By Jill Smith for Jody Smith - Merry Christmas!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the store,
Jody sold whistles on sausages, and dive lights and more .
When it was finally closing and he turned off the light,
He heard a strange noise and it gave him a fright.
Under the work-bench an elf did appear,
He was tangled and caught up in all of the gear.
He was an odd little fellow, dressed in trunks and a lei,
and Jody knew in a moment, he should just run away.
For the night was not going to be simple, he thought,
He knew it would bring headaches, more likely than not.
The elf scrambled out with alacrity and grace,
And was hopping and chattering all over the place.
“My name is Stinky, I’m a good little elf,
I love water, and diving, and gassing myself!”
“Stop!” Jody shouted, his good mood eroding,
Each minute accruing a sense of foreboding.
Stinky was jumping and farting, making far too much noise,
“Make me a Divemaster, I’m done making toys!”
“I told Santa to stuff it, I won’t work anymore,
I hate building and singing and sweeping the floor.
I wish to see dolphins, and turtles and pretty little fishes,
And I’m here to demand that you grant all my wishes.
“Good grief” Jody said for it was worse than he thought,
“I cannot just do that, there’s too much to be taught,”
“Becoming a Divemaster is a great deal of work,
Now be a good little elf and stop being a jerk.”
“You don’t understand,” said the elf as he tooted,
This dream’s always plagued me, it’s indelibly rooted.”
“Fine!” Jody yelled as he picked out some books,
“But I’m telling you elf, it’s harder than it looks.
The manuals must be studied for each specialty you choose,
I’m warning you now - DO the knowledge reviews!"
“Hooray!” shouted Stinky, passing gas in the store,
“I get to go diving, and swimming, and more!”
“I’ll be free as a fish, and as happy as a lark,
And nobody can tell me I can’t dive in the dark!”
“For I can do anything I decide I can do,
And nothing can stop me, neither Santa nor you!”
While Stinky sat reading and studying the text,
Jody had an idea about what to do next.
He made a quick call to the distant North Pole,
and begged Santa to come help him fulfill his new goal.
Ridding himself of Stinky, he could close for the night;
Santa agreed right away, and rerouted his flight.
Once Santa arrived, they met to confer,
devising a plan that they all might prefer.
Stinky was angry and nearly stormed out,
but stayed as he was feeling a little self-doubt.
Although he was vexed, and feeling grossly misled,
he sat in the corner flatulating loudly instead.
Jody and Santa sighed to see where he sat resolute,
then declared he was promoted with benefits to boot!
Stinky lit up with delight, and was jumping for joy!
He was ready to be boss-elf and rejoin Santa’s employ.
In addition to that, Jody and Santa agreed,
Santa could do more to fill each little need.
Discover Scuba Courses were purchased for every single elf,
And then Santa added some dive gear just for himself!
Jody was happy as he opened the door,
and he wished his friends well as he locked up the store.
But Stinky could be heard as they flew out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and dive safely tonight!”
What a great night we had! A delicious turkey dinner with the fixins', and 70 very generous scuba divers raised $1,700 for Marjorie's toy box charity for the children that have to face the horrors of cancer and the treatments that come with it. Every day. We are very honoured to support Marjorie in the work that she does with these children. Thank-you, Marjorie. We are so happy you are there.
Congratulations to the 1st prize winners - Mike who won the APEKS Black Sapphire regulator, and Brian who won the Blackbeard's Scuba Live-aboard adventure cruise!
Our photo gallery of the evening is attached to the bottom of this post, but first, the story of our Christmas cake. Our newest divemasters, Stephen, David and Rachel were the inspiration of our Christmas cake this year. The cake illustrates their adventure. Their story is told in this video:
Paying it Forward
Our Christmas party is fast approaching, and I hope we will see many of you there to share the many, many diving stories that we have experienced over this year! We always find ourselves counting our blessings at this time of year, and in addition to door prizes at the party, we would like to introduce a raffle, with the proceeds going to benefit the children at the Southlake Regional Health Centre.
In particular, there is one lady there that makes a big difference to the children while they attend Southlake for treatment. Her love and generosity touches the lives of many. I will let Candice (daughter of Nick & Cathy Wasielewitsch) tell you about this special lady.
