Sunday, December 29, 2013

The cutest thing ever...

Santa & Baby Ethan

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Santa Taking a Breather...


Holy Turkey-Doodle!

Did you see us in the Times Colonist this morning?   http://www.timescolonist.com/christmas-spirit-community-meal-brings-victoria-families-together-1.771035

Was it just me or was that a ridiculously great day?! I don't even know where to start...so I will just freestyle it...WOW! I know that every big event has it's hiccups and we had a few.. funny ones, frustrating ones, avoidable ones..but all of those are to be expected and after the initial flap we go with the flow. We are prepared for humanity (that's us too) to show up and be everything under the sun ~ no surprises. We are ready. What is so delightful was how few upsets there were, how GREAT everyone handled everything (okay except me with the whole ketchup, cranberry thing..lol) and how easily everything flowed today.

I can't even tell you how many compliments I received on the food. YEH Rose and Warren and all the Kitchen Elves! Whoot!  One gentleman said that he had been at various dinners such as these having gone in and out of poverty and wealth (including all over Europe) and said it was THE BEST FOOD HE HAS EVER HAD at a community dinner in all of his 65 years. In fact, he said "there were actually hints of gourmet...who did the cranberry sauce?" which made be spit out my candy cane since the cranberry
sauce seemed to be The Topic followed closely by KETCHUP...(Steve, you are never going to live that down...ha!) mainly because  I made it, and no one knew where it was because it was stuck in my truck hiding until I got there so panic ensued...and more was made and... I spazzed...geesh, I could have kissed him right there.

I also walked around to many of the tables and I didn't recieve one complaint. Not one. Only rave reviews and big smiles and loads of gratitude. "Any suggestions how we could do it better next year?" No. Everyone loved it. Even the kids said it was great! (That's when you know you hit it out of the park..when kids are eating the salad and making mashed potato volcanoes...).

And my Darling First-Sitting Elves, I found out after the fact that some of you didn't get to partake in the meal due to timing and food not being ready when you needed to leave; my sincere apologies.  I truly apologize and do hope you enjoyed yourself and at the very least got to enjoy a bratwurst at the BBQ.

So many people to thank / acknowledge from all of our sponsors; businesses and individuals who supported us financially in goods and services to make our Dinner a reality to all the 250+ Mighty Elves including and especially our tireless Team Leaders who I could not do this Dinner without.  I am the Fire breathing Dragon and they just help me direct the fire...lol. I loved the super fun craft station and all those 3D gingerbread folks I saw to Mr Twister magical balloon art to SANTA (who was PERFECT!) to the Getting Higher Choir to Michael H on the piano all day to a fabulous BBQ team, the Secret Santa room of ridiculously competent Elves  and the dessert tray Divas and the magic that the logistics and decorating team pull off each year...to EVERY single Mighty Elf who walked through those doors today who took on their requested mission:
Love Big. You nailed it. Couldn't you FEEL it?! Magic!

So Christine and I just did a Big Long Fat hour PLUS debrief; LOADS to talk about, go over and laugh over. I sat on my kitchen floor at 9:30pm eating dinner (why sit in a chair when there's a perfectly good floor RIGHT THERE) which I devoured..the food that is... wow..that hunger thing really sneaks up on you - in spite of eating my own wee mashed potato n gravy volcano that I honestly haven't eaten since I was like TEN - and gallons of green tea and ..grapes...oh right and some D+MN good shortbread from Bubby Rose's..for some reason that wasn't enough!   Christine and I have done up an initial list of "What was great; What's missing?" for next year. If you have anything to add, your OBSERVATIONS...good, bad, ugly and LOVELY...please please share with me. I always strive to make our Dinner better each year and
your input always makes a difference. Also, if you don't mind sending your experiences in general we would love to post some on our website!

And any pictures? Can you please send them to me? Thank you!  xmasdins@telus.net

So..here I am, after my 23rd year...thinking "Wow...THAT WAS AWESOME...I have the best people in the world to work with and share my Christmas Day with. Even when you forget the ketchup. And I spaz about cranberries. And people sneak out 4 socks instead of one and hot dog buns are low and who got liquid whipped cream? And all my rellies come and visit and get mistaken for homeless people EVERY year...in the midst of everyone doing their best..which was so evident today..stuff just HAPPENS....I am so very blessed! And it was perfect.". Thank you! You all are the best gift! Family.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts. I love you truly, madly, deeply. Now...pass the egg nog...I am putting my feet up - LITERALLY - many pillows high and basking in the glow of our day...

With deep apprecation for you...
Christina

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Deep breath...we are ON!

My Dearest Mighty Elf Family...

