By Jordan Gerard

Editor, The Caledonia Argus

A little Christmas spirit goes a long way for a small community affected by a worldwide pandemic. 

Caledonia establishment Elsie’s Bar and Grill is once again offering their Christmas Day meals and looking forward to serving the community. 

“We are just making sure that everyone has a good meal and has some happiness in their lives when times are tough for a lot of people,” Elsie Babler, owner, said. 

Though diners will not be able to congregate in the restaurant this year, Elsie’s is offering pick-up and delivery. Delivery is not only limited to Caledonia, either. 

Thanks to plenty of volunteers with big hearts, Babler said they can deliver to Caledonia, Spring Grove, Brownsville, Houston, Hokah, Eitzen and Mabel – or just about anywhere a meal is needed. Delivery is available every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

“We’re lucky enough to have enough volunteers with big hearts and they’re here to help,” she said. 

Dinners will be available on Christmas Day, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. People can call ahead and inform the restaurant with the number of meals they will need. The meal is a free-will donation and people can also donate desserts for the dinners. 

This is the 13th year Elsie’s has done the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. They served over 200 meals on Thanksgiving.

In addition to hosting Christmas dinners, Elsie’s was not one to ignore the lack of a Christmas parade this year (cancelled due to COVID-19), and since the parking lot is not currently in use, the restaurant is hosting its first-ever Christmas walk-through event. 

The free Friday night event features live music by Joe and Jackie Cody, who volunteered to sing Christmas songs; a live nativity scene, Santa and Mrs. Claus waving to kids, the Grinch, hot chocolate for kids and Lee Babler’s homemade Tom and Jerry’s beverages. One more Friday night event will be held on Dec. 18, from 5 to 7 p.m.

“[We’re] doing that just to brighten up some spirits in town. The whole pandemic thing has put a damper on a lot of things,” Babler said. “We’re hoping it catches on to other businesses next year and do it throughout the whole town.”

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