Young Christmas shoppers get into holiday spirit

Parents had a chance to relax and have a coffee while their children did some Christmas shopping of their own last weekend.

Shawn and Kate Hollingsworth take a look at a medieval gingerbread house Dec. 7. Houses were designed by Grade 8 and 9 students at St. Augustine Catholic School and people could cast their vote with money.

Parents had a chance to relax and have a coffee while their children did some Christmas shopping of their own last weekend.

A Ponoka and District Chamber of Commerce Kids’ Christmas Shopping Party was held at St. Augustine Catholic School Dec. 7. Despite a cold winter day, helpful ‘elves’ from the Central 4-H Beef Club gave kids a hand while they tried to pick out the best present for their parents, grandparents etc.

The sales event is the brainchild of Melody Helm, who remembers shopping at Eaton’s in Edmonton when she was seven years old. On the fourth floor of Eaton’s, kids-only shopping was a big experience of the holiday season. Helm’s father took her to the fourth floor where other parents waited while their children shopped.

“He had to wait for me. I bought a beautiful necklace for my sister and I just felt so grown up and so big,” she said.

After almost 20 years, Ponoka’s children’s Christmas sale appears to be going strong.

“And the kids like it,” added Helm.

“We’re really pleased with the vendors who have come and brought some really neat things,” she said.

Members of the 4-H club dressed up as elves and brought the younger children around the 15 vendors’ tables to assist with present picking. They also wrapped those presents to ensure moms and dads, who were waiting in the hall, did not know what was bought.

Kris Malterer, historian for the 4-H club, enjoys helping the younger kids. “I’ve been helping since I was nine.”

“It’s fun to just take the kids around and help them with shopping,” Malterer added. “There’s a bunch of kids here wrapping (presents) and having a good time.”

Not only does he enjoy taking part in the event, but he feels the entire club enjoys helping the younger kids.

While waiting, parents could have a cup of coffee or lunch. Proceeds from the food sales have been earmarked for a charity called Chalice, whose goal is to help people in a state of poverty. The faith-based charity works by sponsoring children to help them with school, food and medical needs. For more information visit, www.charity.ca.

Gingerbread house challenge

There were also some fancy gingerbread houses designed and built by Grade 8 and 9 students at the school. Each house was edible and had a different design. Some houses featured the home of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and some homes were built in homage to the popular video game Minecraft. Another gingerbread house featured a flying UFO complete with an edible glass roof.

To pick their favourite, families were able to have a look at the houses and vote by putting money into a corresponding container. Money from those votes is being saved for the school’s Good Samaritan Fund, said Dayna Wittal, culinary instructor at St. Augustine.

Children also had the opportunity to take their picture with Santa Claus.