A few days after the Guides made those candy cane reindeer, we sold them – and lots of other things – in aid of the district at our town’s Dickensian evening.
What do you mean, your town doesn’t have one? It’s one of the highlights of the year in mine. On the first Friday in December, the shops and churches and museum stay open late and serve mince pies and mulled wine, and the market place is filled with charity stalls, carol singers, morris dancers, brass bands, donkeys and reindeer, little fairground rides, snow machines, food vans, people selling flashing toys, competitions, and more. And everyone is encouraged to wear Victorian costume.
This year was particularly impressive because the town has lots of snazzy new Christmas lights, bought with help from winning a “best town centre” award.
I arrived as soon as I could after work – having had some strange looks getting on the bus in my long skirt and shawl – and found other Leaders and Young Leaders from my district putting the finishing touches to our stall (under our Active Kids vouchers gazebo, again – best purchase ever).
We had a tombola, and were selling candy cane reindeer, “sweet bombs” (little wrapped packages of assorted sweets), homemade jam and ginger wine, homemade decorations and Christmassy biscuits, flashing head boppers (left over from the BIG GIG) and a few other odds and ends that kind people had donated.
The tombola did so well that all the prizes were all gone before the end of the evening. The candy cane reindeer were popular, too, and we sold most of the 200 we had. The other things sold reasonably, except the flashing boppers. We still have lots of them left, and I’m not sure what we’re going to do with them…if we still have them in summer, we could give them to the girls at county camp. In the meantime, let me know if you’d like any!
We had a good number of helpers through the evening, including a few Guides from both units. I especially appreciated the Brownie Leader who turned up later in the evening with a flask of hot chocolate and paper cups. It was very cold, I hadn’t had any dinner and was starting to feel a bit wobbly, and it was a lifesaver! A lot of Guides past and present visited the stall – always nice that they come back and see us and still think kindly of Girlguiding after they’ve left.
In other good news, we won the “best-dressed stallholders” competition, which means we’ll get our fee back. I think what tipped it was our bonnets, made by some of our leaders from plant pots covered in fabric, ribbons and lace.