Tag: christmas

This Christmas We Need to Share More Cheer Than Before

Participate in the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal to bring joy to locals in need.  

The Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal is back this year and more important than ever due to the events and challenges of 2020. The appeal provides local families and senior citizens with hampers of basic meals and staples. In previous years, the appeal delivered roughly 700 hampers to those who needed a helping hand around Christmas time, and they also required fundraising efforts to raise roughly $70,000. But now there are many more people expected to need help during the festive season in 2020. In fact, this year’s fundraising target has now reached $100,000. 

Mayor Bob Manning says “This crisis has had an incredibly devastating impact on our city. Times are tough and people are hurting…we anticipate that the impacts of coronavirus on the community will result in an increase in demand for hampers. We would ordinarily provide 700 hampers; I would not be surprised if we had twice as many people needing assistance this year.”

The fundraising normally begins in October however locals need more help while experiencing the current hardships and losses caused by the pandemic. Because of this, fundraising had already been launched to make sure that the demand for hampers can be fully met. Now it’s time for us to give generously and support our locals.

How can I help?

You can donate $65.00 to buy a family a hamper or donate $35.00 to buy a senior a hamper. To donate a select amount you can visit the page for this appeal here. Every cent that people donate to the Christmas Cheer Appeal will go to buying food supplies for the hampers, which will go to the people that need our help the most right now.

Council will be working with 20 local charities and organisations to identify residents who are eligible for this festive cheer. This includes the Benevolent Society, Ruth’s Women’s Shelter, Uniting Care, Wuchopperen and Anglicare Homeless Shelter. Additionally, there are a range of great Cairns media partners who will be donating services, including Adhesive Communications, Adllins Media, Cairns Post, CityLife, Channel Nine, Cre8 Design, GoTransit Media, HitFm, Oasis Media, TripleM, Yfilms, and PakMag!

That’s right – we want to share the love this Christmas and give back to the community that we adore. We encourage all of those who are capable to do the same thing and help another person or family have the Christmas they deserve.

Increased support and generosity have been coming from members of the Cairns community recently: 

  • The Cairns Business Women’s Club have kindly offered their support at their September networking luncheon. They will be selling raffle tickets with prizes supplied by local businesses.
  • Thanks to the imagination and generosity of the Cairns hotel community the 5-Star Chefs for Charity dinner was born. The Hilton, Pullman International, Shangri-La and Pullman Reef Hotel Casino have come together with their head chefs to donate their time, expertise and work with their suppliers to provide all food and beverages at no cost. Every cent of the dinner ticket sales will go directly to the Cheer Appeal. This year’s dinner will be hosted by the Hilton. 
  • The Cairns Chamber of Commerce have selected the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal as the chosen charity for their Christmas luncheon.
  • FGF Bitumen utilized their corporate event at the recent Cairns Cup day as an opportunity to raise over seven hundred dollars for the Appeal.
  • The Reef Hotel Casino are collecting donations on behalf of the Appeal and even local schools are contacting Council on how they would like to raise money with activities at their school.

Donate here. Every donation over $2.00 is tax deductible.

You can also find a list local charities and organisations where you can confidentially apply for a hamper.

 

 

 

 

HOSTING A MAGICAL CHRISTMAS LUNCH

HOSTING A MAGICAL CHRISTMAS LUNCH

There is nothing quite like the magic of Christmas. Lunch provides a great opportunity to catch up with the whole family, and here are a few ways to make the big day truly magical.

Delightful Decorations

The glittery baubles, twinkling lights and festive colour schemes all make this time of the year so special. Create a gorgeous centrepiece on your table using a mini Christmas tree, tinsel and reindeer figurines. Alternatively, use a cake stand to creatively layer your decorations.

You can even carry the magic of the table to other areas of the house, such as the coffee table or TV stand. Be sure to keep a bin nearby when it’s time for Christmas crackers and opening presents.

