The Community Christmas Tree Party has been a Sandwich tradition since at least the Great Depression in the 1930s. Even the oldest folks in town can't remember a year when this party didn't happen. In the thirties and forties, the local girl scouts, under the direction of Helen Ingles and others, decided to make gifts, put on a skit, sing carols, and have a party for all the children in town. Over the years many individuals and groups have kept this tradition alive. Lee Webb was the Head Elf for 30+ years; and she convinced the Sandwich Woman’s Club to sponsor the annual party.
As you read this, elves are active in our community. Thanks to their efforts, all children from birth through grade three will receive mesh bags of fruits, cookies, candy canes, and gifts of hand-sewn clowns, and/or a small toy or book from Santa. Older kids (grades 4-6) at the school will find gift baskets in their classrooms on Monday. Older kids wishing to attend the party may volunteer to sing, dance, serve as elves, or be reindeer.
If you know of a family who has moved into Sandwich, or who has had a new baby or child come into their lives in the last year, please let Head Elf, Diane Johnson (284-7168) know the names and years of birth so that correctly labeled gifts will be in Santa’s bag . Children who live in Sandwich on the weekend are also invited. Grandchildren can be accommodated.
Families who do not celebrate Christmas may request that the gifts not be wrapped or wrapped in something other than Christmas paper. They can even make arrangements to pick up the gift after the party if they wish. I is the intent of the committee to include all children who are in town in this event of hospitality and good will. Gift bags will be delivered to those unable to attend the party.
The Sandwich Woman’s Club is a civic and social organization that serves the women and children of Sandwich. Members meet four times a year for lunch, an interesting speaker or program, and a short business meeting. The ladies raise funds for book and supply money for college students from Sandwich and sponsor the annual holiday party for all children in Sandwich. Woman of all ages in Sandwich and environs are welcome to join. The club is run by a membership of nearly 80 women and an executive board. Regular meetings, programs, and luncheons in are held on Wednesdays in March, May, September and December at local restaurants.
Funds are raised by a summer raffle held during Old Home Week, a snack bar during the Old Home Week Art Show, and by dues and donations. Annual dues are $10. Donations are always welcome (Sandwich Woman’s Club, PO Box 48, Center Sandwich, NH 03227).