Christmas season begins with H.J. McFarland Home Bazaar and Tea Room

START OF THE SEASON - Acting Resident Quality Supervisor Ulana Orrick stands next to some of the trees made by residents for their annual Christmas Bazaar. (Sarah Williams/Gazette Staff)



Christmas came early at the H.J. McFarland Memorial Home, as they celebrated their annual Christmas Bazaar and Tea Room last Saturday. Members of the public were invited to attend between 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

The event featured a tea room, where slices of pie made on site, along with tea or coffee, were only $3. There was also, as with other years, a silent auction and a bazaar that boasted everything from $1 books to the bookcase itself.

Ulana Orrick, Acting Resident Quality Supervisor, spoke with the Gazette about this annual tradition.

“It’s one of our biggest events all year. This year, we’ve moved things around a little bit. We’ve opened up the auditorium to have the tea room enlarged so that there’s more room to sit and socialize while enjoying some baking from our kitchen,” said Orrick.

Light streamed through the long rectangular windows of the tea room as members of the community and residents alike shared pie and camaraderie. Running lengthwise along the windows were tables replete with silent auction donations from the community. These included a $20 gift certificate for Casa Lucia, a $25 gift certificate for Rockin’ Rogers, original artwork and jewellery among many other gifts.

“It’s kind of nice to be able to sit and watch the silent auction items and get those bidding wars going,” said Orrick. “We’ve also got a separate room for holiday shopping.”

The bazaar portion of the event featured an eclectic array of gifts at reasonable prices. Among the many gifts for sale was a wooden hutch for $25, beautiful scarves hand knit by Peggy Hallward, and wooden christmas trees fashioned by the residents themselves.

“All the proceeds go towards quality of life enrichment for the residents, primarily Christmas gifts. Every resident of H.J. McFarland gets a Christmas gift that is personal and meaningful to them on Christmas Morning. Our staff sign up to go out and shop for somebody. There’s no generic gifts-there’s something that’s meaningful to everybody. This helps pay for that,” informed Orrick.

When asked how she felt about the turnout for the 2019 event, Orrick was enthusiastic.

“So far, this year is one of our best turnouts. We’ll have to see how the silent auction goes, there are some bidding wars starting. The Christmas trees our residents made are flying off the shelves,” she enthused. “There’s not many of those left and I think we’re halfway through our baked goods, so I’d say we’re doing pretty well.”

The H.J. McFarland Home is a supported living facility that is supported by the municipality. Currently, the home has 84 long-term residents. Though the majority of these are seniors, H.J. McFarland will accept applications for anyone over 18 whose care needs can no longer be met at their own home.

The home is funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care/Local Health Integration Network, resident accommodation charges and by the Corporation of the County of Prince Edward.