Christmas dinner tradition continues

Dolly F.H. Stevenson of Athen's, Vt., left, and Janice Konna of Naugatuck, right, trade dishes during the annual Joy of Christmas Dinner at St. Michael's Church in Naugatuck in 2005. This year’s dinner is Christmas Day, Dec. 25, from 12 to 2 p.m. –RA ARCHIVE

Dolly F.H. Stevenson of Athen’s, Vt., left, and Janice Konna of Naugatuck, right, trade dishes during the annual Joy of Christmas Dinner at St. Michael’s Church in Naugatuck in 2005. This year’s dinner is Christmas Day, Dec. 25, from 12 to 2 p.m. –RA ARCHIVE

NAUGATUCK — For the better part of three decades, volunteers have been coming together to ensure no one has to be alone on Christmas. That holiday tradition is alive and well in the borough.

The parish hall at St. Michael’s Church, 210 Church St., will again be the setting for the annual Joy of Christmas Dinner. The dinner will be served from 12 to 2 p.m. on Christmas Day, Friday.

More than 400 pounds of turkey, 200 pounds of potatoes and hundreds of pounds of vegetables will be served up Friday. All are welcome to share in the holiday cheer free of charge, said Mike Kelly, a member of the committee that organizes the annual event.

“We want people to have a place to go and not be alone,” Kelly said.

Dinners will also be delivered to residents of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls who can’t make it to the church on Christmas, Kelly said. More than 400 meals, including 200 deliveries, were served last year, and Kelly anticipates the same amount of meals to be served this year.

Those who want a meal delivered can call Kelly at (203) 723-1640 or (203) 509-3087 before Christmas to sign up for a delivery.

The dinner is put on completely by volunteers, many of which return year after year, Kelly said. The committee is always looking for more volunteers to lend a helping hand.

Volunteers are needed to help peel potatoes and vegetables, as well as help set up the hall, on Christmas Eve, Thursday. Anyone who wants to help can come to the hall from 8 to 11 a.m. Kelly asked those who come to bring their own peelers and knifes, if possible.

Volunteers are also needed on Christmas to serve food, deliver meals and help clean up. Servers are asked to arrive at 10 a.m. Delivery drivers are asked to come at 10:30 a.m. Volunteers are needed at about 1:30 p.m. to clean up.

The committee is also seeking donations of baked goods for dessert. No cream-based desserts can be accepted, because the committee doesn’t have the space to refrigerate them. Desserts donations can be dropped off on Thursday from 8 to 11 a.m. at the church.

Kelly said the committee is also accepting monetary donations to help maintain the annual dinner. Anyone who wishes to donate can contact Kelly for more information.