Don’t stay home alone this Christmas when you could feast amongst friends at the Lacombe Community Christmas Dinner.
Held annually on Dec. 25 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, the event is put on by the Bethel Christian Reformed Church, and serves up traditional Christmas dinners with all the fixings, alongside a helping of community camaraderie.
“If you’re alone on Christmas Day, and you would like to enjoy the company of your neighbours and a Christmas meal, you are welcome,” said Cora Hoekstra, who helps put on and organize the dinner.
The event itself has been in the community for more than two decades, and was passed along between a number of different individuals and groups, including the Lacombe Legion. Hoekstra and her family took over the task along with the support of their church about 12 years ago, and it’s just become part of how they celebrate the day.
About 15 volunteers are involved in preparation on Christmas Eve, while 40 are involved the day of, helping to clean up and serve some 200-250 people.
Part of what makes the event special is it’s the only one held on Christmas Day itself. It’s also treated like a more formal banquet-styled event.
“We really like to make it festive,” said Hoekstra. “It’s quite delightful because some families come all dressed up – some don’t – but they just enjoy it. They’re spoiled and get to receive a traditional Christmas dinner and sit around with their neighbours and just enjoy themselves.”
Doors open at 12 p.m. with the dinner served shortly afterwards at 12:30 p.m. Admission is free, however, cash donations will also be accepted. Food donations will not be accepted.
While some in the community believe the dinner is meant for those in difficult financial circumstances, or just for those belonging to the Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Hoekstra stresses the intent of the dinner is just to bring the community together.
“People are always targeting who this meal is for,” she said. “Everyone is welcome.”
For more information, phone the Bethel Christian Reformed Church at (403)782-6400 and leave a message, or visit their website at www.lacombebethelcrc.org. They can also be found on Facebook @BethelChristianReformedChurchLacombeAlbertaCanada.