Going into the holiday season without the usual celebrations is going to be difficult for many, but the Campbell River Community Foundation and its partner groups have come up with a creative way to celebrate the holidays while still staying safe at home.
The foundation is holding an interactive event they’re calling “Hug in a Box” on Dec. 20. The event is a stand-in for their annual fundraising event. People can purchase a box filled with holiday goodies from local businesses to be delivered to their home on Dec. 20. They’re then able to tune in to a live-streamed interactive event that will cover everything from baking cookies to singing holiday carols.
”It’s a virtual experience with a bit of a twist. The concept is to bring the tastes, smells and sounds of Christmas into people’s homes,” said Laurel Cronk from the Campbell River Community Foundation.
Those who want to participate can do so by purchasing a ticket to either just the livestream or can purchase the hug in a box and the livestream ticket at the foundation’s website. Participants are encouraged to dress in cozy clothes and to enjoy the full sensory holiday experience.
The main draw for the event is an interactive cookie baking lesson from More Eatery. One of the gifts included in the Hug is cookie dough, which people are asked to bake to get the special smell of baking holiday cookies. As the cookies bake, people are invited to crack open the bottle of Krupnik (a polish spiced honey spirit) from Wayward Distillery which Cronk describes as “basically Christmas in a bottle,” and get ready for a night of holiday entertainment.
“It’s going to be singing: beautiful songs from different people with Amy Lelliot, a voice teacher, dance: CR DanceXtreme is working with us, storytelling: we’ve got some pretty prominent people in the community who are going to be telling stories,” Cronk said. “It’s a gift to the community. We’re all going to be in lockdown, so it’s a way for us all to connect, and it’s something we all really need right now.”
Tickets to the event are available at the foundation’s website. Though the Hugs sold out within four days, those who are interested in participating in the livestream can buy tickets for $15. All proceeds go to the foundation. The website also has tips to help create an extra special evening.
“It’s the longest night of the year. It feels like that’s a good time. It’s on Sunday Night, so it’s kind of a cozy time. When they get the box, inside will be a card that will invite people to dress in cozy clothes, light the candle, turn on their kettle, get all set for it and then watch it,” Cronk said. “I think the biggest thing is the community connection and the way that people are just embracing this. We all need it. We all need something.”
This story has been updated.