A Gift from Victoria’s Poet Laureate Linda Rogers

Victoria’s Poet Laureate Linda Rogers joined us for her first hamper party last year. Here’s a visual poem that she made to tuck into each of our hampers. She’s given us permission to let you download her poem for your hamper, too.  Thanks, Linda!

2010 Party Poem by Linda Rogers

2010 Party Poem by Linda Rogers

2010 Party Poem by Linda Rogers PDF download


Host Your Own Hamper Party!

We are overwhelmed by the incredible response we’ve had since the Globe and Mail article came out on Friday. There are now hamper parties sprouting up all over the place for this Christmas: Grimsby, Ontario and Nanaimo, B.C. in Canada and San Diego and Placerville in California.  And all in the last two days!  We wish you all well and know you’ll come to love this festive holiday tradition as much as we do.

If you’re thinking of hosting your own party, we’ve just posted our Top 10 Tips on “How to host your own Hamper Party” here. Please make sure to let us know how your party goes and share your hosting tips or ideas.

Warm wishes to all you Happy Hamperers!

Breaking news, Hamper Party-goers!


The Toronto Globe and Mail will be publishing an essay on the hamper party in their Facts and Arguments column tomorrow (Friday, December 9th). You can read it here!

Equally exciting, is that the amazing and generous Mandy Leith of Media Rising has managed, out of the goodness of her heart and with only a day’s notice, to throw together—gratis—this absolutely gorgeous blog for our annual party.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our holiday tradition could really take off all across Canada?

Finally, the Salvation Army hopes to have one of their publicity people attend this year’s party.  They want us to show them how we accomplish the wonderful stuff we do so they can encourage other parties like ours throughout the region.

Thanks so much for your continuing support.  You are truly the spirit of Christmas in action!

Only 10 days to go!

That’s right—unquestionably the best holiday celebration in Victoria is practically on us and we’d love to share this epic endeavor with you.  It’s our hope that this blog will encourage others to adopt what has become a festive holiday tradition for so many of our good-hearted and generous friends, neighbours and supporters.  Wait till you see what incredible fun collective action can be!

Good news from the Belfry

This year’s good news is that the Belfry Theatre will be donating two ticket vouchers for us to tuck into 25 of the hampers!  The not so good news is that the cost of plastic laundry hampers has doubled.  We finally managed to hunt down and order relatively inexpensive ones from Canadian Tire, but we could really use cash donations from any of you who won’t be able to attend but still want to join us in spirit.

For those of you attending, we found last year that it was incredibly helpful to have people come at staggered times throughout the day.  Letting Joyce know in advance what you’ll be bringing and approximately what time you’ll be arriving gives us a clearer picture of what and when provisions are coming in so we can more accurately figure out what our runners need to buy at day’s end to complete the hampers.  It also gives us sufficient helping hands to handle the last minute rush and to help the Salvation Army workers load the truck.  With about a ton of turkeys alone, we amass a lot of food!

Bagpipes Away!

At 6pm when the Salvation Army arrives we’ll have an added treat: bagpiper Josh McDonald will once again pipe us out as we form a bucket brigade to help load the Salvation Army’s truck at the end of the party.  You can’t believe how thrilling it is to see the vast sea of food covering the front yard and stretching all the way down the hill to the street.

So far, we have pledges for 60 turkeys, 100 pounds of potatoes, 80-90 dozen eggs (thanks to our long time donor Morningfresh Eggs on Blenkinsop), and 25 ½ pounds of butter as well as a few other items.  Obviously, this won’t even begin to tackle what we’d need to come anywhere near last year’s record haul when our little party contributed 131 hampersover 10% of the Salvation Army’s total hampers.   We know there are families out there counting on us for their Christmas dinner.  Let’s go for 150 hampers this year so that no needy family is turned away!

Joyce and Peter

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.

The Festive Season is Upon Us!

We’re busy getting ready for our annual Christmas Hamper Party on December 18th, in Victoria BC. Last year we exceeded all expectations by putting together 131 bulging hampers, which were donated to the Salvation Army to give to needy families at Christmas

Coming soon: information and updates about this year’s party, an archive of past festivities and information about how to host your own Christmas Hamper Party.