Great Games

Elevate your Christmas lunch by providing a few ice breakers, guessing games or other activities for your guests. For instance, you can have each visitor guess the number of ornaments you have on your tree. Whoever gets the correct number (or closest to the correct number) gets to take home a small gift.

You can also play spoons with candy canes and a deck of cards, a Christmas-themed “guess who” or a festive scavenger hunt. If all else fails, a game of Christmas charades is sure to provide some laughs and get everyone into a festive mood.

Fantastic Food

Once everyone is settled and happily chatting, it’s time to bring out some nibbles. Entertain your guests with bite-sized delicious foods in the forms of skewers, bruschetta, devilled eggs with smoked salmon or fresh local oysters. Don’t be afraid to include some party classics such as crackers with cheese and mini sausage rolls. They’ll be a hit with the kids and adults alike.

Then, it’s time to pile the table high with ham, turkey and seafood! While the classic Christmas lunch mains are mouth-watering, why not shake it up and try something a little different this year? Why not try a rolled pork belly, grilled seafood platter or brie, walnut and cranberry stuffing for the turkey?

Later in the afternoon, serve up a deliciously sweet dessert. Go for a classic pavlova or something a little bit different to surprise your guests with – it’s only one day a year, so feel free to indulge.

EXPERIENCE THE FESTIVE SPIRIT AT STABLE ON THE STRAND

THE FESTIVE SPIRIT AT STABLE ON THE STRAND

Stable on the Strand, now celebrating its 17th year, is an event where guests experience the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus. It is a way for families to celebrate Christmas together each year. It is a place to feel the love, joy, peace and hope of Christmas.

Guests experience the Christmas message in story, song and festivity as they:

  • see the Shepherds minding their sheep on the hillside
  • interact with the Wise Men and their camels as they search for the ‘special’ baby
  • watch King Herod and his Roman soldiers keep civil order
  • experience the sights, sounds and smells of an old world market place
  • discover Mary, Joseph & baby Jesus in The Stable

All this is presented with live actors. Guests are always amazed by their experience. There are activities for children and a hub for teens. Children’s entertainer Colin Buchanan will feature on the main stage Tues 18 & Wed 19 Dec. He is supported by great entertainment for 4 hours each night. An ‘old style’ Carousel offers free rides.

Stable on the Strand

Where: Strand Park Townsville

When:  18-22 December 2019

Time:    5.30 – 9.30 each night

More Info: www.stableonthestrand.com

This is a FREE EVENT not to be missed. See you there!

christmas activities to do in townsville

12 CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES TO DO IN TOWNSVILLE

Looking for fun things to do this Christmas with your family? There’s plenty of local events and things you can do at home this year, and here are our top 12!


1. Make Christmas cards.

We may live in the age of iPhones and social media, but a homemade, handwritten card still goes a long way. Break out the glitter and cardboard and get crafty!

2. Create Christmas tree ornaments.

Personalise your ornaments by adding names, dates or your child’s handprints to your home-made decorations. You could even hang your child’s school photo on the tree.

3. Create a list of your favourite Christmas songs.

Collect all those timeless, nostalgic songs onto a CD or playlist and listen to them wherever you go. Music is one of the best ways to get into the festive spirit, and if you’ve picked out the tunes together, you’ll all be bopping along together!

4. Donate to the annual Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal.

This appeal raises funds to assist older members and families in the Townsville community who may need a helping hand. Why not donate and help spread the Christmas cheer this December?

5. Write a letter to Santa.

Help your children write a letter to Santa asking for whatever it is that they would like. Photocopy the letter for a keepsake, it’ll make a great memory for them to look back on in adulthood.

6. Enjoy Christmas Theatre.

Come along to this Charles Dickens classic Christmas theatrical performance and immerse yourself in the story. At PIMPAC (Pimlico High School Performing Arts Centre), Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th December, 7.30pm to 9.30pm plus one matinee performance on Saturday 9th December at 2.00pm.

