IT doesn't get much sweeter than a fun afternoon out with the family, decorating gingerbread houses and trains with candy and confectionary, all as a way to spread Christmas cheer.
(min cost $8)
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The Gingerbread House Decorating event was held in The Uniting Church hall, on Wednesday, December 7, and saw children and families channelling their creative spirit.
Organised by Julie Fry - coordinator of Bathurst Uniting Support Services (BUSS) - and Sue Gunter, the event was created as a means to provide enjoyment for families who may find the Christmas period to be a difficult one.
"Christmas can be a hard time for people," Ms Gunter said.
"This is to provide an activity for people who don't necessarily have a lot of money or who are disadvantaged in some way, for them to come together with their family."
These connections often vary from family to family.
"It means something different to different people," Ms Gunter said.
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"There was one girl who was quite agoraphobic, so she hadn't been out ... but she came along and she had such a talent, it was brilliant for a first attempt.
"There was a dad coming out of prison, and it was a time when he had time with his family.
"Another mum with five children said that it was the first time all of her children had done something together."
All of the materials for the decoration of the gingerbreads were provided free of charge, and attendees were invited to professionally package their product once content with their creations.
"We put the gingerbread together so that the royal icing has a chance to set, so rather than having an IKEA flat-pack to take home, we hope that they've got something that stands up," Ms Gunter said.
"So when they're finished decorating, we put snow on it, which is the icing sugar sifted over it ... and then we've got cellophane and we tie it up and so it looks quite professional."
Overall, the gingerbread decorating session left all those involved feeling a lot lighter and brighter ahead of the Christmas period.
"I find it just lovely, coming from a privileged background ... interacting with people I probably wouldn't see in every day life," Ms Gunter said.
"I go away feeling happier than all of them, just seeing the joy on their faces, and just the little interactions that you have."
BUSS will also be hosting a Traditions of Christmas session on Thursday, December 15, from the Uniting Church Hall.
This session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about Christmas traditions, create their own decorations, and share in a morning tea.
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