Setting the stage....
Let's give them our all today, shall we?
I would like to have us all hold a special space in our hearts today for LOVE.
Love for yoursElf.
Love for another.
Love for the experience of whatever is before us...because that is all that we have.
What else is there to do today but love it all?
The good stuff, "bad" stuff, joyful stuff, human stuff, (that you might be dealing with today, that our guests might be dealing
with today - it's all perfect), magical stuff...bring it all on; we are ready!


So let's get out there and Love Big! (In your own very unique way...it's perfect how you do that, you know.)
our true uniform today..red on top / black on bottom....  sprinkled with loads of LOVE dust.
(Hugs share the L-dust the best! Give it a try!)... Yes, I am very corny..but hey...we all want love. Let's just admit it and get out there
and give it away in droves shall we?! If someone actually BRINGS fairy Love Dust, sprinkle it on me!


Deep breath...we are ON!



Sweet dreams Everyone...
If... you get there!

Much love n Nutmeg kisses (I lick the top off everyone's egg nog foam)..
Christina and CSCD Crew..  

PS. NO RESERVATIONS?  No problem!
PLEASE COME VISIT US AT OUR  DELICIOUS OUTDOOR BBQ!

Fantastic food from 11-5pm. We hope to see you there!

Monday, December 23, 2013

We have BBQ Platinum sponsors!

Huge thanks to Ted and Yolanda Balderson @ Christie Phoenix.

http://christiephoenix.com/

Their generous donation pays for all of our bratwurst and fixings at our Outdoor BBQ.
That's 45 DOZEN of the best brats money can buy! (Thanks to fabulous team at The Whole Beast).

We have the most loving and generous community around. Victorians are amazing! There are other cities have tried to model our Dinner (my friends tell me) and come up short; not because there isn't a desire or beautiful hearts everywhere and there certainly is a need everywhere, it is because, in my belief we have aloving community that takes it to a new level. We have some of the highest volunteers rates in all of Canada. As Canadians, we also give more per capita than most other countries.  In a nutshell we care deeply and we are willing to prove it, show it, share it and love big.

We cannot do what we do without you. Thank you again all of our sponsors for making our Dinner a reality each year.

I LOVE YOU!

Warmest regards,
Christina

Sunday, December 22, 2013

25 beautiful centrepieces!

Thank you ladies!  They are gorgeous!

It's not too late to sponsor a table and have your name on one of these beautiful table centrepieces.

Contact Christina at xmasdins@telus.net for donation information.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Getting down to the wire. Desperately need help with a few KEY areas!


CAN YOU HELP? I am getting on the air and hollering on the rooftops!

The Christmas Spirit Community Dinner is full for guests/ volunteers.

The sad news is that we are still receiving dozens of calls and many guests have children.

We have an outdoor BBQ but are short tents and heaters. AND A CUBE VAN!
With the weather such that it is, we would like to make the BBQ as cozy as possible
especially for the wee ones. Can you help? www.christmasspiritdinner.ca for details.
Xmasdins@telus.net to email me. 250-744-9933 to text.

Please share this email xxoxooCee

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thank you Arbutus Global Middle School!!

The Arbutus Global Middle School kids were in fine form yesterday doing the Sock Circuit with smiles and joyful intention.  500 SECRETSANTA SOCKS is  A LOT of socks but no problem for the Arbutus kids;  like Donner and Blitzen these super fast Elves sprinted from one station to the next filling with various toiletries, toothbrushes, goodies and the chocolate Santa's on a stick!  MY hat goes off (and my socks stay on) to Arbutus and all the kids, parents and teachers  including Sean Powell the school principal for organizing such a huge endeavour during the holiday season. We sure hope to see Arbutus again next year!

I am one of the Elves who hand out the Santa Socks and they are always so well received. Last year when we had about 40 left over which we handed out on New  Year's Eve Day with my mother; it was cold.  And various shelters were closed.  Many of the people said the items in the sock were all that they would have to eat that day (mandarin, granola bar and a chocolate and a coffee card).  My Mom and I sat in the van afterwards in tears. It is heartbreaking to be around such poverty wondering what else we could do ~ it is a complicated issue; it is also a poignant reminder of just how lucky we are. Some of us may not have a lot but we have enough. And "enough" can make all the difference with how life goes. So, you matter. This project matters. Thank you.

Much love and appreciation,

Christina

Saturday, December 14, 2013

11 days until C-Day!!!

Hey there Superstars! 11 days until C-Day!!!

Just a loving reminder. Please check the website DAILY now for updates.

One of those things you take on when you sign up to be a Mighty Elf. Petra has spent HOURS on our lovely website..  so please check it for things like meeting times, and please print off the Team Leader Phone list so you have it handy.

There usually are daily updates.

If you have questions about your job for Xmas Day and aren't coming to the meeting tomorrow at 3pm then you need to be in communication with your Team Leader (not me) if you have any questions. Feel free to cc me so I can see what is going on.

