Just where or how the tradition began is something that can’t be readily answered, but there seems to something about Christmas and new pyjamas.
While many people will find themselves sporting a new Christmassy-themed pair or ones with their favourite cartoon or superhero, there won’t be jammies under every tree.
Nitara Waghmare, a member of Corner Brook Regional High’s Next Step group, says every child should have a pair of pyjamas on Christmas. The humanitarian group focuses on doing things for the community and, after contacting the Salvation Army about contributing to the toy hampers it does up every Christmas, the students learned about the need for pyjamas.
While there are usually lots for younger children, the Salvation Army doesn't get as many donated for those aged nine to 16.
Last week the group held a Pyjama Palooza to collect new pyjamas to go in the hampers. Even though they accepted pyjamas for all ages, the group centred its efforts on the older age group.
On Wednesday, Waghmare, a Level 3 student, and four other members of the group dropped off 103 pairs of to the Gingerbread House at the Valley Mall. Toys and other items dropped at the house go to the Salvation Army for distribution in the hampers.
Waghmare was feeling great after the group dropped off the boxes of pyjamas.
“It’s really such a warm feeling to know that we’re helping some kids in the community just to have a better Christmas.”
That warm feeling is something Jane Ash knows a lot about.
As the Salvation Army’s community ministries worker, she helps to make sure that families in need have food and gift items for Christmas.
As she looked at the boxes of pyjamas around the Gingerbread House, Ash said the donation would make a huge difference.
“Parents struggle sometimes all through the year, but most importantly at Christmastime there’s not a parent that doesn’t want their child to have a happy Christmas and a merry Christmas and giving gifts is a part of that.”
But when they don’t have the funds, Ash said that is a challenge.
That’s why seeing the students and the community step up makes her happy.
She said the pyjamas collected by the students will go a long way in meeting the needs, and the Salvation Army will purchase more to fill the toy hampers.
Some numbers on giving
The Salvation Army in Corner Brook started its distribution of Christmas food and toy hampers on Wednesday.
By then it had received 654 requests for food hampers and 365 requests for toy hampers. The Salvation Army fills toy hampers for families on the north and south shore of the Bay of Islands and the Massey Drive and Mount Moriah areas and for those with children 13 and over in Corner Brook. The Corner Brook Fire Department fills hampers for families with children up to 12 in the city.
The Salvation Army will to take requests for hampers until Dec. 22, and will do its best to meet any need that comes up after that.
The Valley Mall helps with the collection of items for the hampers by setting up a Gingerbread House in the shopping centre where toys and other gift items can be placed.
This year donations to the Gingerbread House are up 49 per cent.
As of Dec. 8 1,250 gifts had been dropped off. At the same time last year the number was at 837.
On Dec. 9 the Corner Brook Royals asked fans to bring along donations of mitts and gloves and toques to its game and 380 items were collected.