For the last eight years, at Christmas, there has been a new tradition in Tatamagouche. It is called Christmas at the Creamery. This tradition is an event which brings member of the community together on Christmas day. Each and every person can come along and have a Christmas dinner served to them for free, yes I said free.
It all starts the week before Christmas when volunteers all get together and start preparing for the event. They have people making pies, chutneys and decorating the building. Local farmers donate all of the vegetables and the Turkeys, and then a group of volunteers peels them all and cooks the turkeys.
This year, Nick and I helped out with the peeling of the vegetables. We arrived at the Tatamagouche Centre at 11am on Christmas eve armed with peelers, knives and chopping boards. Once inside we set to work on a huge bag of potatoes. There were seven people on our table all told and, in the 45 minutes that we were all peeling, we got through 100lbs of potatoes. In total there were about 50 people at the centre that morning and in the 45 minutes, everything got peeled chopped washed and ready for cooking. It was a mammoth effort by everyone. We did help to pass the time a bit by taking it in turns to have a singing contest. Each table sang a Christmas carol. Although i have to say, our table ended up singing the most.
The turkeys had been cooked over night by another group of volunteers and were being carved up in the kitchen ready for the dinner the next day.
And so Christmas day arrived. We took a walk down to the Creamery to see what went on and take in the atmosphere. It was buzzing. There were about 150 people in the hall all with huge plates of Christmas dinner. They certainly didn’t skimp on the portions. Everybody in there was having a great time.
This is a lovely tradition that not only benefits those families that, due to circumstances, maybe cannot afford to put together a large dinner, but anyone in the community that wants to feel a part of the community and share Christmas with a large group of people. no-one is turned away. Who knows, maybe next year we may have a dinner their ourselves.