In true Christmas spirit, people shared Jesus' love with each other through acts of kindness and service.
A father of eight saw his mother and brother killed, lived in a camp for displaced persons, and then contracted COVID-19.
But these terrible circumstances became a blessing to Sami Hussein*.
Hussein and his family have endured cold winters and fast-spreading diseases that have ravaged their IDP camp. Hussein works for a low wage in a remote village to provide for his children.
While working, however, Hussein contracted COVID-19.
Shirley Platon and Allen Fehr had never met when Fehr first heard Platon singing through the walls of an elevator at Seven Oaks Hospital.
"I was singing through the stairwell and then Allen heard it through the elevator," Platon explains, "Then, when we got off on the same floor, he asked if it was me that was coming out of the stairwell."
Together, Fehr and Platon selected some Christmas carols to perform in hopes that a little holiday duet would spark some Christmas spirit at Seven Oaks.
A virtual running event is scheduled for tonight in support of a family from Steinbach.
Two years ago, Ashleigh Dueck of Steinbach was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Together with her husband Jordan and their children, the Duecks have spent two exhausting years navigating a journey of treatments.
Brent Manke is a friend of the Duecks. He says when a person is going through dark trials of pain or loneliness, it can be difficult to just keep moving forward. This is what prompted Manke to organize an event that allows family, friends and complete strangers to walk in solidarity with the Duecks.
A mother and son from the Vita area are taking their talents on the road to spread some cheer this Christmas.
Gail Horobec bakes cookies and her 15-year-old son Zenon plays the fiddle. Zenon's passion is Ukrainian music and he has been playing the fiddle for about seven years.
Normally, Zenon would be playing with his band Ukie Fusion but due to COVID-19, gatherings are not safe.
Any initiatives to help reduce the physical, mental, and emotional distress caused by the pandemic can now apply for funds from The Winnipeg Wellness Fund.
"Have an idea that will put a smile on your neighbours’ faces this winter and financial support would be appreciated? This fund is for you," says Councillor John Orlikow, Winnipeg's Deputy Mayor.
Tonight is the rare phenomenon of two planets aligning in the sky visible to the naked eye.
The planets will be visible in the southwestern sky right after sunset.
"As soon as it gets dark you have to go outside. Sunset is at 4:30 pm and by 5:00
Those waiting for a COVID-19 vaccine might be getting one sooner than expected, just in time for Christmas.
Vaccinators received an unexpected and welcome surprise after their vials meant to vaccinate five people actually treats six people.
A Winnipeg couple is sharing their gift of soup and homemade bread with people who are shut in during this pandemic.
Paulette Côté and Peter Czehryn, a couple that calls themselves the 'Soup Fairies', have been married for almost 29 years. Côté is retiring this March.
"I'm on leave from education this year. I worked as a community liaison worker for the last five years. We've always volunteered so soup just kind of flowed from there," says Côté.
Residents of three personal care homes will be receiving special letters on Christmas Eve.
Jocelyne Nicolas, a digital media specialist with Réseau Compassion Network, says within the past two days they have been flooded with letters for residents at care homes.
Nicolas says the letters for senior residents of the three care homes they work with came from a conversation about loneliness.
"We have spiritual care practitioners who work with us who are really amazing people and we were talking about how we are all struggling a little bit," she says.
Made in Manitoba band, The Color, had to get creative to release a new album in 2020.
Jordan Janzen, lead singer of the band, says they received the green light from Public Health to fly a producer to their home studio in Plum Coulee where they quarantined together as a group and got to work recording their latest album.
“It was a dream,” Janzen says. “It was intense, we recorded for 12-15 hours a day, but the experience allowed for a more creative process.”
Efforts to re-invigorate the Spiritual Care Coordinator role at three of Altona's care facilities have taken a step forward.
In October, officials with Rhineland Area Ministerial, Gardens on Tenth, and Altona Community Memorial Health Centre - Southern Health-Sante Sud announced a newly forged partnership to bring back the full time, professional position.
A Winnipeg pastor says that while she enjoys Christmas celebrations, this year's restrictions opens the door to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
Roberta Roslund is a co-lead pastor at Rose Church, a church she and her husband, Mark, started in 2020. The church has only operated online since it began.
