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Nov 22

Unwrapped: My Kind of Christmas Dinner

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The Christmas Dinner Leeds 2017

I really don’t like mentioning the C word – not until at least December anyway – but there’s always going to be an exception. And the Christmas Dinner will always be my exception.

Last year I stumbled upon this fabulous event for young people leaving care. I didn’t give them a thought before – did you?

TCD – The Christmas Dinner

I wrote about the Leeds Christmas Dinner because a friend’s post on Facebook caught my eye. Perhaps you remember it? Perhaps you were a Secret Santa yourself. If not you can read about it here.

It’s the easiest way of giving and stepping into the Christmas Spirit while all those brilliant volunteers do the hard work. And those who give of their time so freely are from all walks of life – teachers, PAs, lawyers, waitresses, actors, photographers and social workers to name but few. Juggling homes, families and stressful jobs, they give up huge amounts of time to make Christmas special for many young people who may otherwise remain forgotten and lonely.

The Christmas Dinner is an annual project founded by the poet Lemn Sissay MBE for communities to provide a Christmas Day for care leavers aged between 16 and 25. This is the THIRD year a Christmas Dinner has been held in Leeds, mobilising the community to put on a scrumptious and magical Christmas Day dinner, turning Christmas into a time to cherish.

Lemn Sissay MBE

Lemn Sissay is a former care leaver himself so knows how tough this time of year can be for young people. Now Chancellor of the University of Manchester he continually inspires others to step up and get involved. And you can get involved without leaving your armchair. Bliss!

Volunteers look after every element of the event, from present wrapping, collecting food donations, dressing the venue, to helping to cook and entertain on the big day itself.

The Christmas Dinner 2017

If you are in the area – and there are nine Christmas Dinners planned for this December – then why not join in. And if that’s not your particular bag and you’re up for Secret Santa – the bit I love the best – then why not click the link to the Amazon page and select a gift. Couldn’t be easier – and no wrapping!

Gifts range in price from £3.99 for a lip balm to £65 for a smart watch, and a variety of gifts that will suit most people’s pocket in between. Any one of them would make someone very happy indeed.

If only all of Christmas could be so easy!

I am being glib, I know, but sitting here at the keyboard allows me to be. It doesn’t mean that I’m not counting my blessings and looking forward to all the family descending here for Christmas – Brussel sprouts and all. Family can be many things but mostly it’s about caring for each other. Who that other is is up to you.

Well, there’s still so much to do before the big day and I’m determined to ignore it as best I can until the last possible minute.

Until then, I’m hoping over to Amazon right now to make my selection.

Care to join me?

To be Secret Santa follow me The Christmas Dinner wishlist for Leeds

You can find more about the other Christmas Dinners at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-christmas-dinner-2017