LAKE GEORGE - Christmas Day Dinner at Caldwell presbyterian Church was a a convivial event awash in goodwill and a spirit of community, according to volunteers helping conduct the event.
A total of 35 people attended the annual dinner. Those attending were primarily residents of the town and village of Lake George. Folks from other nearby communities also participated.
Eight volunteers worked to plan and present the event, with all but two from the church congregation.
Volunteer and church member Alex Parrott said the dinner was intended for residents of the area that either did not have family nearby to share the day with, or people who simply wanted to observe the holiday and share time with others in the community.
The 2010 meal included two turkeys, a ham, an extra turkey breast, and traditional side dishes of sweet potatoes, winter squash, dressing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and deviled eggs. A few of the attendees brought food dishes.
The dinner, for which there was no charge, was concocted from donated fixings and ingredients.
Parrott added the church's Christmas Dinner tradition was launched eight years ago by Caldwell Presbyterian parishioner Helene Horne, who had earlier shared thoughts with her daughter about providing a meal on Christmas for people in need. About 25 attended the first dinner, and in the years since, attendance has grown.
The meal, which included grace offered by the Rev. Tom Parsons of Lake Luzerne, plenty of socializing as well as a banquet of home-cooked food, lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, Parrott estimated.
"People shared good conversation and everybody had a great time," said Parrott, who prepared the potatoes.
Parrott said some people reported they were hesitant to attend in prior years because of its free status, but when they attended, their concerns receded.
"It was a community event that bonded people together," he said. "The more people found out about this, the more relaxed they were about it."