A Highland Storm midget player backhands the puck into the Brighton Braves net during the first game of the all-Ontario semi-final playoff series on Friday March 2 at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena in Minden. The Storm went on to win 4-0 and then finished the playoff series by winning the second (4-1) and the third (3-2) game to earn a berth to the Ontario Minor Hockey Association's final./DARREN LUM Staff

Merry Christmas

By Jenn Watt

Dec. 20 2016

Christmas tends to bring out the best in us. The month of December in the Highlands is always a time of incredible joy and charity and this year has been a banner year for it.

Whether you enjoy the holiday for its warm community embrace and emphasis on helping others or you observe Christmas in a more traditional religious context it’s a time that can bring much-needed comfort and hope.

December has kept our local musicians on their toes as they played one show after another warming our hearts with song. The shindig started it off raising money for Fuel for Warmth and getting the audience on its feet as Irene Merritt and Karen Frybort sang Christmas tunes. On its heels came the Nutcracker Highlands Wind Symphony Carl Dixon and Friends … I’m sure I’ve missed a dozen others. (And there are several more planned.)

Then there were the community events – the parades and the community Christmas parties mostly free or very low cost giving kids gifts from Santa delicious food and a chance to share a smile with neighbours.

And of course there was the charity. So much money gifts and food flowed into the various organizations that keep us all healthy. Money is still coming in for the food banks social service organizations hospitals heat banks and other important initiatives. Many rely almost exclusively on the dollars donated at Christmas to make it through the rest of the year. There are also several special dinners planned for those alone on Christmas or who need a hot meal.

It has been an inspiring December in the Highlands. This community has done so much for each other – spiritually emotionally financially – we should all feel great pride in ourselves and one another.

Merry Christmas!

The staff of the Haliburton Echo will be off the week of Christmas and no paper will be published. The next Echo will be published Jan. 3.