If you have schedule changes (ie sick / can't make the meeting or can't make your shift on the 24th or 25th) then please connect with Christine and cc/ me.

If you want to drive me nuts or Petra or Christine..email us and ask "When is the meeting?" or "What do I wear?" or the like.

To get those answers please check the website, read your emails, come to the meeting or contact your Team Leader. So, now is the time!

You know we love you...AND we need you to LOVE our website too. Visiting our FB page would help us too. Thanks tons tons tons..we really appreciate it!

See you at the Gordon Head pool Sunday Dec 15th - 1pm (swim first/ steam/ hot tub) and / or meeting at 3pm.
(Code for the front desk for swimming: Mighty Elf)

Remember Mighty Elf gear on Christmas Day...RED ON TOP>...BLACK on bottom.
With BLACK shoes unless you are in the kitchen, then just rubber bottom comfortable shoes.
(and feel free to wear clothes too - RED / BLACK). Xmas Bling is a bonus! (Antlers, vests, things
that light up..fun!) Or go for it and come in TOTAL ELF GEAR (Kevin does!! Yeh Kevin!)

Love,  Christina

Friday, December 13, 2013

Please share our video

Have you checked out our video? Super easy to share if you are at a loss for words (bon bon filled mouth and all)  ~

And this is the straight stretch! We still have 20 tables to sponsor and a few Secret Santa positions to be filled and about 200 coffee cards to drum up by Friday 20th. Let's go for it team!

Christmas Spirit Dinner Video

Love,

Christina

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our WestJet Friends ROCK!

Wow.  How cool is this?

How can I help today?

MOST MIGHTY ELF POSITIONS FILLED FOR DEC 25TH. AND LOADS OF HELP STILL NEEDED NOW. Discover your Inner Elf! Fun!

Thank you so much for considering joining our team this year to volunteer. Our positions for The Big Day (Dec 25th) have now been filled and we are taking a waitlist. Please email xmasdins@telus.net to be added to the waitlist or if you are able to help with clean up at the end of the event (5:30 PM on Christmas Day)

There are still many ways to participate now that would make a huge difference! Please consider supporting us with any one of the following:

1) Buying a $5 coffee card or more. (500 Coffee cards go into the Secret Santa Stockings put together by Arbutus Middle School)

2) Sponsor a child for $35-$40. Put a big smile on a child's face this year; we will match you with a special child and you get to go shop for them OR we will shop for you. GREAT way to get your children or business involved!

3) Buy a turkey! $65.00. We have very limited turkeys this year due to an ordering glitch. Big birds are best but we will take small ones too! Gobble gobble!

4) Sponsor a Christmas family of 8 for $160.00. Make a powerful difference for a whole table of guests who share a hot, nutritious, feast (and can take home leftovers too!) including treats and hot beverages. You also get to send along a Holiday message including your business logo, family photo or the like that is strategically placed in a lovely centerpiece on your Christmas family's table.

5) Donate an amount that works for you. We have a donate button on each page of our website. You will receive a tax receipt for any donations over $20 and you are welcome to send us a note to let us know where you would like the funds allocated. For eg. 2 Secret Santa gifts and 4 coffee cards. ($90)

Thank you for your loving hearts. We cannot do what we do without you.

Monday, December 9, 2013

$5 coffee cards?

Can you please help us out?  We are short on $5 coffee cards (Tims, Starbucks, McD's or anywhere) to hand out to our guests on Christmas Day.

Having an office party?  You can ask people to bring a card with them at the door!

Please contact Christina xmasdins@telus.net to arrange collection or bring it to our last Volunteer Meeting on Sunday.

Thank YOU!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Online Silent Auction which ended last night. We raised over $3300!

If you have won an item, please let us know how you'd like to pay (cash, cheque, PayPal) and then we'll help you get your winning item.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

News Alert!! Final Auction Days

The online auction ends Sunday!    http://www.charityauctionorganizer.com/auction/CSCD2013

Just added two new award winning driftwood sculptures made here in Victoria!

There's also...

...2 free flights on WestJet anywhere they fly
...A B&B in beautiful Victoria from Arbutus B&B
...A limited edition Photograph from Michael PA
...$50 gift certificate to be love restaurant
...One year full pass to Studio 4 Athletics
...A Bah Humbug Stressbuster package from the Body Organica
...Coffee and snacks for 4 at Township Coffee
...2 seats to Pacific Opera Victoria's production of Ariadne Auf Naxos
...A 4 hour Salmon Fishing Carter from TPH Charters
...A Pampered Chef Entertainment Basket from Donna Lang
...One day onsite photography class from Michael PA
...Individual tax preparation service from Padgett Business Services
...A handmade Gary Oak bench from Wooden Waves Interiors
...A month of swimming lessons from Pacific Coast Swimming
...and more!!

This is our one big fundraiser for the year.  We hope you can be part of it too!