Boxing Day

John Fryters

Today is Boxing Day, one of the busiest shopping days of the year with businesses offering advantageous deals and great prices. Shoppers can take advantage of these deals, exchange their gift cards for whatever they want and even return Christmas presents they did not want. Yes, sometimes people stand in line very early in the morning even before the stores open. It is truly crazy…

Historians do not agree on the origin of Boxing Day.

Some date the use of the name “Boxing Day” to medieval  times when alms boxes in churches would be opened and the donations given to the poor. A clue can be found in the some “Good King Wenceslas  According to this Christmas Carol, Wenceslas, who was Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th Century, was surveying his land on St. Stephen’s Day (December 26th) when he saw a poor man gathering wood in a snow storm. 

The carol ends with these words, “Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing, ye who now will bless the poor shall yourselves find blessing”  The lesson is : when you bless the poor on Boxing Day, you will be blessed yourself. 

This tradition has gradually been placed during the Christmas Season before Christmas Day.

Some believe that this secular holiday, the day after Christmas Day, originated in the United Kingdom, under Queen Victoria, and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously formed part of the British Empire.  It is celebrated on December 26th.

Other traditions state that Boxing Day is called that because it was the custom on that day for tradesmen to collect their Christmas boxes or gifts in return for sood and reliable service throughout the year.

 Boxing Day is also named after the practice of wealthy aristocrats giving boxes and gifts to their servants one day after Christmas.  Traditionally, the servants would work on Christmas Day but were given the next day off to spend with their families.

Though the historians do not agree on the exact origin, in Canada, Boxing Day has been a longstanding secular holiday to be enjoyed by all as part of an extended Christmas Season.

Happy Boxing Day to all of you today.

John Fryters is a 71-year old senior who is passionate to help other seniors.  He can be reached by e-mail at or through

My New Year’s resolution to you

John Fryters

Today (January 2nd, 2020) we are standing in front of a whole new year – a year with 52 weeks and 365 days. Whatever your plans are, whatever you desire for this brand-new year, you can be assured that you will have a very clear vision – a 20/20 vision of these plans and these desires. The numerical significance of the year 2020 is just that – a clear vision without any hindrances.

Without hindrances means that no negative forces will stand in the way of accomplishing your goals or plans.  If they pop up their ugly heads, remind yourself of this prophecy and come against anything or anyone that is negative and speaks down to you.   Do not allow anything or anyone tear you down this wonderful year.  Don’ let anyone speak adversely about the plans or desires which were placed in your heart to accomplish in this year.

When I speak into someone’s life as I am doing here, I see as clear for myself as I see it for others.   Today, I am placing these spiritual 20/20 glasses in my heart and believe that much I have desired will come true this year.  In fact, in my own case, it has a lot to do with my dream to break through as a writer.  And believe it or not, but that 20/20 vision has already started even before today.

That is exactly what I want for you, all my readers, let those plans, those desires come true.   You will be happy in 2020 – one of the best years in your whole life.  People around you will see it develop in you.   They will comment on how happy you actually are.   Expect that type of feedback and thank them for giving it.  You know that current neuro-science has proven that your attitude of gratitude rewires your brain and you’ll become a very satisfied, happier person.

Surround yourself only with positive and wise individuals.  Those persons will strengthen your resolve to reach those plans and the desires in your heart. If this prophecy is encouraging to you, please let me know ( and we will stay in touch throughout the year.  That is a promise.

John Fryters is a 71-year old senior who is passionate about helping other seniors.  He can be reached by e-mail at or through

The Christmas story

John Fryters

The longer we live in Canada, the more society is being secularised and is becoming more pluralistic. Gradually, there is a move away from the true meaning of Christmas. However, to move totally away from these statutory holidays all together is going to be very, very difficult.

I believe Christmas Day and Boxing Day are here to stay for a long time to come.

If we truly live in a pluralistic society, then we all owe it to each other to learn about each other’s traditions and practices.   Ramadan (Islam), Dawali (Hinduism). Yom Kippur (Judaism), Dharma Day (Buddhism) are all special days to thousands of Canadians.

