Where did the year go? It seems like it was just yesterday that we were out in the beautiful summer weather, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors. But as we all know, winter is here. When the temperature drops to below freezing and snow starts to fall, I know that many of us eagerly exchange our running shoes and hiking boots for skates and skis.

Christmas is a time for celebration and gathering with loved ones as we look forward to the wonderful festivities. While we get caught up in the frenzy of the holidays, it is important to remember to stop and take a minute to reflect on the season. Often, we are caught up in our own busy lives and we neglect to spend enough time with the most important people. Let’s take this Christmas holiday to enjoy the company of our family and friends, and recharge as we look forward to the New Year.

Every Christmas, we should also take a moment to remember those who are less fortunate. If you can, I encourage you to take time and participate in volunteer work to help those who may be going through a difficult period. A lot of charitable organizations need extra help around the holidays, and even one hour of your time will go a long way. I also encourage those who can to make a contribution to their local food bank.

The generosity of those in our community never ceases to amaze me. I’m proud of our spirit of giving and volunteerism that we see every day.

I also hope that you can take time and participate in the many events and celebrations that our community members host. These are great opportunities to catch up with old friends and to make new ones. From December 8 to 18, the Canmore 2017 World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup will take place at the Canmore Nordic Centre, with athletes participating in both cross-country skiing and biathlon races. I urge you to go out and support our amazing athletes. This February, Canmore will also be a stop for Rogers Hometown Hockey, running all weekend on February 10 and 11. There will be no shortage of excitement in our community this winter.

Merry Christmas and all the best for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.