A Claus for celebration
Special to the Enquirer/Kim Shivers
Guests enjoy a special tea party with Mrs. Claus at Graves Grocery in Lacey’s Spring. Mrs. Claus reads stories, sings songs and shares light refreshments with the party guests.
Local woman hosts Christmas tea party
By Lauren Jackson
For the Enquirer
Some lucky children found themselves on the nice list a little early when they were invited to a tea party with Mrs. Claus Dec. 14. The holiday tea took place at Graves Grocery in Lacey’s Spring and welcomed about 14 children from the community.
Pam Turney has owned Graves Grocery for the past six and half years and said the event is the second of its kind she has hosted. She said she was inspired by a similar event that her daughters attended in Fayetteville 15-20 years ago. Turney said she wanted to bring the magic of that event to Morgan County for local children.
“We went there for several years in a row, and it was such a delightful Christmas experience for me and my girls,” Turney said. “Ever since I have had the store, I have wanted to recreate that.”
The children were greeted by Mrs. Claus and invited in for refreshments, story time and Christmas songs. Turney said the event brought many families out to enjoy the season, and this year there were more than double the children from last year.
“Last year it was fun and a good experience, and I wanted it to be even better this year. It was just so wonderful; I had a great time,” Turney said. “There was lots of mothers and grandmothers, and we even had one father.”
The children snacked on ham and cheese sandwiches, apple slices, petit fours and popcorn while Turney read them stories such as “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” in which a little girl writes to a newspaper to ask if Santa is real.
Turney said she took the opportunity afterward to share the true meaning of Christmas by comparing it to the story.
“It was everything centered around whether she believed it was the truth or not. She didn’t get to see Santa, but she believed in her heart that it was true. I told them we might not be able to see Jesus or God face to face, but He is very real, and it is up to us to decide to believe that,” Turney said.
The children also sang songs with Mrs. Claus and enjoyed door prizes.
The event is one of many Graves Grocery hosts each year. Turney said she wants the store to be a place to enjoy community fellowship.
“I have always had a heart for ministry and love people. I have been able to host some things here that have given me the opportunity to create spaces and events for people to be a part of,” Turney said. “We have music, family movie nights, community Thanksgiving dinners and more.”
Turney said Mrs. Claus will be returning next year, and the best way to find out about current events at the store is to follow Graves Grocery on Facebook and Instagram.
“I always try to have events that will draw people together,” Turney said.