Santa may not be showing up on a CFA truck this year, but that doesn’t mean his Christmas spirit won’t arrive in other ways.
A Nagambie Advent calendar broadcast on YouTube will provide much-needed cheer this festive season, as large-scale events continue to be cancelled throughout the shire.
The calendar will replace Nagambie’s annual carols event, which was held last year at the community house and tennis club.
‘‘This year, we quickly realised we would not be able to arrange a normal carols event and started to brainstorm for alternatives,’’ Nagambie Lakes Community House organiser Anna Close said.
‘‘That’s how the idea of a YouTube Advent calendar came about.
‘‘We wanted to bring everyone together and celebrate Christmas.’’
The calendar was established by local churches and organisations in the Nagambie Carols Committee, including Nagambie Lakes Community House.
The community house has extended a broad invite to all of Nagambie’s characters to contribute one episode as part of the month-long calendar.
‘‘You will be able to see sports clubs, the CFA, the police, Nagambie HealthCare, both primary schools, kinder, seniors, churches and local artists singing, just to name a few,’’ Ms Close said.
‘‘Everyone is doing something special and unique.’’
A total of 27 episodes between one and three minutes long will be broadcast daily, starting on the first day of Advent (Sunday, November 29).
‘‘We will be sending out a new link every day via various different social media channels such as Facebook,’’ Ms Close said.
After mass cancellations of events this year, Ms Close hoped the calendar could serve as a reminder to the Greater Shepparton community that we still belonged together despite hardship and distance.
‘‘Particularly on a year like this, when isolation and loneliness have been such big challenges, is it important that we find ways to celebrate and share our stories with one another,’’ she said.
‘‘We want to celebrate Christmas, raise our spirits and share in some joy and laughter, even if it has to be virtually this year.’’
Thanks to a grant from Bendigo Bank, the committee has been able to buy high-quality equipment, which has been used for filming the episodes.
For those without an internet connection, a one-page calendar will also be created so nobody misses out on the Christmas cheer.
‘‘We hope the calendar can serve as a reminder to us all that . . . we are still part of the most amazing community, even if we haven’t been able to meet up and see each other as we normally do,’’ Ms Close said.