(Santa poses for a photo in front of the ‘Elf’ barn, which was decorated as a gingerbread house for the December 10 and 11, 2022 Elf Café held in Stittsville, Ontario. Photo: Mandy Hambly)
Editor’s Note: We are pleased to introduce Lucy Hambly as Stittsville Central’s youth author. Lucy, a Stittsville resident who has been composing her narratives from a young age. She is an accomplished public speaker and author. Lucy has won several competitions; namely, the Stittsville Lions Club Effective Speaking Contest in 2020; the Ottawa Public Library Awesome Authors contests in 2021 and 2022; as well as the South Carleton High School/Royal Canadian Legion Richmond Branch Literary competition in 2022 where she recently won at the zone level. Lucy is now preparing for the Royal Canadian Legion’s Ontario Regional Literary competition. At Stittsville Central, we are pleased to support the youth of Stittsville in all of their endeavours. Welcome Lucy!
As winter approaches, many businesses may begin to slow down in preparation for the holiday season. This year, however, one new event has arrived: the Elf Café, which took place in the Village Square Park barn on both the tenth and eleventh of December.
Hosted by Mandy Faulkner and Jennifer Holmes, this café was a great opportunity for families to spend some quality time together as they savoured their delicious treats. Goodies ranging from hot chocolate cookies to peppermint ice cream sandwiches were offered, ensuring that everybody had a chance to find a special holiday snack. In addition to the joy that it brought, the Elf Café was a fundraiser for the Snowsuit fund (https://snowsuitfund.com).
Many guests chose to enjoy these treats inside the barn, which was decorated with colourful lights, decorations, and standing café tables. The barn was heated, providing a temporary escape from the newly fallen snow which arrived on the second day of the event.
Even Santa showed up, waving to the passerby and attracting more visitors! Holiday backdrops and props were available for families interested in taking their Christmas photos, and there was a mailbox for Santa letters.
Despite the overwhelming success, this year was the first that the Elf Café took place.
“I have always wanted to do some sort of Christmas cafe with fancy hot chocolate and festive ice cream,” says Jennifer Holmes, who created all of the holiday treats, when asked about her inspiration behind the event. “Working with Mandy and Dan has always been so much fun, so it was only natural to reach out to them to see if they would like to collaborate with me and of course they were just as excited as me to bring something like this to the community.”
Many kids in the community were even more excited than Mandy and Jennifer about this event taking place. According to Jennifer, “The best moment from the day so far has been the look on the little kids’ faces when they see the decorations and the lights!”
Both days of the Elf Café have given community members a chance to enjoy delicious holiday snacks and time with one another. “We will absolutely be doing this again next year,” Jennifer says, giving all of us one more thing to look forward to in the upcoming year.