If you are looking for a special way to honour someone in your life, drop by this year’s Lift Someone into the Light event at St. Andrew’s United Church on Nov. 23.
The event is held in conjunction with Light Up Lacombe, as it’s a busy evening in the downtown area.
The concept is simple but powerful — folks can decorate an ornament complete with a person’s name on it, and hang it on the Christmas tree in front of the church.
Anneke Kassies, who attends St. Andrew’s United Church, was inspired to start the event several years ago after seeing a similar tradition in a TV program in her native Holland.
“There is a program called Joris’ kerstboom (Christmas tree) and I watch it almost every year. I’m quite impressed with the stories that have come out of such a simple program — people really seem to appreciate it,” she explained.
“So I thought, why can’t we do that here? Our church, St. Andrew’s, is in the middle of town, and it could happen during Light Up Lacombe,” she said.
The inaugural event proved very popular, with about 100 ornaments placed on the tree.
“It was very well-received, also because it was in COVID, and people were able to socialize outside. The weather was cooperating and they were just happy to see each other,” she recalled.
“We were blown away by the number of people who came.
And it’s only grown since. Organizers say it really doesn’t matter who the ornament is for — as long as they have a special place in one’s life and heart. If including someone’s name is too personal, messages can of course be anonymous, too.
“It all just gives people the chance to honour the special people in their lives.”
Meanwhile, the ornaments are supplied by the church, and they stay up until Jan. 6.
Hot chocolate will also be served.
Afterward, the messages are removed and kept confidential, as the ornaments themselves will be used again next year.
And this year, there is also a plan to also take ornaments to local seniors’ lodges so they can take part in Lift Someone into the Light as well.
Decorations will also be provided for these folks as well.
Lift Someone into the Light gets underway at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 23.