Tree lighting held in Wentworth

Wentworth News with Hope Bridgewater

Published on December 21, 2016

At the tree lighting ceremony in Wentworth, Santa Claus pauses for a photo with Ella Murphy, who is sitting on his lap. Daughter of Dana and Erin Murphy, Ella is asking Santa Claus to bring her a doll on Christmas Eve.

©Hope Bridgewater photo

Brenda McLean, as coordinator of the tree lighting ceremony in Wentworth, began this annual event with those attending singing Christmas carols before a tree standing near the Wentworth Recreation Centre. After the singing, Todd Seymour, with the help of his son Caleb, switched on the Christmas tree lights with a portable powerpack.

The Wentworth annual tree lighting ceremony was first organized by the late John Bagnell, president of the former Wentworth Garden Club, and its focus was to focus on young people.

The focus is still on young people (children and early teens) with parents and other interested adults attending. It is one of our most popular programs. with many of all ages in the community coming to see parents with their children and young teens enjoying the activities at this event.

All those outside with the lit tree were invited to come inside the recreation centre where treats of decorated gingerbread and shortbread cookies with drinks of hot chocolate, apple cider, tea and coffee awaited them. The children loved the cookies and sliding along the smooth large hardwood floor.

A magical elf named Julia appeared from the North Pole, and the children and young teens quickly gathered around her. Seated, she began reciting a Christmas story from a book and then introduced Santa Claus as he appeared from a side door with many parcels. Having said hello and sitting down on a chair, Santa Claus delighted the children by asking them to sit on his lap, tell him what gift they would like from him on Christmas Eve, and he would leave the desired gifts at their Christmas trees in their homes. Everyone watched as all the children had their time with Santa. He gave them each a gift of reindeer food and took time to listen to each child. It was a pleasure to watch and see the look of happiness as they left Santa's lap.

After Santa Claus and the magical elf Julia left to go on the sleigh hauled by reindeer to the long trip back to the North Pole, Brenda asked everyone who talked to Santa and had the gift of reindeer food, to look under the bag and see if there was a Christmas star there. Three happy children saw the star: Kaylie and Blake Murphy (children of Jessica and Travis Murphy); Kaiden Black, Jackson Steeves, Kenzie Steeves (children of Justin and Kate Steeves); and Ryder Adams (child of Cole Adams and Lacey Palmer). You may say I counted wrong. What happened was, when a winner had siblings, they shared the prize with their siblings.

The prizes were three large gingerbread houses beautifully made by Todd Seymour, Sonya Seymour and Kim Shand.

Santa took time to have his photo taken with Ella Murphy (daughter of Dana and Erin Murphy) and she told Santa she would like him to give her a doll.

Everyone was grateful to Santa for making this long trip with his reindeer hauling him and the magic elf Julia from the North Pole to come to this tree lighting ceremony in Wentworth. Santa and his crew are very busy this time of year, but his attendance here shows he cares about local rural communities and the children who live here.

All the volunteer workers from the Wentworth community who made this event possible also deserve praise. This tree lighting ceremony was a joyful time to remember Christmas.