Families come together during the holidays, sharing all of the love, laughter, friendship, and memories of the year. Immediate and extended, family members give each other the gifts of time and presence each year, taking time to appreciate the special relationships they hold. But families don’t just mean Moms and Dads, Aunts and Uncles, Grandmothers and Grandfathers. Families are also the families we create for ourselves, through shared experiences and understandings.
As we’ve gone through the final message series of the liturgical year, we’ve emphasized the unique beauty and experience that is being part of the Saint Brendan community. A foundation of love and acceptance grounds this community — this family — as one to be recognized for reaching out to the “other,” and drawing them into the fold. So, take time to sit down with your parish family and share some intentional time with them.
The Saint Brendan School Carnival and Christmas Boutique is fast approaching, Nov. 29th through Dec. 2, and is a perfect opportunity to engage in an intentional moment of time shared as a community.
“The best thing about it is that the boutique and carnival literally has something for everyone,” Elizabeth Gamarra, parishioner and Boutique Children’s Corner chair, said. “No matter the age, whether they attend Saint Brendan School, or even if they go to church here regularly, there will be something to engage and excite them.”
The Christmas Carnival and Boutique, which began as a boutique for adults-only Christmas shopping has since expanded into the ultimate family weekend, the opening to the holiday season for many generations of Saint Brendan parishioners, families, and alumnae. Realizing that a school- and parish-sponsored event needed to include the children whose education it supported, former school principal and Christmas Boutique mastermind Sr. Diane Erbacher came up with the concept of the Children’s Corner.
“What I love about this event is its neighborly feel,” said Father Roger. “It’s basically Saint Brendan’s answer to the neighborhood block party. All are invited to experience the joy and magic of this special time of year.”
Starting with the Champagne Preview on Thursday night and a tree-lighting/neon-dance-party on Friday night, the Boutique will have a gourmet holiday treats section, a home decor section, St. Brendan spirit wear section, raffle, and much more for attendees to enjoy. A cafe with hot drinks and treats to purchase provides a perfect excuse to grab a cup of cocoa or coffee with a parish friend, and remind them just how much they mean to you. A carnival in the schoolyard and gym with games, prizes, and inflatables beckons to kids of all ages.
“For a lot of families, who’ve lived in the neighborhood and been a part of the parish and school community for generations, the Christmas Boutique kicks off their holiday season,” Gamarra said. “While there has been a lot of changes to the event itself, its message has prevailed: Saint Brendan is a place for everyone, a community for everyone.”
--Claire Kosewic, Staff Bulletin Writer
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