The parish of All Saints, Burnaby is keeping the spirit of Advent and Christmas vibrant in their South Burnaby neighbourhood.
Upon arrival at 7405 Royal Oak one immediately notices that the church grounds are occupied by a charity Christmas tree lot. The trees sold on the All Saints site are for the benefit of Aunt Leah’s, a well-known lower mainland organization that supports women and children living on the margins of society in their journey to self-sufficiency; through supported housing, job training, mentoring and coaching.
The All Saints Church Hall is the site of the All Saints Christmas Sale which usually runs for two or three Saturdays during Advent and the goods are also available for purchase after Sunday worship in Advent. There were the usual accoutrements of the church rummage sale present but that is not the appeal of the All Saints Sale. In recent years half a dozen All Saints parishioners have gathered on two or three Saturdays prior to the first weekend of the sale and they assemble gift baskets.
There are small baskets, medium baskets, large and extra large. Each one of the 60-70 baskets prepared for the annual sale is different. Each basket has a theme and is geared toward a particular kind of person. There are baskets with toys that a young boy might enjoy, baskets for babies, baskets for pets and many other varieties.
One of the organizers of the sale, Nellie Porkert took time from her busy morning to talk a little bit about the baskets. According to Nellie these baskets are ideal hostess/host gifts. They are something nice to be given to someone who over the holiday season has opened their homes to guests.
Nellie reported that there was a time in the not-too-distant past that the baskets contained crafts and baking prepared by the All Saints parishioners but things have changed over the years and now the basket contents are purchased at stores, Winners being an excellent source of cups, saucers, decorations, bath items and specialty food products. The baskets were indeed appealing and very reasonably priced, $5-$30.

The other major draw for the All Saints Sale is the homemade fudge. They only prepare 10 trays for sale each season and it is AWESOME. Not fancy looking like you may see at an upscale confectioners like “Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory” but absolutely delicious.
Please make a note in or on your hard copy or electronic calendar about the 2011 All Saints Fair and don’t miss it in next year.
(In the image below the All Saints, Burnaby team: Christina Bruce, Helen Dorwoond, June Kaiser, Nellie Porkert, Norma Stephenson)