22 July 2022

Small Canberra business gives the gift of Christmas to disadvantaged and special needs children

| Evelyn Karatzas
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under the mistletoe

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Canberra. Photo: Under The Mistletoe.

A Canberra business is returning with its second two-day Christmas in July event to raise much-needed funds for the Canberra Special Children’s Christmas Party, an event catering to special needs children and their families.

In Gold Creek, Under The Mistletoe has been operating since 2020 and has expanded many times, leading to the development of its large retail store and online presence.

Under The Mistletoe owner Jenny Brogan said it had always been her dream to open the “magical store”.

“With the support of my husband, my dream became my reality,” Jenny said.

“Christmas is our favourite time of year, so why not celebrate it twice. Our vision is to create a Christmas in July wonderland where families and friends can come together to have fun, celebrate and feel festive whilst we raise money to give back to the community.

“The Canberra community has given us so much support and we always wanted to give back.”

In 2021, Under The Mistletoe ran its first Christmas in July event, spanning over two days, where more than $15,000 was raised for the Canberra Hospital Foundation.

Jenny said the aim was to go “bigger and better” this year with fire pits, a Christmas gin bar, Santa appearances, Disney princess visits, large activations and plenty of delicious festive food and drinks from Sweat Pea Catering.

“We’ve always been very passionate about giving back. Our first Christmas in July event last year was amazing and we had so many people come through,” she said.

“This year we have teamed up with a new charity – Canberra Special Children’s Christmas Party, which is known Australia-wide, and they put on a big Christmas party for underprivileged children, children of domestic violence and children with disabilities, and they buy all these toys for the children who wouldn’t necessarily receive toys and things for Christmas.

“It was just a great charity to hear about, and just really shows what Christmas is all about, and we’re really happy to partner with them this year.”

Under The Mistletoe will donate 10 per cent of all sales made during July to the charity and 20 per cent of all sales during the two-day event.

Under The Mistletoe’s event in Gold Creek, running from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm Saturday 23 to Sunday 24 July, will feature new vendors, plenty of entertainment and lots of food.

Jenny said she aimed to attract close to 1,000 people to the event.

“We have Sweet Pea Catering as our food-and-drink vendors and they will be doing fully loaded hot chocolates, spiced mulled wine, turkey sliders, Christmas ham and Christmas biscuits,” she said.

“There will also be a Christmas gin bar, local performances and kids’ face painting.”

Elsa and Anna from Frozen will also make an appearance both days from 10 – 11:30 am, Santa will visit from 12:30 – 3:30 pm and best-dressed competitions and raffles will offer great prizes.

Jenny said fundraising and giving back to the Canberra community was amazing.

“We’re still a small business, it’s just me and my husband, and so we’re very excited,” she said.

“We’re really hoping that we can smash last year’s goals with the support from the community.

“For me being from England, to be able to celebrate Christmas in July and when it’s cold feels really nostalgic to me. It feels more like Christmas.”

To RSVP and find out more about the free two-day Christmas in July event, visit Under The Mistletoe.

Original Article published by Evelyn Karatzas on Riotact.

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