Parkwood’s Museum Volunteers recreated one of the Christmas cheer traditions of Sam and Adelaide McLaughlin. Inspired by archival information and recollections of former McLaughlin household staff, volunteers assembled Parkwood Christmas Cheer gift bags, which will be distributed with the help of YWCA Durham. Museum volunteers canvassed local businesses for donations of gift items, where they met with generous and enthusiastic response. The McLaughlins helped establish the YWCA in Oshawa in 1945, with the gift of the large residence known as Adelaide House, now home to the YWCA Durham Second-Stage Housing.
McLaughlin gifts of cheer once included fine soaps, chocolate and a carton of cigarettes! Volunteers wisely updated the bundles by swapping cigarettes for more chocolate, and then added fine soaps and other beauty products.
They also tucked a small house plant into each gift bag, to recognise another McLaughlin gift tradition of plants from their greenhouses.
The parcels were carefully wrapped and made festive by the Parkwood Museum Volunteers. To the right, tubes of lipstick are being tied onto the shower gels for presentation. The museum volunteers were pleased to assist with the project, referencing the merchants who willingly contributed to angels, and keen to learn of the project, but also the historic relationship between the YWCA Durham, Adelaide House and the McLaughlin Family.
The gift bags were delivered by our volunteer elves to the YWCA Durham on December 11.
Parkwood wishes the women of second stage housing a merrier and right Christmas.
Parkwood thanks Shoppers Drug Mart, Trade Secrets, Williams Chocolates, Avon, Freshco, Home Depot, Loblaws, Metro, for their generous support for Parkwood Christmas Cheer.