Madi Hewton’s father will be opening a picture frame on Christmas morning, and it’s a gift that should allow him to save some time in the morning when he gets ready for work.

“I bought my dad this [picture frame] because he goes to bed early, and then in the morning he can look at us instead of coming in and peeking at us,” Madi said.

The Grade 5 Nicola-Canford student was able to purchase gifts for her parents, brother and sister thanks to the school’s time-honoured holiday tradition known as the Christmas Bonanza.

The PAC-organized event involved students taking turns last Thursday to shop for donated gifts on display in the school’s gymnasium.

Items from picture frames to books to games to all sorts of housewares were laid out for shoppers to peruse, and available for a mere 25 cents each.

Once they made their selections, the children took their items to the wrapping station where a lineup of volunteers were on hand to wrap them up, leaving the gifts ready to place under the Christmas tree.

“Not many people have lots of money, so it’s a nice way for [the students] to be able to give a gift at Christmas time when they would probably never be able to go and buy their own gift at a retail store,” PAC president Selena Voigt said.potestio_bonanza_web

Volunteer gift wrapper and parent Sheree Ewalt said she noticed looks of thoughtfulness set on the children’s faces at the Christmas Bonanza last Thursday.

“It’s nice to see their enthusiasm about it,” she said.

“It would definitely change a parent’s point of view, that’s for sure. We rush and we bake, and we’re zombies by the time Christmas comes around — and we all work — and the kids just go about it in such an easygoing way.”

Grade 5 student Jersi Emmerick bought a candle, trinket and some bowls at the bonanza — gifts she intends to give to her parents and grandparents.

She said she enjoys shopping at the bonanza because she can buy gifts for her parents without them seeing what she’s getting them.

Nicola-Canford Elementary School secretary Lori Dodds said the tradition is all about kids getting to put a gift under the tree they brought home on their own.

Voigt said even kids who didn’t have a quarter got to leave with gifts as the event is about children being able to give a gift at Christmas.

Voigt said while the event is not intended as a fundraiser, whatever money collected from the Christmas Bonanza goes toward Nicola-Canford’s breakfast program.