That's Life - December 14, 2022

As we all know, Christmas comes but once a year. Along with Christmas comes those special moments in one’s life. It’s hard to beat the Spirit of Christmas. We don’t know when it’s going to take hold of us but when it does it puts you in a different frame of mind.

I consider myself very lucky to have been born and raised in Three Hills. I remember when Santa was brought to the parking lot of the old Three Hills Swimming Pool/Skating Rink in a helicopter. We all loaded up in Ralph Loosmore’s sleigh, pulled by Belgian horses, and headed down to the good old Lyric Theatre for a Christmas matinee. The Robinson Store, on the corner of 4th Avenue and Main, was a Christmas favorite. The front windows were dressed for Christmas with trains, dolls and all the latest toys for girls and boys.

Each Christmas their basement became Toyland, filled with everything a child could want for Christmas. Santa was there to listen to all of our wish lists.

The Three Hills Kinsmen Club made an annual event of going out and cutting lots and lots of fresh Christmas trees. They were sold from a lot left vacant as a result of the Main Street fire on January 19, 1930, that all but wiped out the south side of Main Street from 3rd to 4th Avenue. It is now Vincovi. Main Street was zig-zagged with colored bulbs. These lights were on nightly at Christmas and on Saturday nights throughout the rest of the year. The local Scouts sold Planters peanuts and cashews by the can and the Ghost Pine Community Group sold raffle tickets on their annual doll house raffle and dolls with all the custom clothing the ladies would make. It was always on display in the front window of Men’s and Boy’s shop. The annual Christmas Turkey Shoot and Bingo was a favorite as Ben Maerz Sr. called out “Mix ‘em up” as the crack of Toivi Anderson’s .22 calibre rifle echoed in your ears every few minutes. The north wall of the west side of the community centre stage still has chips in it from missed shots.

Christmas Music Night was always held at the Prairie Bible Institute Tabernacle. The tabernacle had the same seating capacity as Calgary’s Jubilee Auditorium. It would be packed to the rafters for music night.

And then there were the Christmas concerts. Lots of Christmas concerts filled with nervous children and proud parents. I can’t imagine how many times Frosty the Snow Man and Jingle Bells have been sung, but they sound fantastic every time. It’s not about how well it’s sung, it’s about the season it represents. Listen to kids sing those songs and try not to smile. Hey, it’s Christmas, turn that frown upside down.

And one last thing, Santa looks the same today as he did when I was a kid. Clean living I guess.

Check next week’s issue of The Capital for our Annual Christmas issue. And yes, it’s obvious, the Spirit of Christmas has taken hold of me. Don’t fight it, it’ll get you too.

That’s Life.