MES seeks items for student Christmas gift bazaar

Courier file photo Milltown Elementary School in St. Stephen is looking for donations for its Christmas Bazaar where students shop for gifts for parents and siblings, paying just 25 cents per item. It was a busy sport last year as students made their selections.

St. Stephen – Christmas shopping is daunting to most people, but when you’re a kid, with little spare cash, it can be downright disheartening.

But not for the students at Milltown Elementary School. For the third year in a row, the school will host a Christmas Bazaar where the kids can shop for Christmas gifts for their parents and siblings at affordable prices – 25 cents per gift.

Cathy Halstead, the MES community schools coordinator, said the school will host its bazaar this year on Tuesday, Dec. 20, with a storm date of Dec. 21. Each class is escorted by its teacher to the bazaar where the students eagerly browse the donated items offered for sale. Purchases are made and the gifts are then taken to another area where volunteers help the students tag and gift wrap them.

Halstead said the school is currently seeking donations of items that would make suitable gifts for Dads, younger siblings and teen siblings.

She encouraged anyone who wanted to do some late spring cleaning to bring the unused and unopened items to the school where they will be included in the gifts offered to students during the bazaar.

Items suggested for Dads are aftershaves or deodorants, socks, ball caps, coffee mugs, key chains, tools or “men gadgets or fishing stuff.”

Gifts for kids could include stuffed toys, costume jewelry, toy cars and “teen suitable” items.

The school also welcomes donations of gift bags, wrapping and tissue paper, tape and gift tags.

Halstead said the bazaar takes the focus off receiving and puts it onto giving.

“The kids are excited about what they are giving,” she said, explaining in addition to buying presents, the students all have to make coupons for their parents “of something not material.”

“They write coupons for doing the dishes, cleaning their room, taking out the garbage. The emphasis is not just on material items.”

Anyone with items to donate to the bazaar for the children to purchase is asked to bring them to the MES office during school hours.

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Journalist Kathy Bockus is based in St. Stephen and has worked for The Saint Croix Courier as a general news reporter and feature writer for the past 15 years. She began her lengthy newspaper career in 1974 with a daily in Saint John. Bockus says she always jokes being a reporter is a licence to be nosey, but firmly believes that everyone has a story to tell. She can be contacted at 321-0759.