About Christmas in St. Michaels
Christmas in St. Michaels was established in 1987 after a group of energetic volunteers saw the immediate need for the community of Bay Hundred located in St. Michaels, Maryland. The community lacked a daycare in the town, so the volunteers set out to raise funds for a daycare center. “The founders met an immediate need in 1987 and began a tradition of giving that continues today”, Pat Martin the President of the Board of Directors for Christmas in St. Michaels said. She continued to add that the organization has donated over $1.4 million since its inception to local organization. Most of the fundraising dollars are raised during the weekend of holiday festivities that bring Christmas joy to local residents and visitors.
Christmas in St. Michaels’ Mission
The mission of Christmas in St. Michaels is to continue to support the daycare center as well as to provide resources to local nonprofit groups, all in order to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Bay Hundred Community. Christmas in St. Michaels has surely lived up to its mission, over the years the organization has donated its raised funds to the St. Michaels Community Center, Bay Hundred Community Pool, St. Michaels Fire Department, and many more. All used to create a better community for the people of Bay Hundred and St. Michaels.
The Christmas in St. Michaels organization is able to raise funds by offering festive events during one weekend in December. The festive weekend is filled with events like a street parade and a boat parade, breakfast with Santa, holiday meals, Santa Dash and more. These events even bring in the visitors for these must-see traditions. All while supporting a great cause and raising money for the local community and residents of Bay Hundred.
Meet Pat Martin, President of the Board of Directors
To learn more about Christmas in St. Michaels, Pat Martin, the President of the Board of Directors, had some great insight as she has been regularly involved in the organization since 1998. Pat put forth a great effort to be part of the community when she purchased a second home in St. Michaels in 1989. In those early years she had attended the events, conversed with neighbors, people of the community, and soon enough, in 1991, her home was on the house tour.
When she was asked what the most rewarding part of her job is, she said, “Being part of the camaraderie of the various volunteer groups; being able to disperse grant monies to the charitable organizations; and partnering with the business community.” However, there are some challenges in the position as well, like making sure that there are enough volunteers to cover the mission and hoping that Mother Nature participates, so that more visitors and community members can attend the festivities to increase the fundraising dollars. Overall, helping the community of Bay Hundred and St. Michaels is the most important piece which is why it’s important to have more visitors and community members at the events each year..
Partnering with Beacon Design
Christmas in St. Michaels started their first ornament of their annual ornament program in 2004. The organization decided that they would partner with Beacon Design for their ornament program as Beacon is the official White House Historical Association’s annual ornament manufacturer. “The committee was impressed by the quality and craftsmanship, they also found the process from start to finish was smooth and easy”, Pat said. The yearly custom ornaments are used to assist the organization in raising funds each year for the various activities as well as the dispersing of grants to businesses and other community organizations.
The partnership between Christmas in St. Michaels and Beacon Design has been strong since 2004 and Pat attributes that to working with Beacon Design’s team as “a complete joy.” She continues to say that her questions are answered immediately, our design team helps to explain why a certain design might not work well, and that overall, the conversations are respectful, courteous, and timely.
Building Lifelong Collectors
Creating a custom ornament annual program allows the organization to build lifelong collectors, visitors or patrons alike that may seek out the custom ornaments each year just to build along their collection of an organization they believe in. Christmas in St. Michaels has created an annual ornament program that they use to help fundraise the dollars for the events as well as the grants that they use to help the community. The annual ornaments are sold in local shops, at their events, and on their website, since they’re sold in multiple places it helps the organization to sell to the customers in a variety of ways.
The custom ornament annual program goes over well for the visitors and customers, Pat said, “the reaction is positive.” She goes on to describe their 2021 annual custom ornament as a replicate of an antique fire engine that is owned and used by the local fire department at community events. Pat continues, “we ordered 1,600 pieces and have 43 left, which is a great year!” In the future Pat is hoping that the organization can have many new ideas for the events as well as keep the weekend relevant and current for the participants. Through the years, the organization has done a great job at selling out many of their events by keeping them relevant, fun, and current for the visitors and community.
Celebrating with the festivities that Christmas in St. Michaels sets up is fun for the whole family, the holiday meals, holiday music, and variety of parades keeps people engaged for the whole weekend. Whether you’ve celebrated Christmas in St. Michaels, or dreamt of it, you can visit this beautiful community on the second weekend of December each year to embrace all the festivities that the organization offers.
To learn more about creating your own custom keepsake program for fundraising, click here.