The Children’s Christmas Puddings had its inception, in the Spring of 1965 when, spurred on by the ideals of Alex and Jean McGregor, a group of public-spirited ladies met to mix the first Christmas puddings at the McGregor home in Tokai. Their intention was to raise funds by selling them to help a needy Crèche at Raapkraal.
Each person contributed a different ingredient, and the final outcome of this first official mix was 12 large puddings – which were taken home to be steamed on family stoves, and subsequently sold. Various sponsors, amongst them Windmeul Eggs, In2Foods, Freddy Hirsch, etc., who have a long-standing relationship with The Children’s Christmas Puddings, donate some of these ingredients.
The Children’s Christmas Puddings are mixed entirely by hand, in baths, according to Mrs. McGregor’s original recipe. Many volunteers come together for a week every year to weigh, pour, count, chop, grate, carry and mix, – quite a logistical nightmare, but all performed in an atmosphere of great jollity at Vera School for Learners with Autism.
The charities that benefit from the sales of Christmas Puddings are:
Vera School for Learners with Autism
Woodside Sanctuary for children with profound mental and physical handicap
Leliebloem House for Children in need of care
Bel Porto School
Friends Day Centre
The success of this philanthropic gesture led to more ambitious efforts, and from humble beginnings, the Children’s Christmas has grown to considerable proportions. Today over 2 500 puddings are produced annually, necessitating the supply of huge quantities of ingredients namely margarine, flour, breadcrumbs, cake fruit mix, glace cherries, sugar, nutmeg, mixed spice, salt, carrots, potatoes, brandy, stout, eggs and bicarbonate of soda.
The charities involved meet annually from June to plan the mixing of the Puddings that happen in the October holidays. If you are interested in helping or contributing please contact:
Anita Reed – firstname.lastname@example.org