7. Visit Cotter’s Markets.

What better place to find an original present for your family and friends than at North Queensland’s largest arts and crafts market? With over 150 stalls offering unique creations, you’re bound to find a special gift! At Flinders St and Townsville Bulletin Square, every Sunday 8.30am to 1.00pm.

8. Bake Christmas cookies.

This is the perfect time for seasonal baking. Get the kids involved in the kitchen and bake some delicious gingerbread men or cinnamon-spiced cookies.

9. Christmas Carols.

Sing along to your favourite Christmas songs and enjoy a sausage sizzle, puppet show and appearance from Santa and Rudolf! At Connect Church, Saturday 9th December, 4.00pm to 8.00pm.

10. Stable on the Strand.

Step into Bethlehem to experience an interactive re-creation of the traditional Christmas story. The event also features children’s activities, live entertainment and refreshments all for free. At Strand Park, Monday 18th to Friday 22nd December, 5.30pm to 9.30pm.

11. Get your picture taken with Santa.

Head down to CastleTown, Stockland or Fairfield Central before Christmas Eve to meet Santa Claus and the elves and have your child’s picture taken!

12. Leave some snacks out for Santa.

On Christmas Eve Santa is clearly going to be having a very busy night and could probably do with some snacks! Leave out homemade cookies, hot chocolate, and reindeer food (oats mixed with glitter).


 

24 CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES TO DO IN CAIRNS

24 CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES TO DO IN CAIRNS

Looking for fun things to do this Christmas with your family? There’s plenty of Christmas activities to do in Cairns and things you can do at home this year, and here’s our guide of things to do every day until Christmas!


1st – Christmas Tree Lights Switch On.

Gather around the Christmas tree at the Esplanade Lagoon and watch the lights glow up to start off the month! At Cairns Esplanade Lagoon, 5.30pm to 8.00pm.

2nd – PakMag’s Santa Morning Tea.

Come and have morning tea with the PakMag team and the jolly man in red himself. There will be festive games, fun and prizes galore! At Brothers Cairns, 9.30am
to 11.30am.

3rd – Put up the Christmas Tree.

That is, if you haven’t done so already! Getting the whole family involved in decorating the tree with glittery ornaments and glowing lights never gets old. (Check out our Home feature on page 55 for some decoration inspiration).

4th – Make Christmas Cards.

We may live in the age of iPhones and social media, but a homemade, handwritten card still goes a long way. Break out the glitter and cardboard and get crafty!

5th – Donate to the Annual Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal.

This appeal raises funds to buy hampers for older members and families in the Cairns community who may need a helping hand. Why not donate and help spread the Christmas cheer this December?

6th – Write a Letter to Santa.

Help your children write a letter to Santa asking for whatever it is that they would like. Photocopy the letter for a keepsake, it’ll make a great memory for them to look back on in adulthood.

7th – Create a List of Your Favourite Christmas Songs.

Collect all those timeless, nostalgic songs onto a CD or playlist and listen to them wherever you go. Music is one of the best ways to get into the festive spirit, and if you’ve picked out the tunes together, you’ll all be bopping along together!

8th – Get Your Picture Taken with Santa.

Head down to Cairns Central, Smithfield Shopping Centre, Stockland Earlville or Mount Sheridan Plaza to meet Santa Claus and the elves and have your child’s picture taken. Photos available daily until Christmas Eve.

9th – Redlynch Christmas Festival.

A fun-filled evening featuring amusements, kids’ activities, food stalls, and a parade! At Xavier Herbert Park, Redlynch Valley, 4.00pm to 9.00pm.

10th – Carols by Candlelight.

The biggest annual carolling event in Cairns! Bring a chair or blanket and sing along to your favourite Christmas songs. At Fogarty Park, Cairns Esplanade, 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

11th – Bake Christmas Cookies.

This is the perfect time for seasonal baking. Get the kids involved in the kitchen and bake some delicious gingerbread men or cinnamon-spiced cookies.

