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By Penny Donaldson

This year has brought many lessons as the pandemic crisis continued to evolve and thrive around the world. The Chinese character for “crisis” means both “danger” and “opportunity” and we have all searched desperately for those opportunities to promote hope. So it was for the Christmas hampers, we modified our giving as many other organizations did. You can see from this colourful Christmas dining table, the Parishes of Central Saanich and Holy Trinity created Christmas gift bags for our peninsula Indigenous neighbors. Val Noakes created the cloth bags with Christmas cards enclosed. Many people baked Christmas cookies, made adult- and child-sized cloth masks and contributed tea, jam from Snowdon House and donations for the grocery cards. Each bag also included the coveted Holy Trinity pen. In normal years, we would have all gathered in the church hall for the construction and filling, but this year, four parishioners took home 25 bags and filled them there and then we gifted the bags to each community in the church parking lot. It was very much appreciated and we are relieved to hear that the Indigenous communities are being very careful and staying safe. We continue to journey with them through this year as we are able by cooking hot meals once a week for delivery to one of the bands until we can gather together again to break bread.