Many people are home alone and have no-one to share Christmas with, but in Dannevirke that will all change on December 25.

The community Christmas at the Town Hall has been a year in the planning, but the food is organised, the presents are wrapped, musicians are tuning up, invitations are out, 37 volunteers are ready to spring into action and even Father Christmas has promised to make a special visit.

"I've read where one in five New Zealanders can't afford Christmas dinner, so we're fortunate to have donations which allow us to spend $4000 on this very special day here," Guardian Angel, Akitio's Murray De'Admin said.

Murray and his wife Donna have been the wings beneath the Guardian Angels group, bringing the massive planning for the event together.


"We're all planned and ready and looking forward to sharing Christmas with others," Donna said.

"We want to put our love and energy into the Christmas lunch which is for people who have no-one else at home, or have a partner, but can't cook Christmas dinner for some reason."

Fellow Guardian Angel, Roly Ellis, said the re-emergence of a Dannevirke community Christmas is fantastic.

Some years ago, the Knox Church held a Christmas Day dinner in its hall, but this will be the first function of its kind in the Town Hall. And there's a real need, Frances Walshe of St Vincent de Paul said.

"We do between 50 and 60 food parcels a month, we know the need is there," she said.

About 160 invitations have been given out by various social agencies and organisations in Dannevirke, with the bulk being handled by Aroha Peakman-Walker and her team at Work and Income.

"Those invitations are simply amazing," Donna said. "The work put into them by Tararua District Council staff members, Joy and Annette in their own time, has been above and beyond what anyone expected."

The handmade invitations, adorned with gold stars and crystals, with their special red envelopes, will likely be treasured for years to come, Donna said.


Suzie Stephenson of Lavender Blue, acknowledged the huge effort the De'Admin duo have put into making this a spectacular Christmas and a happy time for the 160 who it's hoped will turn up on the day.

"We're very proud of what Donna and Murray have done," she said.

And Lynda Ellington of the Dannevirke Salvation Army said people are thrilled to have the chance to share Christmas with others.

Among the group of volunteers helping on December 24 and December 25 are Paddy and Ngaroma Driver.

"Me and the Mrs have sat at home at Christmas, just looking at each other. But this year we'll be in the thick of things helping out," Paddy said. Paddy will be MC for the day, with Ngaroma providing some of the music on the day.

With everything from potatoes, pumpkin, kumara, salads, ham, lamb, pork and chicken, with steam pudding and fruit salad and mince pies to follow, Donna said there will be a great Christmas feeling in the Town Hall.

The volunteers will also provide transport to those who need it.

And the Christmas fairy, Joy, will be decorating the Town Hall with her team of elves on Christmas Eve and in anticipation, has been ferrying decorations by the car load from her home in Woodville regularly.

Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis will help to decorate the Christmas trees.

If you haven't received an invitation, but would like to share Christmas Day with others and enjoy food, presents and entertainment, contact Donna on 06 374 3582.