What is the Hamper Party?

It’s holiday time again and that means time for the annual Christmas hamper-making party at Joyce & Peter’s.  The “party faithful” of you who’ve attended in past years will know the routine and can skip over to the hamper menu/shopping list.   To those of you who are new to this genial holiday highlight: welcome!

The Christmas Hamper Party is an event we started in Toronto in 1995.  It’s basically a festive open house during which we create beautiful Christmas hampers from the menu items (listed here) which each of you brings.  As part of the party we decorate everything to create real Christmas gift hampers—not just utilitarian hand-outs.  At the end of the party, the Salvation Army will collect the hampers for delivery to needy families. The families that receive our hampers will get all the healthy, fresh ingredients they need to cook a traditional Christmas turkey dinner in the privacy of their own homes, with enough to share with their friends and loved ones.

We start at noon. People drop by throughout the afternoon to deliver the menu items (see list below) they’ve agreed beforehand to bring.  Joyce & Peter’s B & B Earle Clarke House provides hampers & packaging decorations, plus soup, Christmas cheer & cookies for the “workers.”  At 6 pm the Salvation Army will come to pick up our filled hampers for delivery to needy families.  It does take several hours to put the hampers together, so please make sure we have your contributions in plenty of time.

Feel free to drop off some goodies, hang out and visit, or work like crazy till everything’s packaged up.  It was really rewarding last year to see the results of our labours: 131 bulging hampers, complete with turkeys!  We know that the Salvation Army has come to rely on our donation; let’s try to break last year’s record so that no family requesting a hamper will be turned away.

All contributions are welcome—from a frozen turkey to a can of cranberry sauce—and collectively it really adds up.  Cash donations are also a godsend, enabling us to send out “runners” at the end of the day to buy any items the hampers still need.

To avoid ending up with a hamper of nothing but carrots or cranberry sauce,  please RSVP and let us know by December 16th what you will be bringing and, if possible, approximately what time you’ll be arriving with your goodies.


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