This December will be the 11th year that Spirit of Christmas host a socially inclusive Christmas party for local families. Ronnie and Diane Munro began running their special Christmas parties after deciding as a family that Christmas should be a time of giving. “We wanted to create something special, where families can come and just enjoy themselves. The adults can relax and feel safe, and the children get a chance to just be a child and act their age – regardless of their background.” Since starting they have held parties for over 4000 children with the mission that “every child deserves to meet Santa.”
Around 120 children attend each party, along with their parents, grandparents or guardians. A percentage of tickets each year are given to local organisations to distribute to lower income families, the rest are sold at a low cost to allow the event to be socially inclusive, every one is welcome.
Each child attending is asked beforehand for their ‘wish list’, so that Santa can give them something that they really want, something that not all of the children attending will have done before. Diane said, “We have had so many magical moments where we can see the difference it has made to the children. I remember one year where one little girl had put ‘Minnie Mouse’ on her wish list, Ronnie spent 2 hours in the attic searching for a Minnie Mouse teddy that he knew had been donated. The look on the little girls face when she opened it made it all worth while.” They also all recieve a snack box, books and are entertained by the Spirit of Christmas elves with family friendly party games.
Emma Bracegirdle, a volunteer said “its incredible the amount of work that they put into the parties – they personally check every toy donation, match it with a child who has asked for it and wrap every gift. Their house is bursting at the seams with toys and wrapping paper. They have dedicated the last 11 years of their lives to making sure that local families get to experience the real spirit of Christmas and every single person coming is special to them.”
A local mum Rachel said “We have been the last 3 years and each year has been amazing. The atmosphere is magical, the volunteers are fantastic, Santa couldn’t be better and every single present has been thought out and perfect. Plus all the other little extras make it the best possible Christmas party for any age.”
Dates and Tickets
This year there will be two parties on December 7th at 10:30 and 14:00 at Brayton Community Centre. Tickets are available for £3 each from Moores Allsort Confectionary, Selby.