Like most people, we think the preholiday lead-up begins ridiculously early these days. It seems like the Halloween candy is still on the shelves when the Christmas wrapping paper and Advent calendars suddenly appear. By the middle of November, we'll be hearing carols piped in over the sound system in shopping stores and noticing eggnog in the dairy case.
Perhaps, when you saw the headline on this page, you rolled your eyes just a little and thought "gosh, already?"
If we were talking about anything other than the Burnaby Christmas Bureau, we'd agree.
But the truth is, the bureau - which provides toys for children from low-income families - needs all the time it can get to prepare for the big day. We could make cute analogies about busy elves trying to complete their to-do lists, but the reality is a bit more challenging than that: there are more people who need help and fewer donation dollars going around than in the past.
This year, the bureau predicts that more people than ever will be turning to them for help and yet, with continued global economic uncertainty, reaching their fundraising goal could be a difficult task. (See our story on page 22 for more.)
We know that there is plenty of demand for donation dollars, and hundreds of causes that are important to different people.
With so many groups raising funds for environmental issues, disease research, international relief and more, it may seem easy to overlook a small organization with a simple goal of making Christmas a little bit better for local families. But don't underestimate the power of a child's wish fulfilled - the sense of caring, community, possibility and, ultimately, joy that comes from a Christmas wish-come-true is immeasurable. It's impossible to say how far and wide the positive "ripple impact" extends, but we do know this: when you create hope in a person, only good can follow.