Few things in this area feel more like the holidays than the Yelm Lions Christmas Store, which will take place again this year at 9 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 9.
This community event allows children to shop for free at the Yelm Lions Cabin to pick out gifts for their parents, grandparents and guardians.
“Kids are just delighted when they are here,” Yelm Lions organizer Christina Garcia said. “They have smiles on their faces, and their eyes get so big when they realize they can pick whatever they want. It’s just sheer delight, and they always look forward to coming down, getting their parents gifts, and then eating pancakes at the end.”
Children and their parents are invited to the Yelm Lions Cabin, also known as the historic Carlson Cabin, on the corner of Yelm Avenue and Edwards Street. Parents are seated in a waiting area that will be in full view of their children at all times and offered refreshments while elves and Lions volunteers help their kids finish shopping. Afterward, the whole family can sit down for pancakes.
“Half of the kids want to show their parents their gifts before it gets to the Christmas tree,” Garcia said.
The Yelm Lions Club needs extra donations this year after depleting their supply of gifts and other items from the previous year. There is still time to make a cash, gift or supply donation to the Lions by calling 360-480-9126 or emailing email@example.com.
“It’s a really cool event,” Garcia said. “It’s one of my favorites, and we keep going year after year. This is the 12th annual, and the only year we couldn’t do it was COVID. It’s a community favorite for sure.”
Garcia, who will be in the kitchen making pancakes for the event, said she likes how the store is open to all families and children. There isn’t a specific need requirement, and it’s become a way for the community to celebrate Christmas together while kids get a cool experience, as well.
“There are so many kids in the community who otherwise wouldn’t be able to give gifts for their parents, and we let them choose whatever it is they want,” Garcia said. “But I also love that it’s not just for families in need but for all families. The community has enjoyed coming together for the pancake breakfast and just enjoying time together. You see so many different people walk through the door in so many different circumstances.”
The gifts are varied, and the Lions try to keep the value under $10, so a wide variety of gifts can be provided. They can include wallets, key chains, jewelry, bath items, candles, stocking hats, socks and more.
Mayor Joe DePinto will also be out at the cabin to greet the community and hand out candy canes as well.