By Nadine Cafaro
What better way to celebrate Christmas than a community Christmas party consisting of a tree lighting, yummy soup, hot chocolate, caroling and a warm bonfire?
Pine Bush residents Sarah Gailie and her husband Robert Gailie decided to throw a Christmas party last year for local residents in need of Christmas presents during the holidays. Determined to help out their community, they reached out to local organizations and ended up hosting around 60 to 70 people. Now Christmas is around the corner, and they want to do it again.
The idea for this event originally came from a possible community Thanksgiving dinner last year. “I envisioned doing a Thanksgiving dinner that would involve the community. I grew up in a big family and my wife grew up in a big family so we always had places to go, but not everybody has that opportunity. We thought it’d be a nice thing to be able to create an event for people that don’t have a place to go, so we brought it up with some of our other family and it was a little too late last year, so it ended up getting pushed into a Christmas party,” said Robert Gailie.
This year’s Christmas on the Farm event, which will take place on December 11 at 4 p.m. on 531 River Rd. Montgomery, will be a little more than just giving out Christmas presents. The Gailies reached out to a group home full of kids in Newburgh this year as well as posting on Facebook to hopefully create an even greater turnout.
“We encourage people that don’t have somewhere to go [during the holidays] to come have a bowl of soup and hang out with us. [We can] sing carols and make new friends,” said Sarah Gailie.
Last year the pair worked with non-profit group Operation Dalmatian, an organization that brings together schools, organizations, local businesses, churches and the Walden Fire Department to buy gifts for families and children in need. Sarah Gailie mentions her family started Operation Dalmatian, and they’ve been serving Walden since 1999.
Both Sarah and Robert Gailie volunteer as much as they can, mostly through their church, Goodwill. However they also help with Operation Dalmatian and volunteer wherever they can. “I just helped out serving food at a women’s ministry the other day,” said Sarah Gailie.
The Gailie’s extended family is also helping with the event, including Sarah Gailie’s mother, aunts and uncles. There is a barn on the farm that is owned by Sarah Gailie’s Aunt Sue, who donates it for this event.
“We had a guy messaging us saying that he hasn’t had a family for the last 10 years and it’s just been him on Christmas. He’s really looking forward to speaking with people,” said Sarah Gailie.
All are welcome to this event but are asked to RSVP so the Gailies can have enough soup to serve. Reach out to Sarah Gailie on Facebook or at 845-800-0551 to reserve your spot for this fun Christmas-themed event.