If you’re like many of us heading towards, or comfortably settled into, middle age, Christmas has ceased being a time at which we wonder anxiously what Santa will bring us. When it comes to more ‘stuff,’ most of us need nothing.

Instead one’s thoughts turn toward others; hampers of gifts and food are prepared for those who truly do need them, cash is donated to the Salvation Army or other charitable cause, and invitations are sent to ensure no one spends the holiday on their own.

Lynn Valley is full of people who obviously care about their community, as evidenced by the hours spent volunteering for fundraising or planning projects, on children’s sports teams, the community association or the Lions. If those people could ask Santa for something for their neighbourhood, we wondered, what would it be?

So we asked some local citizens just what they’d put on their Lynn Valley wish list for 2012 and beyond.

Our first, most fervent response came within minutes, from Sue McMordie, office manager of the Black Bear Neighbourhood Pub, and was clearly heartfelt:

“More park benches all over the Valley for seniors and sisters to sit and have a rest, lunch, chat or coffee on a nice Lynn Valley day. And a mailbox in the LV Library Square, please!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Then we heard from Barb McLean from the Arts Office, which is located in the heart of Lynn Valley Village and promotes arts and culture on behalf of the City and District of North Vancouver:

“The Arts Office envisions a new year filled with creative energy, ideas and community input as they embark on the development of a new Cultural Plan that will seek to invigorate North Shore arts and cultural activities for years to come.”

Another person thinking about community planning is John Gilmour, past-president of the Lynn Valley Community Association:

“I’d like to see a mixed-use lifestyle community developed right in the heart of Lynn Valley on the 11-acre Lynn Valley Centre mall site.  It would include residential, commercial and lots of community space for all to enjoy.”

No list would be complete without input from Bob McCormack, a man born and raised in Lynn Valley and whose family has done volunteer work here since 1920. Bob is actively involved in everything from the LV Lions to the Community Association to the Seniors’ Association, and much more besides. He writes:

“My wishes are to build a community that will provide the opportunity for persons to live out their lives in a dignified manner; that will be a place for all ages, and a place that allows a person to live out his or her life within the community regardless of wealth or health.
“I hope we can provide a forum for debate on what does make and will further allow Lynn Valley to become that community where everyone has the amenities to live their lives to the fullest.
“I hope we can provide a simple way of life that we can all agree on, and that we make sure our politicians are aware and are duty-bound to provide the leadership that will give those who choose to live in Lynn Valley the feeling of security in the future.
“I wish that we can all live out our dreams in a perfect world and to dare to dream to make it happen.”

Bob is one of those people who rolls up his sleeves and makes things happen, and we hope he gets lots of help to make all his wishes come true. Jay Knutson, another Lynn Valley native, is another person who enriches the neighbourhood with his labours. Jay is a founder and director of the North Shore Celtic Ensemble and is often picking up his guitar for a good cause, most recently the Lynn Valley Christmas Crawl that saw $600 raised for North Shore Harvest. Here’s what Jay has on his wish list:

‘With this new year of 2012 in front of us and the whirlwind of global activity that was 2011 in a tsunaminous wake, it may be a good time to take stock of what we’ve got here.
“The world has come together in the aftermath of some of the biggest natural disasters of our lifetime. The outpouring of relief (both financial and humanitarian) has been unparalleled. This all bodes well for our “human condition.”  Is it possible that multinational, self-serving initiatives are being displaced by public displays of sympathy, generosity and compassion? One can only hope.
“The combining of this spirit, the re-unification of soul, and the exchange of life’s energy results in the rebirth and emergence of a whole new spirit, an altruistic spirit of revolution.
“This revolution starts in our hearts and in our minds. It is one of accountability, responsibility and environmental sustainability.
“A revolution with no hidden agendas and no ulterior motives; a free, equitable and just transformation of society, based on Love, Truth, Compassion and Peace.
“It starts here in our own community.”

We couldn’t agree more – it starts in our own community, and each of us plays a part. So whatever yearnings you have for our neighbourhood, we at LynnValleyLife wish for you the imagination to dream big, the clarity needed to translate dreams into actions, and the strength to persevere until all those dreams come true.