By Stacie Byrne
Being a “newcomer” to Revelstoke, the holiday season was always a bit of a struggle for me. In the past, I had always celebrated with my family, even if it meant only getting home by the skin of my teeth on Christmas Eve. Christmas at home was a series of events that varied from things such as buyers remorse, late-night movie watching, Nonna’s lemon pie and the famous 5-cup salads. It wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect for me.
When I moved to Revelstoke, I found myself in transition and feeling like I had made a huge mistake. Around this same time, I was fortunate to cross paths with Ginger Shoji who introduced me to the Community Christmas Dinner, a dinner on Christmas Day.
Ginger started the Community Christmas Dinner over two decades ago and always ensured it was a community based event through and through. This, to me, seemed unbelievable at the time: an event that feeds over 200 people and runs on donations and volunteers? But it has proved to be true each year for the past 22 years! The Community Christmas Dinner has been and continues to be able to happen each year only by the contribution of many hands. The diverse range of businesses and individuals who see the merit in this event donate everything from food, space, money and their time (which is especially sparse at this time of year). The Community Christmas Dinner is an event where it doesn’t matter who you are, what your background is or where you’re from. It is about being together, connecting with those around you and enjoying a wonderful meal with all the trimmings. It helps to remind me what the Holidays are really about: a community coming together to make something beautiful happen.
For me, the Community Christmas Day Dinner has given me a sense of purpose, a feeling of fellowship, a connection to my community in ways that I had never felt before. This dinner truly is a Holiday miracle and is pretty close to what Christmas back home was like: not quite perfect, but perfect for me.
If you would like to join this years dinner it will be held at the St. Francis Hall from 1-3pm on December 25. Interested in volunteering contact Stacie at 250-200-0022 or Melissa at 250-200-0404.