Sailing through the Holidays – The 2014 MARPAC Holiday Program

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It’s almost that time of year when we put down our tools, come out of our cubicles, and share in a little festive holiday cheer.

The 2014 MARPAC Holiday Program is taking shape.

This year’s nautically-themed program, “Sailing Through the Holidays” will run from Dec. 7-20 and feature a host of holiday activities for all members of the Defence Team and their families.  

The program will begin in earnest on Dec. 7 with the Township of Esquimalt’s Parade of Lights.

The parade will muster at the Canteen Road parking lot, and make its way to the Archie Browning Sports Centre for the community celebration.

On opening night, CANEX will be transformed into a holiday wonderland with decorations, hot chocolate and snacks, and perhaps even a visit from Santa himself. Families are welcome to watch as the lights are turned on at 5:15 p.m.

Naden’s Holiday Route will remain lit from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly until Dec. 20. Visitors can drive the route by entering through either the Sturdee Street entrance or the Naden Main Gate (at Admirals and Woodway Roads). For your shopping convenience, CANEX will be open until 9 p.m. on Dec. 7, 13, 14 and 20. There will be in-store specials and items from their Military Elite Collection, which make great Christmas gifts.

On the last night, Dec. 20, drop by CANEX between 5 and 9 p.m. to have your photo taken with Santa by MARPAC Imaging staff.

In addition to the Holiday Route, all units are encouraged to take part in the Formation Tree Decorating Contest, which will take place from Dec. 1-16.

A great opportunity for morale building and fun, the pre-lit trees will be available for your decorating ideas at the Wardroom, Chiefs’ and Petty Officers’ Mess, and the Pacific Fleet Club. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Most Festive Design, Best Griswald Design (for the most outlandish tree), and Best Charlie Brown (for most valiant effort).

Teams can register by calling Christine Farrington at 250-363-2648. Decorating can take place Dec. 1-15 with judging by a select panel of holiday experts on Tuesday, Dec. 16.

If you are still looking for more to whet your holiday appetite, Personnel Support Programs, with the support of their North Pole office, will be hosting a Swim/Skate with Santa from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.

Strap on the blades or the fins, or both, and celebrate the holidays with a little fun and fitness at the Naden Athletic Centre and Wurtele Arena. Make sure to stop by CANEX afterwards where children can redeem their holiday coupon for a special treat.

So whether you are into the quiet reflection of the holiday lights, crafty and creative in holiday flair, or simply want to enjoy some quality family time on the ice, the 2014 Holiday Program has something to help you sail through the holidays in style.

 Cdr Wes Golden, Base Administration Officer

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