THE GROWING community of Houlton is stepping into Christmas with a host of Covid-secure celebrations to spread joy around the neighbourhood.
The area’s annual Community Advent Calendar has returned for the third consecutive year, in which a resident reveals a festive window display each evening.
Residents, friends and families can follow a festive trail map around the estate within their family bubbles, and see each unveiling on Houlton’s social media platforms.
Organised by local resident and member of the Diocese of Coventry, April Gold, the trail includes the Houlton Visitor Centre, The Tuning Fork, The Barn, St Gabriel’s CofE Academy, and April’s home at the Vicarage – as well as lots of other residents.
This year, all homes hosting a display will also donate a food parcel to Rugby Food Bank to help support local families in need, in place of residents gathering for refreshments as usual.
Father Christmas also paid a surprise visit to the community when he greeted children on their doorsteps, while staff from Houlton master developers Urban&Civic delivered Christmas gifts.
Galina Bardarska from Urban&Civic said: “This year has been a challenging time for us all, and we’re incredibly proud of how residents have pulled together to support each other and the wider Rugby community.
“We are dedicated to helping build a strong sense of community at Houlton and normally organise a host of activities and events throughout the year. Although we were unable to hold traditional events this Christmas, we were still determined to celebrate safely with the community.
“The Community Living Advent Calendar is a lovely way to bring festive cheer and spread some much-needed joy throughout the neighbourhood, and we hope families will enjoy a winter walk to see the displays.
“As well as a socially-distanced visit from Santa Claus, we will be sharing lots of activities and festive fun on social media, so keep an eye on our Facebook page and get involved.
Houlton’s Community Advent Living Calendar maps can downloaded from Houlton’s Facebook page. Visit www.houltonrugby.co.uk for more information.