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Christmas in Manitoba
Garden Valley Collegate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Jason H (Grade 12)

"I think people have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas" says Matthew G. a S4 student at Winkler Garden Valley Collegiate. He feels that Christmas has become too commercialized and focuses primarily on gifts. "The act of giving gifts at Christmas time is symbolic of God's gift of his son to us" says Matthew.

During Christmas Matthew and his family try to spread the holiday spirit by giving Christmas cards to friends and family, decorating the house with lights and setting up a Christmas tree. Gifts are given but they try not too focus primarily on them.

Family gatherings are traditional at this time of year, one for each side of the family which is roughly 25-30 people per gathering. It's a chance for family members to catch up on what is happening in each other's lives, big Christmas meals are eaten and games are often played. It's a time of togetherness.

Church is a big part of Christmas in Matthew's life. Several weeks before Christmas, the church services begin to focus on Christmas. This period of time is called "Advent" which means "the coming of Christ". Children of all ages from the Sunday School put on a Christmas play for the congregation. The church youth group goes caroling in Winkler and surrounding area, often to seniors and the elderly who appreciate and enjoy the caroling done by the young people.

"There are many different ways to celebrate Christmas but no one way is better than the other as long as the real meaning of Christmas is not forgotten".

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