TBM council shares their favourite Christmas memories and plans for 2021

·6 min read

With Christmas upon us, families and friends will be looking to give back to one another and help each other throughout the holidays.

We asked The Town of The Blue Mountains council to recount some of their favourite Christmas memories, favourite parts of Christmas in TBM, and what their plans are for themselves and the community.

Their answers are listed below.

Mayor Alar Soever

Q: Could you tell us about your favourite part of Christmas in the The Blue Mountains, or Christmas in general? Anything that makes it stand out? Any special plans for this year?

Christmas in the Blue Mountains is all about community. Although this year some events are scaled back, residents were able to enjoy Old Fashioned Christmas, and tree lightings at the town hall, in Clarksburg and at the Anglican church. While travel and gathering are somewhat curtailed, residents can continue to enjoy our great outdoors and the groomed trails at Tomahawk and the Georgian Trail, as well as many other events.

My favourite memories include building snow forts and toasting marshmallows over a fire in the newly built fort which kept the wind out.

We should all also support our local businesses, [and I] should mention Give the Gift of Blue.

Deputy Mayor Peter Bordignon

Q: Could you tell us about some of your favourite Christmas/holiday memories, whether recent or while you were growing up?

Growing up on a farm, we would put up a lot of outdoor lights on all the trees surrounding the house, floodlights, string lights etc. It literally glowed across the snow and the fields. Christmas eve we would roast chestnuts at my Grandparents house next door.

Q: Could you tell us about your favourite part of Christmas in The Blue Mountains, or Christmas in general? Anything that makes it stand out? Any special plans for this year?

Here in The Blue Mountains, my family loves Olde Fashioned Christmas, the tree lightings and volunteering at the Christmas dinner.

Q: Does council have any plans for the town over the Christmas holidays that you're looking forward to?

Some downtime with family watching Christmas movies, walking the pups in the snow and sitting around the outdoor fire. My family and I would like to wish all our friends and neighbours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as we look forward to a happy and healthier 2022.

Councillor Andrea Matrosovs

Q: Could you tell us about some of your favourite Christmas/holiday memories, whether recent or while you were growing up?

We celebrate Christmas Eve in our family (my Mom is from Germany). I remember as a child and still admire today the glow of the tree lights and candles against the darkness outside. It seems to reflect the glow of being together as a family while the dark and cold encircles us outside.

We celebrate Advent each Sunday with an evergreen wreath and four red candles. As a kid that was a time to decorate cookies or the tree together. As an adult it was a special visit home. This year we each managed to pause our busy schedules to sit down to a family dinner together around the wreath each Advent Sunday.

Q: Could you tell us about your favourite part of Christmas in The Blue Mountains, or Christmas in general? Anything that makes it stand out? Any special plans for this year?

My favourite part of Christmas in The Blue Mountains is the spirit of looking out for others during this holiday season: volunteers pulling together to organize Christmas dinners, vaccine clinics, card writing to Errinrung residents – those are just a few examples of how the community comes together to help others even in the busiest of times.

Councillor Jim Uram

Q: Could you tell us about some of your favourite Christmas/holiday memories, whether recent or while you were growing up?

I can still remember a variety of moments from the various ethnic-based gatherings of aunts, uncles and cousins, with as many as fifty people sitting down to a real Ukrainian Christmas feast. I can still remember all of the kids all playing something from card games to just running around and making pests of ourselves.

Later in life, after moving to Thornbury and getting married, two Chistmases stand out. The first was the full wife’s family gathering of the Ruthven and Ormsby clans, with four generations all sitting down to a very fulsome Christmas feast, again with a pile of youngsters creating havoc. The second was my first true immediate family Christmas morning with three young children opening presents. These remain my true treasured memories.

Q: Could you tell us about your favourite part of Christmas in The Blue Mountains, or Christmas in general? Anything that makes it stand out? Any special plans for this year?

To continue on with that theme, I can recall a variety of Christmas Holidays in our wonderful town that also included the fun and hijinx that marked the celebrations of our former Kinsmen Club, including the placing of running lawnmowers on house roofs, rearranging outdoor decorations and in one case actually relocating a set of reindeer just for fun.

I’ve spent most of my adult life in Blue Mountains. I raised my kids here. The immediate family is getting together for dinner again this year, notwithstanding that the kids are grown and there are grandkids now. The kids are my favourite part of Christmas.

Q: Does council have any plans for the town over the Christmas holidays that you're looking forward to?

Due to the issues being created by the pandemic, I feel happy that this can, at the least, be an opportunity for a minimal continuation of our family get together, and with that thought, I would like to wish all of our residents and visitors a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Stay safe, stay healthy, get your shots.

Councillor Rob Sampson

Q: Could you tell us about some of your favourite Christmas/holiday memories, whether recent or while you were growing up?

Recent memory of 20 or so local volunteers manning our popup [vaccine] clinic so that hundreds of residents had a safe Christmas. Truly a unique The Blue Mountains Christmas story!

Q: Could you tell us about your favourite part of Christmas in The Blue Mountains, or Christmas in general? Anything that makes it stand out? Any special plans for this year?

I plan to wind down a bit and try to visit with our children, who we have not seen much in a while, and of course, get on the slopes for some skiing.

Q: Does council have any plans for the town over the Christmas holidays that you're looking forward to?

Well, if we can find the volunteers we will try three more days of pop-up vaccinations. The health care of our residents is council’s priority.

Greg McGrath-Goudie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca

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