Childcare Christmas idea just keeps on growing

By Tessa Johnstone tessa.johnstone@age.co.nz


The tinsel is hung, the gingerbread house up, and the blue Christmas tree is on its way - there will be plenty of festive spirit on Queen St this year.

The team at Masterton Christian Childcare are decorating the old Vault store in Masterton, transforming it into a Christmas wonderland for children and families.

Supervisor Suzie Wilmshurst said last Christmas the staff took children for a walk down Queen St to show them some of the Christmas decorations, and found there was not a lot to be seen.

So instead, they set up a room at the Centre, packed full of Christmas decorations and activities which the children loved.

"There was absolute amazement ... it was very simple but as good as we could do on a week's notice. They just buzzed, really buzzed. This time, the team decided to go bigger.

"The seed was planted - we thought, we can do this and we can do it bigger."

Over the past few months they have gathered and made thousands of Christmas decorations, all of them donated along with use of the space and the power they will use.

They will be setting up different areas in the space, including a bloke's Christmas, a retro Christmas, a romantic Christmas and a nativity scene.

There will also be some activities for children, and Santa should be along for some photo opportunities.

While nothing is for sale, they are using the opportunity to boost the earthquake-strengthening funds for St Luke's Church - entry is a gold coin donation.

The Christmas Wonderland is open from 10am to 5pm, from December 1 to 21 depending on volunteer availability.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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