Besides Easter (Resurrection Sunday), Christmas is, most likely, the second most important holiday on the Christian calendar.  Here is the story, as recorded by the Apostle Luke :

2 1-5 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire.

This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there.

He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:

Glory to God in the heavenly heights,

Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.

The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!

 (Luke 2:1-20Message Translation)

This story was recorded four times by the Gospel writers Matthew, Luke, Mark and John.  Christians believe, by faith, that this story was God inspired and as a true historical account of the birth of Jesus, the Author of their faith.

That is what Christmas is all about.    My wife Hannelore and I wish you all, my readers, a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous and Healthy New Year 2020. 

Please if you have a question about the content of any of my columns, do not hesitate to let me know.   Blessings.

John Fryters is a 71-year old senior who is passionate about helping his peer group.  He can be contacted through e-mail at or through

Christmas reflections and traditions

John Fryters

Christmas time is a time for reflection. I think about my Mom and Dad and Christmases past. Every Christmas Eve, my Mom would get us, kids, ready to go to Midnight Mass – High Mass in Latin. It was certainly one of the special highlights of our year. I loved the choir singing in Latin. I am linguistic and always have loved languages.

I think back with great fondness to the times I was part of that youth choir singing Ave Maria in Latin. After Midnight Mass our family would gather for Christmas drinks in our favorite pub – a true tradition in Belgium.

Since arriving in Canada and since our kids left we have been developing our own traditions. One of those are my wife’s improvised city lights tour by car. She takes me on these long drives around city streets looking at the lights and the best decorated homes.

This year it appears that more and more people are getting into the mood of Christmas and more homes than usual are decorated with lights and Christmas stuff. As I am reflecting in this column I would be amiss not to mention the work the Salvation Army in Prince Albert is doing. This money is allocated for the poor and the hungry. So, please, when you are shopping and see the familiar kettle, dig deep and give something extra this Season.

One of the traditions which has established itself in Prince Albert is the yearly Community Christmas Meal, held this year again in St. Mary’s High School. It is a collaborative effort between Two Bears Inc., St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Kateri House.

Anyone who is lonely, poor and destitute on Christmas Day can go and have a wonderful free Christmas meal with all the trimmings. In 2017, it was estimated that about 2000 meals were served and even delivered to shut-ins. The meal is coordinated by Elder Isabelle Impey. So maybe, we will see you there. It is a fun time and the fellowship and food couldn’t be better.
John Fryters is a 71-year old senior interested in assisting his peer group.

He can be contacted by e-mail at or through

Grey Power: what will a minority government bring?

John Fryters

History will prove that minority governments in Canada produced some fine results. Minority governments led by Lester Pearson, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper stand out. All of these came with its own peculiar circumstances. And that will certainly be true for the Justin Trudeau minority.

This will be a minority against a backdrop by unprecedented pressure of Western alienation, even to point of serious attempts to organize a Western separation movement (WEXIT), and an unprecedented pressure by Western Provinces, including the Province of Saskatchewan, presenting “new deals” to the Prime Minister. On November 12th, Premier Moe had his first meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and he reported that it was a very clear disappointment.

Of course, the ultimate success of this minority government will depend on the cooperation of the official parties, the Conservatives with the NDP, the Greens, and the Bloc Quebecois.

Another question is, “Can we, as individual voters or citizens, take advantage of the minority position of the government ?” I believe we can. For instance, if you have any individual ideas about the delivery of services and programs within your own community, this might be the time to present them to the government. Of course, you do so through your own Member of Parliament who can directly approach the respective Ministers. A minority government might be more open and listen to and consider innovative ideas. Do not anyone discourage you. Just go after what you want. Believe me, this is an opportune time !!!!

In the Western Provinces, we are currently in a crisis. And “crisis” creates “opportunity”. This provides you with the opportunity to dream and create or develop anything you want and to bounce it off to your elected officials. Nothing is off the table. You can create whatever is in your heart. Innovation is in your hands.

We have to understand that the window of opportunity might be small as another federal election could be called at any time. That is the downside of minority government.

John Fryters is a 71-year old senior who is enthused about helping his peer group. He can be reached by e-mail at or through