Christmas in Tamahere is unfolding in special spirit and style centred on the month-long St Stephen’s Christmas Festival.
[slide]The 28-year-old fundraising festival with its beautiful displays of nativity scenes, Christmas decorations and festive refreshments is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm through to Christmas Eve.
Saturday’s Twilight Market may have been wildly popular and packed with happy shoppers but year in year out it’s the Christmas Festival with its genteel charm that takes the Christmas cake.
In the church hall, the festival is the place to enjoy a delightful cup of tea or coffee in fine china and partake of homemade Christmas cake or shortbread before purchasing a Christmas gift or decoration or two. The range continues to delight and surprise – table centres and wreaths, and quirky decorations for the tree and around the house that are crafted with artistry and imagination.
Each day at 11am and 2pm in the church it’s also the place to hear carol singing by a range of choral groups.
It’s all in a good cause. The proceeds from the sale of decorations are donated to worthy causes – around $20,000 a year and, over the 28-year life of the festival, around $400,000 in total. Recipients include Hospice Waikato, Red Cross, Save the Children and Guide Dogs for the Blind.
The cleverly crafted decorations are the work of around 30 people from the St Stephen’s congregation and beyond who meet from the beginning of the year until the festival begins in December to create the distinctive pieces for tree, table, wall or door.
The St Stephen’s Christmas Festival is held at the church, corner of Airport Rd and Tamahere Drive. The regular, monthly country market will be held on December 20.
The Christmas Tree farm of Jack and Alice Commerer at 46 Tamahere Drive is another of Tamahere’s contributions to the season. They sell well-shaped, Mt Gabriel Christmas trees and are open from 9am to 7pm daily until Christmas.
Other stops on the Tamahere Christmas trail are the giant Christmas tree lit up outside Regal Haulage on Airport Rd, and the Hart residence in Te Awa Lane, which is again this year covered in lights and raising funds and gifts for charity.