will be a tough holiday season for many, but they are asking residents to look for ways to stay in virtual contact while staying festive while protecting each other.