Best Christmas ever

Guests in attendance at the 'Craft and Brew' event, hosted by the Best Christmas Ever team "Always Stay Kind and Humble," made their own Christmas-themed shelf sitters at Oldenburg Brewing Company on Tuesday, Nov. 19. Photo by Casey Ek

Best Christmas Ever, a nonprofit that helps families who are down on their luck through no fault of their own have fulfilled Christmas celebrations, made its way into the Belle Plaine area.

Jodi Boisjolie the leader of “Always Stay Humble and Kind,” a fundraising team within the organization, and her cohort hosted the “Craft and Brew,” a social evening of crafts and shopping at Oldenburg Brewing Company in Belle Plaine on Nov. 19.

The event invited the public to make their Christmas-themed shelf while enjoying a beer at the local brewpub. Guests also had the chance to bid on several silent auction items and various items for sale, including jewelry and home decorations.

The proceeds from the event will go toward presenting less-than-fortunate families with custom and unique gifts for Christmas. Families are chosen based on nominations. The organization accepted nominations for this year’s Christmas distribution through Nov. 15, but the fundraising for next year is already underway.

“I wanted to pay it forward,” Boisjolie said of her involvement with Best Christmas Ever. “I’ve always been into fundraising. I’ve done a lot of fundraisers locally and around the area, so I just felt this was definitely one I wanted to keep the ball rolling with.”

Boisjolie, whose family has once benefited from the Best Christmas ever program while she was battling breast cancer, stated that the program has the power to change lives and stated that the holiday season, in particular, inspires people to get on board with it.

Best Christmas Ever surprises select nominated families with items on their wish lists, often at their doorstep. Boisjolie stated that the surprise is one of the best parts of the program.

“It’s easy to go out and just buy a gift, but putting a smile onto some of those families’ faces is priceless,” she stated.

Named for the last words of Boisjolie’s dying grandmother said to her children, the ‘Always Stay Humble and Kind’ team is presently attempting to get the Best Christmas Ever program to blossom in Scott, Sibley and Le Sueur Counties.

On Dec. 15, the team will host a fundraiser called ‘Stuff a Pig, Buy a Pig, Smash a Pig,’ which will involve receiving donations from Belle Plaine businesses who are vying for the chase to smash a large piggy bank.

The group also plans to put out Christmas trees with labeled ornaments at Matt Saxe Chevrolet and Buick in Belle Plaine as well as  MN Valley Vet Services in both Le Sueur and Arlington. 

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