The countdown to the Dannevirke community Christmas Day lunch has begun.
The invitations have been made, the venue is about to be booked, the menu has been decided, Santa is about to be recruited and the fundraising has begun.
Donna and Murray De'Admin are the driving force behind the Guardian Angels who host the Christmas dinner.
They came up with the idea after spending the previous Christmas with Murray's aunt who lived in a rest home. They were affected by the loneliness of others at Christmas.
From there came the idea for a community Christmas lunch that anyone could attend.
"It's for everybody across the board, those who would be on their own on Christmas Day or who are unable to cook for themselves for whatever reason. It's about companionship," Murray said.
"Last year 160 people were invited to attend but we ended up feeding 170. This year we are looking to invite 200 people."
With a larger number of diners comes added cost.
"We'll need to raise a bit more money this year," Murray said.
"It costs around $5000 to put on the dinner."
Last year's shopping list was made up of three large hams, 14kg of lamb, 12kg of pork, 40 chickens, 50kg of new potatoes, 20kg of peas, 30kg of kumara and the same amount of pumpkin, 200 dinner rolls, 30kg of potato salad, 15 lettuces, 20kg of tomatoes, 20 capsicums, 12 bunches of spring onions, 35 Christmas puddings, 15 large pavlovas, as well as cream, fruit salad, strawberries, dressings, sauces, tea, coffee and fruit juice.
Murray said the community was generous in the amount of food that was donated and so far Brian Hales has said he will donate 12 legs of lamb.
It wasn't just in donating food that the community showed its generosity. All the gifts that were given out on the day were donated by council staff, Property Brokers and the Dannevirke Library.
This year people attending the dinner will be handed a card that they will swap for a gift.
There will be a gift for everyone, Donna says.
MC for the day will be Paddy Driver and entertainment will be provided by Pete Tairea and Tom Kamura.
The hall will again be decorated by Joy Kopu who stunned last year's guests, not only with the hall decorations, but also with the tables which were beautifully set.
The fundraising has been kicked off by Guardian Angel Annette Finlay, who incidentally also hand-made the invitations.
She has put together 10 raffles for which tickets have already gone on sale. They range from platters, to vouchers to pamper and games packs. All the raffle items have been donated.
A Scottish Festival was held at the Dannevirke Services and Citizens Club yesterday (Sunday) and this was the first of the fundraisers.
A second one will be held on November 10, starting at 2pm, and will also be held at the club.
It's a bingo afternoon and all the money raised will go toward the Christmas dinner.
New to Guardian Angels is Matilda Panchaud, a Year 10 student at Dannevirke High School. She will be running a sausage sizzle at the Dannevirke Tennis Club in the lead-up to Christmas and will also sell raffle tickets.
She wants to use the money to make Christmas crackers for everyone attending the dinner.
Donna De'Admin said Matilda was the newest and youngest Guardian Angel.
"It's very encouraging to have someone so young wanting to help. There certainly is a loving concern within the community."