It is a bright winter day walking to Halcyon House to meet Shirley and Dave Wyatt as they give out the annual presents to the residents there.
Shirley and Dave Wyatt have been delivering gifts to the seniors at both Minto and Halcyon House for years now.
The cheery couple are a well-coordinated team now, after their twenty years of marriage. Dave laughed and said he just follows Shirley’s lead, but I have a feeling they’re in this together.
Shirley took the part of looking through the gifts, sorting names and figuring out room numbers, and handed them to Dave, who navigated the hallways with the aid of a wheeled walker.
Both are lively and energetic, and brought their cheer with them which infused the gift-giving with that special generosity that makes the present more than just the collection of goodies held in the gift bags.
The cart they brought with them to Halcyon House is full of gift bags, each with the name of the resident it’s destined for.
The bags made me think back on childhood Christmas stockings, the best part of the day for us when we were kids. Each stocking was full of small delights that seemed to go on forever, toy after book after candy being pulled out until the orange and nuts were finally reached deep in the toe of the ornate sock.
The gift bags were equally as interesting in their contents with candies and teas and a variety of goodies.
The legion puts in a little extra for the vets at each home; their present includes a lovely mug to use to drink the tea that comes in it too.
I followed the Wyatts as they visit the residents in Halcyon, bringing their cheer, charm and gifts to each room and person they encounter.
We found Frank Ferguson in his easy chair by the bright window. His face lit up when he was given his present, and in conversation we discovered he was born in Scotland. No sign of a brogue, he has obviously been in Canada some while now.
Wishing Frank all the best this holiday, Dave and Shirley headed back to the cart to sort out gifts and track down their recipients.
One resident, Lena Fahlman, was found sitting on the couch in the lounge area. Lena’s beautiful face bloomed into a smile. Shirley and Dave are clearly well-known to Lena, and she was extremely thankful for the present they gave her.
It is clear that both the residents and Dave and Shirley enjoy this annual gift-giving time, but it really is more than just the presents. Rather, it’s the “presence” the Wyatt’s bring with them too.
We are lucky. There are a number of people in Nakusp who give their time and energy to brighten the lives of others through their volunteering. They are the angels that we have surrounding us all year long.
Volunteers like Dave and Shirley are the people who make many of our local programs happen, and make sure important events like the holiday gift-giving keep going each year.
Without dedicated volunteers we wouldn’t have many of the cheerful days and nights that comprise a festive and memorable December. They are the ones that light up the lives of others in the darkness of winter, and the heat of the summer.
Volunteers really are the angels of our community.
After their gift-giving spree at Halcyon, Dave and Shirley Wyatt headed up the hill to Halcyon House to bring presents and cheer there once again this year too.