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Editorial: Holiday season gets 'unofficial' parade start

Many holiday celebrations in December
parade 72
The Santa Parade in this Sunday. (File Photo 2020)
YORKTON - The holiday season gets a sort of ‘unofficial’ kick-off Sunday with the annual Santa Parade in the city. 

Again this year the parade will be held in reverse, the floats being stationary, with people driving by to get a look at the festive efforts. The system instituted in 2020 because of concerns over COVID-19 actually works rather well. 

While there will no doubt be a long line-up of cars that seem to barely crawl as they move toward the floats, vehicles have heaters, their radios have music, and if you remember to grab a cup of brew ahead of time it actually beats sitting bundled in multiple layers of clothing awaiting the parade to pass by. 

With the parade Nov. 28, it really is the herald of the season locally, with December being an important month in terms of holidays which extend beyond Christmas, the one most of us here know best. 

There is Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish celebration  commemorating the re-dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem following the Maccabean Revolt. 

Yule on Dec. 21, is a traditional celebration of the Winter Solstice. 

There is Kwanzaa created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 after the Watts riots in Los Angeles. He founded US, a cultural organization, and started to research African ‘first fruit’ (harvest) celebrations. He then combined aspects of several different harvest celebrations to form the basis of Kwanzaa. 

Bodhi Day is celebrated in Japan on Dec. 8. It is a spiritual day which is beneficial to many. 

Õmisoka, New Year’s Eve, is considered the second-most important day in Japanese tradition as the final day of the old year and the eve of New Year’s Day, which is seen as the most important day of the year. 

And the list goes on.

As we become more diverse in Canada with each wave of immigration, holidays of importance to those arriving become part of our culture too. 

And festive lights and smile of goodwill can commemorate any of the varied holidays, and while certainly more Christmas-oriented, the Santa Parade is a festive way to kick things off. 

Then, as we turn the calendar to December we might want to take a moment in our holiday planning to buy locally where reasonable to do so. 

Obviously there is a travel component to shopping. Businesses in Yorkton are always pleased to see customers from Melville, or Kamsack, Wadena or Swan River. 

We know too there are times local shoppers will look elsewhere too. 

The important thing is to at least give local business a look. They are after all the ones paying taxes here, supporting events through sponsorships, and generally being part of the community, so they deserve a chance to help those shopping find the perfect gift for whatever holiday or event might be forthcoming. 

In the end though, the key to the holiday season that is just around the corner is acceptance of all the holidays, and of course peace which would be the greatest gift of all.