Christmas in Bristol’s Hope
CBN community not short on holiday spirit
A Christmas tradition for many in Newfoundland and Labrador involves displaying coloured or twinkling lights on a house or in a window.
In more recent years, people have upped the ante on their yard projects, including lights sequenced to music and an abundance of lights.
For some it’s also a tradition to drive around and see the Christmas lights on houses around local towns and communities.
The community of Bristol’s Hope knows all about that tradition. And over the years, there have been attempts to get more residents involved with decorating their homes.
This year the Bristol’s Hope Development Committee decided to organize its own festival of lights, with a top three being named on Dec. 18.
Richard Johnson, committee member and one of the organizers of the event invited a Compass reporter and Trinity Conception Square Shopping Centre property manager Wally Snow to judge the event. Both were surprised by the entries.
With some 120 houses in Bristol’s Hope, almost half of them had some kinds of decorations or lights.
“It is through events like this that we are bringing our community together,” Johnson told The Compass after the judging.
The idea to host the light festival was created to encourage community support and involvement. For the past few years the development committee has been working on numerous activities to enhance community pride. And this year, for Christmas, it was decided to have residents decorate their homes and put up strings of lights.
The top three homes, in order, were Chris and Sherry Butler, Wayne and Glenda Slade and Doug and Rosalind King. Each display was unique.
“I have to say that… it was very evident that Bristol’s Hope is one small community with a large community spirit,” Johnson said. Santa makes a visit Thanks to the development committee and a newly reno- vated Mosquito Room Schoolhouse, the community was able to host Santa for the children this year.
The event, which took place the following afternoon to the light festival, began with Johnson leading the children and other visitors in a sing along.
It was an old fashioned Christmas for the folks of Bristol’s Hope. Since there is no community centre, they used the old one-room schoolhouse, which has a wood stove and the inside was lit from the natural light coming in from the windows. It was overflowing with kids, parents and grandparents, all of whom were there to see Santa.
“Santa arrived, gave out the gifts to all the good boys and girls and afterwards we all enjoyed some Christmas goodies — shortbread cookies, dark fruit cake, candy canes, candy kisses, hot chocolate and (let’s not) forget purity syrup,” Johnson elated.
So far, the attempts by the development committee to become a local service district have been unsuccessful, but Johnson doesn’t believe they can’t have the amenities other communities have.
Next year there will be a local park some 300 feet off the main road. A community centre is also being sought. Locals already got a new postal code and community mailboxes. And this is just the beginning, said Johnson.
There are some 300 people living in Bristol’s Hope. The number of homes doubled in 20 years. Johnson believes it’s because of the tranquility, but also because there are really good people living there.
When asked why he lives there, Johnson smiled and said it was the best place to live.
Richard Johnson performs during a Christmas music sing-along in Bristol’s Hope on Saturday, Dec. 19.