Parent Council President Alexis Carlson tidies the tables of presents-in-waiting between student visits at the bazaar. She said seeing the pride in each student's eyes as they picked out presents for their family was inspiring.

Parent Council President Alexis Carlson tidies the tables of presents-in-waiting between student visits at the bazaar. She said seeing the pride in each student's eyes as they picked out presents for their family was inspiring.

Bazaar provides Christ King students opportunity to play Santa for families

When parents and siblings of Christ King Catholic School wake up on the morning of Dec. 25 and peer under the Christmas tree, there...

When parents and siblings of Christ King Catholic School wake up on the morning of Dec. 25 and peer under the Christmas tree, there will be a special surprise for them – a present chosen by their child.

The second annual Christ King Christmas bazaar took place last week, providing students with an affordable opportunity to purchase presents for people in their family. At $2 a present, children were able to pick something for mom, dad, brothers and sisters without one of the parents supervising or helping pick the present.

“It went really, really well,” Alexis Carlson, parent council president, said. She helped man the tables of the bazaar, along with other parents. “The idea was brought to us by one of our parents.”

The myriad number of presents are donated to the school’s parent council, which runs the event. Individuals, school parents and local businesses, all contribute to the bazaar’s heaping table of potential gifts, ensuring there’s a wide range from feminine gifts to masculine ones, for young children and older.

“Each child can bring in $2 for each person they want to buy a gift for,” Carlson noted. “They get to shop, and pick their own presents for their moms and dads and brothers and sisters.”

Though it may seem a small thing to an adult, buying presents is extremely important to the children.

“I have two children in the school,” Carlson said. “This year, and last year, they got to buy presents for us and their siblings. They have so much pride, because they picked it out themselves. They helped wrap it. There’s so much pride in being able to pick something out for your parents.”

While the sluggish economy did result in less donations than last year, Carlson said said other sponsors stepped up their game, including Canadian Tire, one of their major sponsors.

“This year, our donations were down a little bit,” Carlson admitted. “Canadian Tire filled that need for ‘Dad-stuff.'”

One specific “Dad-stuff” present was utterly decimated at the gift table, Carlson noted with a laugh.

“I think every dad is going to get one of those this year,” she said – keeping the type of present a secret so as to not spoil any child’s Christmas surprise.

Donations that aren’t purchased by the end of the bazaar have multiple fates in store for them. Some go to Superfluity, where they’ll be sold and the money put back into the community, while others end up being saved for the following year. Some left-over donations make their way into the school’s classrooms, where they’re used by students as learning aids.

The event, which wasn’t started as a fundraiser but instead to provide an opportunity for children to spread the Christmas spirit by becoming a Santa Claus themselves, still brings in a tidy profit for the council.

Though a final tally wasn’t available, a rough one indicates the bazaar brought in more than $800.

Some of the money goes to buying gift bags and wrapping paper for the presents, Carlson noted, but the rest goes into the council’s coffers.

The money is then used to subsidize the cost of activities at the school, such as swimming lessons, trips and other extracurricular activities.

Every student in the K-9 school was provided with an opportunity to take a peep at the bazaar, which was set up in a room next to the school’s gymnasium. The only ones to miss out this year were those out with the flu, which is making the rounds in Stettler’s schools.

“There wasn’t very much left over,” Carlson said. One of the items left over was a two-foot-tall Batman that was donated.

“We can’t really put that out,” Carlson said with a laugh. “It’ll just start a fight.”