As the Christmas season approaches rapidly and all the stockings are hung, it is time for all of us at the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, to wish everyone, a very Merry Christmas and to all, the best in the New Year.  For all those travelling this Christmas or that have family coming home, we hope everyone has safe travels and good weather over the festive season. 

This time of year is always a time for reflection and for most, optimism regarding the upcoming year. For some, it is a difficult period of the year and this could be due to a variety of issues or problems but it is a time when we as a community, try to help in whatever way we can.  Christmas is a time for children to enjoy and it doesn’t matter if it is a child, grandchild or just the “inner child” in each of us, we need to ensure that “all of them” have a relaxing and happy holiday season.

Many elves (Scott Clark) and angels (Lachlan McLachlan) are busy at this time of year, working to ensure that every child of whatever age, has to opportunity to have a Christmas.  The North Bay Santa Fund is slowly making headway in reaching its goal but with a little over a week to go by the time this article hits the stands, there is concern that it might not.  Our community has always supported so many worthy causes but none more important than this, each and every year.  It is our sincere hope that everyone fortunate enough to be able to celebrate without worry or concern, contributes to the Santa Fund in some way, to ensure that everyone in our community, have the same opportunity. 

Financial contributions are certainly needed, but not the only way to give back and show our true sense of giving during the holiday season.   Troy Armoury will be a beehive of activity later this week as volunteers from every walk of life, join forces with our military, to make sure that Christmas hampers of food and presents are assembled and delivered.  There are never too many helping hands and it truly is an awe inspiring evening of packing and delivering the next day.  Make some family time to help those that can use a hand at this time of the year.  Huge thanks to our military (enlisted,veterans, volunteers and their families) for not only ensuring our safety and freedom in this Country, but also for the time they spend in ensuring that Santa gets to all those homes.  Thank You!

Wishing all a safe and happy holiday season, from Patti, Sue, Carol, Peter, Chair Charles Elliott and the entire Board of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.

Peter Chirico is the President and CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.