A true HodgePodge of HodgePodges

A true HodgePodge of HodgePodges

By Charlie Hodge

Be warned it’s that time of year. Just now, literally, as I went to send in this column I received an email that my online order had been sent. The unrecognized sender let me know the parcel I had apparently ordered had been packaged and shipped and should arrive any day. If there was an issue all I had to do was hit the link attached.

Only one problem – I never made the purchase. Obviously a scam but it had me thinking for a minute. Be careful folks.


I struggle every year looking for the perfect gift for Tez and never feel satisfied even though she always puts on a convincing show that I have succeeded. Regardless it is the one stressor for me that interrupts my full-fledged joy of Christmas.

Every year I promise myself I am going to start finding the ideal gift right away, snag little things here or there in the summer for stocking gifts, but I don’t. As the master of procrastination, I have the ‘get-around-to-it-next-week’ mastered. The Hodge house is huge on stocking gifts as but alas they are often overlooked until the last minute as well.

Two wonderful (not so stocking sized) holiday gift suggestions have popped onto my spotlight this week. Readers with green thumbs may want to hook up with Don and Donna Burnett and book ahead for the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival set for Seattle Feb. 15-18.

The Flower and Garden show is rated the number one of its kind in North America by Better Homes and Gardens. You know you are doing something right when you get that tip of the hat!

Going with Don and Donna on a tour would be a real bonus because he’s been running a tour there since the start of spring since 2005. Gardening enthusiasts from around the northwest flock to the annual celebration held in the beautiful Washington State Convention Center.

On Don’s and Donna’s tour the group stops at Minter Country Gardens for a lunch and shopping where garden guru Brian Minter gives an inspiring talk. To learn more call 250-763-6133.


If staying home, indoors, warm, enjoying fine food and song is your pleasure then try the Kelowna Actors Studio.

Now in it’s 21st year of production the guild has a great season of dinner theatres lined up kicking off with Tootsie the Musical running from February 7 until 25th. Based on the 1982 film, David Yasbek does a master job with the music and lyrics for the local production as does Robert Horn with the book.

The Kelowna Actors Studio will host three other shows during the year and offers various packages for tickets including from matinees to full meals and royal treatment.

For more info go to KelownaActorsStudio.com or telephone 250-862-2867


A full hearty round of applause to Willow Park Church and all the workers there that pulled off three amazing days of services celebrating Christmas with kind hearts and fellowship. Wonderful job folks at your annual Christmas Nativity on the weekend.


People may get tired of me saying it – but I never get tired of recognizing I have a blessed life.

I say that largely because of the multitude of good, kind people I have had the pleasure of knowing. Some for most of my life, others but for fleeting moments.

I am blessed for hearing or seeing kind, caring actions by others making the world a brighter, happier, safer place to be.

Literally hundreds of times in my younger life, friends, casual acquaintances, and sometimes total strangers simply showed up at the right moment and did or said something meaningful that meant a lot. Sometimes it was, or is, a small gesture or kind word, other times it was life-saving or life-altering actions.

Regardless, all those amazing and kind folks inspired my writing the first Charlie’s Christmas Angels List. I invited a few newsroom staff to submit some names and the annual tradition was began. The next year readers began submitting names and have continued to do so for more than 35 years of writing. What fun.

Angels are simply folks who have gone above and beyond to assist others.

I am hoping you will take advantage of my offer and email me the names of the angels in your world, along with a brief note of why they deserve to be mentioned as one of Charlie’s Christmas Angels.

Please send asap and I will print them over the holidays.

And blessings to you!

Next articleAndrew Crone at Dakoda’s Comedy Lounge
Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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