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Past events in Arizona:
Christmas Tree Luncheon
Date: December 8, 2002
Place: St. Elizabeth Seton Parish Hall, Sun City, Arizona

The Lithuanian Christmas Tree luncheon was again held at the beautiful St. Elizabeth Seton Parish hall. The luncheon was hosted by the Lithuanian-American Community of Arizona. The hall was decorated with red and green Christmas decorations, white tablecloths, and a Christmas tree with Lithuanian straw ornaments. Amber jewelry, traditional sashes, dolls in Lithuanian national costumes, Christmas bells, and books were on display and for sale. Beautiful Christmas music was playing. There were hot food, cold food, desserts, coffee, and punch at the buffet. There was even an area set up for demonstrating the making of traditional straw Christmas tree ornaments for those young at heart. But, as usual, it was the gathering of over 110 wonderful guests, who came to enjoy the food, to socialize, and to celebrate Lithuanian Christmas customs and traditions, that made the afternoon memorable. The high point of the luncheon was a brief visit by Santa Claus, who rewarded the youngest guests with some early Christmas gifts.

This luncheon was a benefit for Lithuania's orphan children and our guests once again demonstrated their generosity by donating for this special cause.

Our special thanks goes to all the members of our community who volunteered their time and effort to make this event a great success: Lee Aleksa for getting us the wonderful hall; Algis Motiejunas, Vytautas Reklaitis, and Rimantas Vaitkus for setting up the hall; Ona Adomaitis and Aldona Vaitkus for providing the tablecloths; Audrone Bartys and Rima Reklaitis for decorating the hall; Milda Kvedaras for displaying her creations of amber jewelry, dolls, and sashes; Zenonas Misius for displaying bells and books; Aldona Vaitkus and Ruta Motiejunas for preparing the hot food; Ilona Budinavicius, Rita Martinaitis, Rima Reklaitis, and Aldona Vaitkus for preparing the cold food; Carol Adamavich, Ona Adomaitis, Ilona Budinavicius, Siga Eidukonis, Antonija Petrulis, and Regina Thomas with her daughters Lillian and Clara for preparing the desserts; Pastor Franklin Bartel for starting the luncheon with a prayer; Carol Adamavich, Siga Eidukonis, Rima Reklaitis, Nancy Rosano, Rasa Vaiciuliene, and Regina Widney for tending the buffet; Danguole Balceris, Ilona Budinavicius, and Sofija Palionis for demonstrating the construction of straw ornaments; Don Adamavich for being our Santa Claus; Antonija Petrulis for manning our donations table for Lithuanian orphans; Vytautas Reklaitis and Algis Motiejunas for selling the meal tickets; and Kestutis Eidukonis for being our master of ceremonies.

General view of the hall.
Milda Kvedaras and her creations.
chow line
Chow line.

Our wonderful guests.
More guests.
More guests.
More guests.
Ho, ho, ho!
With Santa's helper.
I've been real good!
Where's mine, Santa?
Next in line.

Santa's fans.

I can't see!

(photos by R. Vaitkus)