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Christmas giving tradition continues for Grand Falls-Windsor family

The Tibbs family, Danielle (back left), Chris (back right), Declan (bottom left) and Xander (bottom right) have a Christmas tradition they are hoping more people get behind. They deliver turkey dinners with all the fixings to families in need during Christmas. During their third annual project this year, they are hoping to deliver 50, and are challenging people who can, to deliver just one.
The Tibbs family, Danielle (back left), Chris (back right), Declan (bottom left) and Xander (bottom right) have a Christmas tradition they are hoping more people get behind. They deliver turkey dinners with all the fixings to families in need during Christmas. During their third annual project this year, they are hoping to deliver 50, and are challenging people who can, to deliver just one.

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, N.L. — There’s nothing like the smell of a turkey cooking on Christmas Day.

The Tibbs family in Grand Falls-Windsor have a challenge for residents far and wide. They are hoping you, wherever you are, will help spread some Christmas cheer this holiday season – with turkey and all the fixings.
The Tibbs family have kick started their third annual Christmas turkey dinner project in memory of Chris Tibbs’ Nan, Jane Budgell, and they would like anyone who is able, to do the same.
“If anybody thinks it’s a good idea, take $35, $40, go buy a turkey dinner, and give it to somebody you know,” Chris said. “If you can get more people to do it, not just us, it would alleviate so much for so many people.”
In 2014, after the passing of Chris’ grandmother, his wife, Danielle, had an idea that she was going to put a little fork that said ‘From Jane Budgell’ on a turkey to give to a family in need. Chris suggested maybe adding vegetables, which soon turned to the full dinner, and dessert and then gifts.
“Christmas for years, even back when we were kids, you seen it getting commercialized, and it just wasn’t enjoyable,” Chris said. “It was a Christmas tree and see how many things you can put underneath that tree. Wake up in the morning and an hour later it was gone, you go back to bed and that was it.”
Christmas seemed to get into a smaller and smaller window every year, Chris said.
“So we said, what if we can drag it out over a month and a month before Christmas we put it out that we want to help,” he said.
The first year they did it on their own, and delivered 23 turkey dinners.
“Last year I lost my job at the beginning of the year so Christmas was tight for us,” Chris said. “I said we were going to do one, and 36 hours later we had donations from all over the island, from friends in Chicago, it snowballed from there. We ended up doing 31.”
Danielle said they have so much support, including a couple of donors who give very generously but do not want any mention whatsoever. And it’s surprising to see other people who give.
“It’s the people who don’t have a lot to give who give the most,” she said.
Last year the family began delivering dinners at 5 a.m. Christmas Eve. And after a huge donation from Green Valley Farm after their dinners were packed, Chris set up on the mall parking lot giving away vegetables while Danielle did last minute Christmas shopping before delivering dinners again until 10 p.m.
That day is a family affair, the couple always take their boys, 11-year-old Declan and nine-year-old Xander along to help as well.
“It’s very important to take the kids with us,” Chris said. “It was nice to see people who were in need get what they needed. The smiles on their faces when they came to the door, the kids, the hugs.
“It’s almost like a selfish thing because honest to God, we get more out of it then the people actually do. I know it might sound like a cliché but it’s not.”
The tradition comes with stories and many memories.
With each dinner they give a card, signed the Tibbs family. One year they delivered a dinner as a gift. Two weeks after Christmas, they got a phone call. The man on the other end said, “I’m really sorry but you got the wrong house. The family you delivered it to have moved away and I’ve been in Florida for two weeks.” The turkey and veggies were still left on his front step.
The turkey was still frozen so Danielle said enjoy the turkey, however, he wasn’t sure what to do with the two boxes of Legos. She suggested he find someone to pass them on to.
“The people you meet, you don’t realized how interesting people can be,” Danielle said. “Everybody has a story. As much as you think you are unique, you’re not. Everybody has their own situation, their own unique aspect of life and their own way to deal with stuff.”
The tradition also brings back many Christmas memories, including those of Chris’ grandmother, who was all about the turkey dinner, and Danielle’s childhood as well, which is one reason why the couple does not cook the dinners for the families.
“I want the smell of turkey going through their house on Christmas day,” Chris said.
Danielle said they can also feel better cooking their own turkey and peeling their own vegetables, all in their own homes.
“I grew up Sunday mornings with the pot being put on…Mrs. Doubtfire was a normal Sunday morning ritual when you peeled your vegetables to have your turkey dinner,” Danielle said. “That’s something that I can honestly say I think about when we think about any time we cook a turkey dinner.”
With Chris back to work for two months, and donations coming in, the couple is hoping to be able to provide the turkey and all the fixings to make that Sunday dinner smell through 50 homes this year.
They are asking people throughout the Exploits Valley to nominate themselves, or others, with a promise that everything is kept confidential.
“The economy is horrible right now so this year is probably going to be more important than any other year,” Chris said.
Nominations can be sent to Chris on Facebook, or by email tibbschris@hotmail.com.

