The WI Christmas Event 2022 – ‘Christmas Is Coming’

Posted February 27, 2023 by WI Staff in Event Reports

One of the most popular Federation events on the WI calendar is the Home and Garden Sub-Committee’s famous annual Christmas Event!  On Saturday 3rd December, ladies from Institutes across the province gathered in the Armagh City Hotel – feeling festive and ready to party!  The theme for this year’s event was ‘Christmas Is Coming’ – and it had certainly been a long time coming, after a hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a much more scaled back event running in 2021.  The Home and Garden Sub-Committee members were delighted to be bringing Christmas back, this time to Armagh, bigger and better for 2022!

An action-packed programme had been organised, with 4 guest demonstrators showcasing their talents –  including a fabulous floral art demo from Kathryn Stafford from The Posy Barn, who got everyone in the mood for Christmas with stunning seasonal centre pieces, wreaths and floral arrangements galore; a fabulous fashion showcase by designer, textile artist and TV star Angeline Murphy (Angeline Murphy Design) of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee fame; and a cookery presentation focusing on making the most of meat during the festive season with chef Ronan McLaughlin of Linden Foods and Wendy Donaldson of The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC).   Ronan told us, “I was thrilled to be invited to cook for The Women’s Institute of Northern Ireland. We all see how much they give to their communities, so it’s great for Linden Foods to support this event. Families are conscious of food waste now more than ever and, with this in mind, we came up with two recipes to utilise left over roast beef, one winter warming dish with a twist and another fun party food recipe for all the family.”


A delicious festive lunch was served and there were plenty of shopping opportunities, with variety of stalls to tempt the ladies into starting their Christmas shopping early! For the Competition, entrants were tasked with designing and making a homemade Christmas cracker. The overall winner was Diana Thompson of Ballyclare WI who was awarded the prestigious Romanian Platter.  Congratulations to Diana! Well done also to our runners-up: 2nd – Mary Crothers of Kells & Connor WI and 3rd – Inez Richmond of Armoy WI.  There were even more prize winners later in the day when the raffle was drawn, with lots of bit and pieces up for grabs.


Another talking point at this year’s event was the special Christmas tree on display, adorned with some of the knitted hats, gloves and scarves created by WI members.  These knitted items, along with many more, were later donated to The Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul for distribution to those most in need this winter.

As the day drew to a close, Federation Chairman Margaret Broome thanked Home and Garden Sub-Committee Chairman Teresa Feeney and her Committee members for organising such a brilliant event.


Here are some snapshots of a great day out…


Federation Chairman Margaret Broome presenting the Romanian Platter to Diana Thompson of Ballyclare WI, winner of the Christmas Event Competition, with runners-up Mary Crothers of Kells & Connor WI and Inez Richmond of Armoy WI.



Designer Angeline Murphy (far left) in her gorgeous Vogue V9021 dress, along with her husband and baby daughter, and some of our WI ladies – Home and Garden Sub-Committee Chairman Teresa Feeney (2nd left), Federation Chairman Margaret Broome (centre) and Executive Member Sandra Ledlie (right).



One of Angeline Murphy’s striking textile designs on display.




Say it with flowers – Kathryn Stafford from Waringstown based business The Posy Barn, with some of her exquisite floral art.



Federation Chairman Margaret Broome with LMC’s Wendy Donaldson and Linden Foods chef Ronan McLaughlin who both showcased a selection of cost saving Christmas culinary delights, including the BBQ beef Christmas tree pictured!



Pictured (L-R) at the WI Christmas Event: Home and Garden Sub-Committee Chairman Teresa Feeney, Federation Vice-Chairman Kathleen Verner, LMC cookery demonstrator Wendy Donaldson, Federation Chairman Margaret Broome, chef Ronan McLaughlin of Linden Foods and Federation Treasurer Sheelagh McRandal.



Several Santas enjoying the cookery demo!



Big smiles at the Christmas Event from these two members of Maghaberry WI.



Executive Member Joan Beattie with Newtownstewart WI members Irene McFarland and Valerie McConnell. 



Ballyclare WI members got together for this great day out in Armagh.




Ballievey WI members enjoying lunch at the Christmas Event.



Home and Garden Sub-Committee Chairman Teresa Feeney posing proudly beside our very special Christmas tree, which was adorned with hats, gloves and scarves – all knitted/crocheted by WI members!  The items on display here are just a very small selection of what members donated to The Family Appeal run by the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul.




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