Decades-Old Norman Tradition Brings Food And Toys To Locals On Christmas


Tuesday, December 25th 2018, 5:23 pm
By: News 9


Norman saw a big turnout at the annual Christmas dinner. The event is a decades-old tradition for many families, and it helps them enjoy the spirit of the season. 

This is the 32nd year of the Norman Community Christmas Dinner, and for thousands of people in attendance, bringing the community together is really what the holiday is all about.

From young to old, rich to poor, everyone was welcome at the Norman High School cafeteria. Beyond the hearty meal enjoyed by all, girls and boys lined up for free toys and a talk with Santa.

Dinner director Bob Magarian says it takes more than $20,000 in donations to make this event possible each year, with hundreds of volunteers working behind the scenes. They made sure more than 300 local Meals on Wheels recipients and others who could not make it felt the love, too.

“That’s very important,” Magarian says, “because some of them are shut-ins and many of them have health problems, so we’re very happy to deliver.”

Families who did make the drive were greeted outside by Mike Gamble and his faith-based handouts. He hopes they remember this sense of community as they head into the New Year.

“I wish we could be more human through other parts of the year,” Gamble says, “take some of this that’s so special. Remember what Jesus did for us, and his message is love.”

As this event grows each year, organizers hope they can share that feeling of love with attendees, who will then spread love throughout the greater community. For the volunteers, that's a worthy reward for their hard work.

“It’s just a great pleasure,” says Magarian, “and once we’re done we feel like we’ve done God’s work.”

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