The Tibbs family in Grand Falls-Windsor have a challenge for residents far and wide. They are hoping you, wherever you are, will help spread some Christmas cheer this holiday season – with turkey and all the fixings.
The Tibbs family have kick started their third annual Christmas turkey dinner project in memory of Chris Tibbs’ Nan, Jane Budgell, and they would like anyone who is able, to do the same.
“If anybody thinks it’s a good idea, take $35, $40, go buy a turkey dinner, and give it to somebody you know,” Chris said. “If you can get more people to do it, not just us, it would alleviate so much for so many people.”
In 2014, after the passing of Chris’ grandmother, his wife, Danielle, had an idea that she was going to put a little fork that said ‘From Jane Budgell’ on a turkey to give to a family in need. Chris suggested maybe adding vegetables, which soon turned to the full dinner, and dessert and then gifts.
“Christmas for years, even back when we were kids, you seen it getting commercialized, and it just wasn’t enjoyable,” Chris said. “It was a Christmas tree and see how many things you can put underneath that tree. Wake up in the morning and an hour later it was gone, you go back to bed and that was it.”
Christmas seemed to get into a smaller and smaller window every year, Chris said.
“So we said, what if we can drag it out over a month and a month before Christmas we put it out that we want to help,” he said.
The first year they did it on their own, and delivered 23 turkey dinners.
“Last year I lost my job at the beginning of the year so Christmas was tight for us,” Chris said. “I said we were going to do one, and 36 hours later we had donations from all over the island, from friends in Chicago, it snowballed from there. We ended up doing 31.”
Danielle said they have so much support, including a couple of donors who give very generously but do not want any mention whatsoever. And it’s surprising to see other people who give.
“It’s the people who don’t have a lot to give who give the most,” she said.
Last year the family began delivering dinners at 5 a.m. Christmas Eve. And after a huge donation from Green Valley Farm after their dinners were packed, Chris set up on the mall parking lot giving away vegetables while Danielle did last minute Christmas shopping before delivering dinners again until 10 p.m.
That day is a family affair, the couple always take their boys, 11-year-old Declan and nine-year-old Xander along to help as well.
“It’s very important to take the kids with us,” Chris said. “It was nice to see people who were in need get what they needed. The smiles on their faces when they came to the door, the kids, the hugs.
“It’s almost like a selfish thing because honest to God, we get more out of it then the people actually do. I know it might sound like a cliché but it’s not.”
The tradition comes with stories and many memories.
With each dinner they give a card, signed the Tibbs family. One year they delivered a dinner as a gift. Two weeks after Christmas, they got a phone call. The man on the other end said, “I’m really sorry but you got the wrong house. The family you delivered it to have moved away and I’ve been in Florida for two weeks.” The turkey and veggies were still left on his front step.
The turkey was still frozen so Danielle said enjoy the turkey, however, he wasn’t sure what to do with the two boxes of Legos. She suggested he find someone to pass them on to.
“The people you meet, you don’t realized how interesting people can be,” Danielle said. “Everybody has a story. As much as you think you are unique, you’re not. Everybody has their own situation, their own unique aspect of life and their own way to deal with stuff.”
The tradition also brings back many Christmas memories, including those of Chris’ grandmother, who was all about the turkey dinner, and Danielle’s childhood as well, which is one reason why the couple does not cook the dinners for the families.
“I want the smell of turkey going through their house on Christmas day,” Chris said.
Danielle said they can also feel better cooking their own turkey and peeling their own vegetables, all in their own homes.
“I grew up Sunday mornings with the pot being put on…Mrs. Doubtfire was a normal Sunday morning ritual when you peeled your vegetables to have your turkey dinner,” Danielle said. “That’s something that I can honestly say I think about when we think about any time we cook a turkey dinner.”
With Chris back to work for two months, and donations coming in, the couple is hoping to be able to provide the turkey and all the fixings to make that Sunday dinner smell through 50 homes this year.
They are asking people throughout the Exploits Valley to nominate themselves, or others, with a promise that everything is kept confidential.
“The economy is horrible right now so this year is probably going to be more important than any other year,” Chris said.
Nominations can be sent to Chris on Facebook, or by email tibbschris@hotmail.com.

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