12th – Create Christmas Tree Ornaments.

Personalise your ornaments by adding names, dates or your child’s handprints to your home-made decorations. You could even hang your child’s school photo on the tree.

13th – Throw a Christmas Party.

What better way to get together with your friends (or the kids and their friends) than a Christmas party? Lots of games, hot chocolate and cookies, perhaps exchange some small gifts, too!

14th – Christmas Lights Bike Ride.

Bring along your festive cheer for a bike ride down the Cairns Esplanade and through Edge Hill to admire the warm glow of the Christmas lights in the area. At Cairns Esplanade, 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

15th – Prepare for Holloways Beach Carols by Candlelight.

Tomorrow evening enjoy the family-friendly Christmas Carol concert with Santa arriving on a motorbike! At Holloways Beach Sporting Complex, 5.30pm to 10.00pm, Saturday, 16th December

16th – T’was The Night Before Christmas…

Bring your own chairs and snacks and come view this magical theatrical performance to bring the Christmas cheer to your heart! At Munro Martin Parklands, 5.00pm to 8.30pm.

17th – Donate to a Local Animal Shelter.

Buy some doggy or kitty treats and toys and head down to the nearest animal shelter. The furry friends will appreciate your kindness.

18th – Go Thrill Seeking.

Bad Fishy is operating it’s thrilling jet boat rides daily during the December and January school holidays. With spins, slides, speed and stunts that are loads of fun and perfect for kids 1.1m tall and above. Local discounts apply! Gift vouchers available.

They have 20% off adults and kids tickets – Adults $55.20 (usually $69), Kids (under 16) $36 (usually $45) – and 10% off Family tickets at $175.50 (usually $195).

19th – Read a Christmas Story.

Your kids will love this special time with you. You can even extend this and read a different story every night before bedtime, leading up to Christmas.

20th – Watch a Christmas Movie.

Or if your family is up for it, extend it to a marathon! Snuggle up on the couch with pillows and snacks and watch some Christmas classics.

21st – Play Board Games Together.

An old-fashioned board game is a simple way to bring the family together. Scrabble, Checkers, Monopoly, whatever you can find in your house.

22nd – Have a Barbecue at the Beach.

Nothing’s better than a delicious barbecue lunch at the beach on a hot summer’s day, and you get to spend quality time with the family.

23rd – Head down to Rusty’s Markets.

Your big Christmas lunch and dinner is bound to taste amazing when you buy fresh local produce! Open every Friday and Saturday, 5.00am to 6.00pm and every Sunday, 5.00am to 3.00pm.

24th – Leave Some Snacks out for Santa.

He’s clearly going to be having a very busy night and could probably do with some snacks! Leave out homemade cookies, hot chocolate, and reindeer food (oats mixed with glitter).

TOP TIPS FOR CHRISTMAS PREPARATION

Christmas is just around the corner! How did that happen? Make sure you’re prepared for the big day with our handy list of Christmas preparation work.

  1. Book your pets into accommodation early if you are going away.
  2. Make sure you have your passports and all travel arrangements up to date.
  3. Start a savings account for extra food and drink costs or purchase a $20 gift card from the grocery store during your weekly shop to save for the Christmas season.
  4. De-clutter the guest room and make space for the extra gifts.
  5. Purchase your gift wrap, cards and or make your own.
  6. Get your kids thinking about what they want to give to those for Christmas (like their teachers) rather than just receive.
  7. Freeze some cooked meals for those extra crazy days in December when you don’t have the time to cook.
  8. Make a calendar of upcoming events – Christmas pageants, school functions, work parties – and organise a babysitter for the kid-free nights.
  9. Give all the indoor and outdoor furniture a good clean, especially if you are hosting a Christmas breakfast, lunch or dinner outside.
  10. Create a Christmas gift spreadsheet so you have an idea of what kind of budget you need to stick to.

What Christmas preparation does your family do?