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I love the holidays, though I’m not one to start putting up the decorations early (much to the chagrin of my devoutly festive girlfriend). I like a nice lull in between Halloween and the Christmas season; it sort of helps to build up anticipation.

In spite of my no-holiday lull preference, there’s one annual event that Scott and I have gone to for four years that, for us, really marks the beginning of Christmas in Edmonton: the Christmas Bureau’s media launch.

The Christmas Bureau invites media outlets from around the city to participate in a gingerbread house decorating contest, typically mid-November, as a way to launch their annual donation campaign. Scott and I first attended back when the event was at the Winspear. We shared the floor with other bloggers — including Mack Male and Brittney Le Blanc — and mainstream media outlets. And while there were fewer (if any) new media outlets out at this year’s event, the Unknown Studio still did its damndest to represent.

Prizes are given away for, among other things, Shameless Self-Promotion and Most Festive. The Unknown Studio has never won an award, though, because unlike other media outlets, we don’t cheat. This year, in spite of our efforts to win the Charlie Brown award, we came up short again.

Next year, we will cheat. In the, uh, spirit of Christmas.

The Christmas Bureau has been in business for 72 years, helping to ensure that the less-fortunate among us can still partake of a traditional Christmas dinner. They work with over 80 different agencies in Edmonton to make sure those in need are identified and looked after. The Bureau services over 65,000 Edmontonians in need.

This year, the Bureau’s fundraising goal is $1.8 million, and they haven’t got a lot of time to get there.

If you’re interested in donating, check out MustHaveGifts.ca (full disclosure: my employer helped to develop the website and the creative for their campaign). You can also check out @christmasbureau on Twitter and have a look at the Christmas Bureau’s Blog on Tumblr.

If you can, please help those Edmontonians who might not be able to celebrate a traditional Christmas.

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