Elves forced to take a break from community Christmas dinner

 In Letters, Opinion

Friends and fellow elves:
Seasons Greetings! It took a while, but it is starting to look and feel a lot more like Christmas.
I am sorry to say that this year the Creemore Community Christmas Dinner is cancelled as the government’s pandemic response continues to tighten.
While I write this and look back on last year, I realize I should be in a happy flurry of organizing right now, talking to elf volunteers, sourcing cards, food, gifts, and my favourite – decorations. Yet this year when we need our community the most, when we most miss being with a variety of smiling friendly people, we cannot gather together. That does make me a little sad.
I look back at last year’s event and think about the great time that we had, with fantastic food, good conversation and such a festive hall. The nutcrackers will be disappointed not to be taken out of the box this year. Last year we hosted 96 people and delivered 11 meals, feeding a total of 107 people. Leftover food is taken to the David Busby Street Centre in Barrie and non-perishable items collected at the door were taken to The Salvation Army’s Hope Acres Addiction Treatment Centre in Glencairn.
Typically, the Creemore Community Christmas Dinner attracts a wide range of people: volunteers who love to cook; others who love to shop or decorate; empty nesters whose children are away; grandparents whose family gatherings are on another day; people new to town; families that need greater table space; and people who simply enjoy being with their neighbours on a festive occasion. After talking to a few key elf volunteers, and acknowledging that the food is always fantastic thanks to our elves in the kitchen (but not the elf on the shelf) and our baker elves, we agreed that the act of making food for take-out was not really the point of the event.
Rather than fret over ever changing rules and regs, we decided to look at this year as a well-deserved rest for all of us, making it a time to reflect on a cherished event and an opportunity to appreciate it all the more next year when we once again gather as neighbours and friends.
Happily, there is no rule requiring us to celebrate Christmas in the same way every year. Variety is the spice of life (make it Santa cinnamon)!
And time does fly. This would have been our 20th dinner and it has already been five years since I launched the website www.CreemoreChristmas.ca and I just renewed it for another 10 years.
Our finances are in good shape. Some expense will be incurred this year for the website and correspondence. There is enough money in the bank to fund one full dinner. Should you want to support the dinner for upcoming years funds can be deposited to the “Community Christmas Dinner” account at TD Bank (#23202 5202657) or by e-transfer to CreemoreChristmasElf@gmail.com. Thank you for all that you do.
I look forward to the year 2021 anticipating that it will be better and planning to enjoy it even more after a quiet 2020. I hope you savour this holiday season as we wrap up a very interesting year.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Donna Baylis,
The Creemore Christmas Elf.

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