"We have only ever been online. It will be exciting one day when we can gather," laughs Roslund. "What is encouraging for this season is that it really encourages what Christmas is about."
As we all get ready for a different kind of Christmas this week, it’s easy for our thoughts to drift toward what we can’t do in the coming days rather than what we can do, and most importantly, what we still have to be thankful for.
At Winkler’s Pine Ridge School, Alyssa Friesen's Grade 7/8 class had a discussion after reading short stories from the book Not Cancelled: Canadian Kindness in the Face of Covid-19.
“We talked about how there are still many positive things about life that are not cancelled,” Friesen explains.
The Winnipeg Police Service says they are seeing more people face hunger and isolation issues in Winnipeg, but are hoping to help.
The WPS recently received a call regarding a senior in their 80s. When they arrived, officers began to speak more with the senior and learned they were experiencing great difficulties.
They discovered the senior was in dire straights with no money for food and was completely isolated.
One couple has stirred up random acts of kindness this December around Winnipeg in memory of their beloved daughter Grace.
Jen Hurrie is a clinical exercise physiologist at the University of Manitoba. She is also a mother to two sons.
In December 2015, Hurrie went into labour and everything seemed to be going well. However, by the time Hurrie and her husband Daryl got to the hospital, the doctors couldn't find a heartbeat.
"We were expecting a baby girl. We lost her and she ended up being stillborn. That is essentially where our story began," she says.
An Advent film may have been shot inside the homes of children, but it has since expanded past walls to share the good news of Jesus's birth.
Meadowwood United Church's Christian Education Co-ordinator and Children's Programing leader Bonnie Gautier knew that she wanted to make Christmas as special as she could. After seeing the losses the children suffered, she knows she could not take away their Advent pageant, but needed a way to do it safely.
"The joy that I had hoped it would spread, I feel that it just spread that much further and that makes me happy."
Siloam Mission, Union Gospel Mission, and Lighthouse Mission will be bringing joy to an often-forgotten population at their annual Christmas dinners.
Siloam Mission says they will be hosting dine-in style meals on Christmas Eve for up to 100 people in its shelter capacity, and serve to-go style meals for many more. Gilbert Fredette, spearheader of Chiefs at Christmas, will be doling out food instead of leading a group of presentations this Christmas at Siloam.
A virtual Christmas choir was put together with people from multiple congregations to create a video spreading joy.
Brendyn Dyck, the Worship Pastor at the Word of Life Church in Niverville, put out an invitation for singers from any church in the town to be a part of a virtual choir video.
While many of the usual Christmas festivities are hampered by COVID-19 restrictions, two Steinbach churches have decided to move ahead with special services.
“Emmanuel is known for being one of the few places to hold events on Christmas eve and we are grieving the loss of our Christmas Eve Candlelight Concert this year,” states EEFC Worship Pastor Mike Burnard.
In lieu of their traditional service, the church has prepared a virtual program. Burnard says a dedicated team of staff and volunteers have been working to put the project together since late September.
A Dauphin resident snapped a sneaky photo of an RCMP officer giving an elderly neighbour a hand after a snowfall.
On Wednesday, residents of Dauphin saw a dumping of snow. While patrolling, an officer noticed an elderly neighbour shovelling his walkway. Pulling over, the officer convinced the resident to hand over the shovel.
As the officer was shovelling, they were unaware of a neighbour who had caught them in the act, taking a photo to share with RCMP Manitoba.
While most Manitobans rest on Boxing Day, a local man is turning his Christmas carbs into Christmas goodwill as he runs 100 km in one day for Siloam Mission.
Junel Malapad is an Ultramarathon runner, meaning instead of running 42 kilometres at once, he runs 100.
"My training is really running 50 kilometres every weekend since the beginning of 2020."
Natalie Grant's family couldn't contain their joy while touring Christmas lights and decided to share it with her followers.
"We went to a drive thru light display and were singing our hearts out in the car," Grant says in an Instagram post.
"So we decided to share a song with y’all."