As the holidays begin, a Delhi family continues to bring the spirit of the season to their community, as they combine food, gingerbread houses and a visit from Santa Claus into an event that brings family and friends together.
For the past six years, Jay and Carina Singh’s Christmas party has been a highlight for their community. It’s a spirited night about togetherness and family, which became possible through the drive of a husband and wife who experienced a tragedy and transformed it into a special night of smiles, drinks, food, and family and friends.
The gingerbread competition, ugly sweater contest, toy drive, and meet and greet with Santa Claus that are now synonymous with the event were meant to be the traditions for their baby to grow up in, however, after a tragic turn which saw the loss of their baby, the traditions would grow into a shared event with their family and friends in the community.
“That’s how it started. It was just trying to make a tradition we wanted our child to have. Turns out to be that it wasn’t happening, but we kept it going with the spirit of family and friends and every year it grows and it grows,” said Carina Singh.
Every gingerbread house gets fresh baked by the Singhs and their family throughout the week as the days lead up to the big event. Each one carefully constructed for eager kids who would swarm around the Delhi Veteran’s Memorial Building on Saturday in excitement and wait in anticipation to craft and design a winning gingerbread house. The main event of the night is the arrival of Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus, played by Carina Singh’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law. They made a jolly entrance and surveyed the craft gingerbread houses before sitting down for the meet and greet with the kids.
“This is one of the best things ever, every year. My wife, she’s the main the driver, and I’m just the back wheel that just follows her and does whatever she needs me to do,” said Jay Singh.
“She is amped up. Around this time of the year, she is just a different person, on a different level. She’s the kind of person who loves to please people, especially kids and families,” he added.
Even with no kids of their own to entertain with the festivities, the Singhs holiday efforts and charity come at their own expense to the benefit of the kids in the community. They fund the party every year, and, at most, ask guests to bring a dish to the party and a donation for the toy drive. The toy drive generates dozens of gifts for different charities each year, with previous beneficiaries including the Children’s Crisis Center in Turlock and the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.