Marjorie's Toy Chest Fill
Let's work together and raise some money to fill Marjorie's toy chest and help put a smile on the faces of children fighting cancer! Not just for Christmas but all year round!
Our Daughter Tayah was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer at the age of 4 in October 2012. She was a beautiful, inspirational and fun loving little princess who touched the hearts of so many people. Tayah endured 14 months of intense treatment including chemo, radiation, major surgery, a bone marrow transplant and antibody therapy. Cancer is an extremely tough battle especially for a little child to face. Along Tayah's medical journey she met a wonderful, kind and selfless lady named Marjorie at the Southlake Pediatric Oncology Unit. (An amazing 86 year old women who lost 2 of her own children to cancer and volunteers everyday to make these children smile).
So while going in to Southlake Pediatric Oncology Unit for blood work, needles, blood transfusions, finger pokes and all the nasty stuff that comes with fighting cancer, Marjorie gives these kids something to look forward to at each visit by giving them lots of hugs, special chats with her soft spoken voice and sweet english accent and of course a special toy from her chest that she supplies with her own money. It puts a smile on their little faces and let's face it, if it wasnt for Marjorie we wouldnt have been able to convince our little Tayah to get in the car to go to the many hospital visits during her treatment journey.
Marjorie has a wonderful way of making each child with cancer feel special and loved. Although our Tayah lost her battle with cancer on Dec 17th of 2013, we know Marjorie played a special role in her life and held a special place in her heart. We know Tayah would want any child facing cancer who has to go to Southlake to experience the famous Marjorie and her toy chest at each and every visit!
Please help fill Marjorie's toy chest and continue making those smiles happen!
You can read more about Marjorie here:
So, I invite you all to come and perhaps buy a raffle ticket to support Marjorie in her year-round angel efforts, or maybe bring some toys or trinkets for her special toy chest, or maybe even donate a raffle prize. Whatever feels right for you.
Love and Happiness to all of you and your families! Please play safely!
Twas the night before Christmas, at Adventure Sports dot ca,
And a crowd was there growing, that would not go away.
The divers were waiting with long written lists,
Of gear they desired held tight in their fists.
Santa was coming, you see, with his sleigh,
The divers had gathered and waited all day.
Jody tried to convince them, it would do them no good;
“Just buy it from me,” he said, “like a good diver should”.
When Santa arrived, he was mobbed in a second,
“I’m going to get killed!” Was all that he reckoned.
The divers waved lists for the old elf to see,
And called out to Santa, “Don’t forget about me!”
We want steel tanks, and octos, and Advanced Scuba Courses,
Cameras with housings and multiple air sources!
“Stop!” Santa shouted, he’d had quite enough,
My workshop makes toys, but not any of that stuff!
“We all can be happy, if you teach me to scuba,
My sleigh on the roof waits to fly us to Cuba.”
The pitter-patter of the divers’ hurrying feet,
Could be heard on the roof without missing a beat.
Aleksandar drove the sleigh, while Santa studied the book,
Jody proctored the exam; that was all that it took.
The sleigh grew pontoons when they finally arrived,
They all were excited, a place not yet dived.
And without even a speedo (he’d forgotten to take it),
Santa doffed all his clothing, to go diving naked.
The divers were troubled and averted their gaze,
That white, pasty vision would now haunt all their days.
A wonderful dive was enjoyed by them all,
And they came back exhausted, but pleased by the wall.
They saw turtles and sharks and the goliath-est grouper,
Lobsters, and stingrays, and a porpuffian-pooper.
Rob poured the bourbon for all that were finished,
The divers came up as their air was diminished.
They rested and laughed as they recalled all the fun,
While Santa drove back with the rising of the sun.
Returning to Adventure Sports Newmarket, to buy himself gear,
Santa packed up the sleigh, and shook hands with my Dear.
But the old elf could be heard laughing, as he drove out of here,
“What a crazy bunch of divers, and a hell of a year!”
LOL, ok I won't quit my day job, but it was fun to write, and it was written with a spirit of playfulness, thankfulness, and a desire to share and wish all of you a happy and safe Christmas! From our home to yours, MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)