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ELLEN MACPHAIL: P.E.I. Women's Institute offers ideas for gifts

['Ellen MacPhail']
Ellen MacPhail

The P.E.I. Women’s Institute board of directors extends various invitations to members and residents across Prince Edward Island during the upcoming holiday season.

The board invites all visitors to share in the festive Christmas spirit by visiting the WI Christmas treat tree, now lit at the WI office foyer at 40 Enman Cres., Charlottetown, and once again laden with candy cane treats for all to enjoy.

While visiting the tree, drop by the WI office to view Women’s Institute-themed gifts. Gift gifting is a strong part of the WI culture, and some meaningful suggestions from both branches and provincial board initiatives are available in the WI office’s shop collection. Items available include a variety of recipe books, youth cooking contest books, Christmas Treats and Treasures (an inexpensive best seller), napkins and pins to pens. Also available is a wonderful history of the Provincial Exhibition by WI member Carol MacLellan and a lovely children’s book written by past national president, Marie Kenny.

For those looking for a collection of seasonal essays about rural life on P.E.I. mentioning Women's Institute and their events, look no further than Canoe Cove WI member JoDee Samuelson’s new book, “The Cove Journal”. Published by Island Studies Press, “The Cove Journal” gathers seven years of her writing and original illustrations into a collection celebrating the passing of the seasons, the rise and fall of gardens, the friendship with neighbours and simple daily life in “the Cove.” Her book is available for sale at The Bookmark in Charlottetown or online through the UPEI Bookstore.

With the Dec. 15 deadline coming shortly, students in Grades 7-12 are invited to send in recipes containing at least three agricultural- or fishery-based ingredients to the PEIWI’s fifth annual Cooking Contest. The top entries in four categories will be selected to prepare appetizer-size portions of their recipe at the final cook-off during WI’s Founder's Day, Feb. 13. View details at

WI members and residents across P.E.I. are encouraged to once again donate a new, small unwrapped gift to the White Cross Christmas Gift Campaign, as part of the Canadian Mental Health Association of P.E.I. Item examples include hats, gloves, socks, movie or coffee gift cards, playing cards, cosmetics or shampoo. These are given to those who may be alone this time of year and have mental health or emotional issues. Gifts can be dropped off to the White Cross Program: 178 Fitzroy St., Charlottetown. Call 902-566-3034 for further information. The gift deadline is Dec. 15.

A collection of stories is also in the works. Kenny is looking to combine memories of past and present WI members who have created legacies on Prince Edward Island. The short stories are to be a maximum of 500 words. The deadline is Jan. 1. Complete details available at

The board of directors of the P.E.I. Women’s Institute, in conjunction with the Farm Centre Board, is looking forward to the annual WI levee on Jan. 1 at the Farm Centre, 420 University Ave., Charlottetown, 10:30 a.m. to noon. It will feature a mini-brunch served by two WI branches (Greater Charlottetown WI and Mount Herbert-Bethel WI). If last year’s reviews were any indication, the event will be competitive in the best refreshments category on the levee schedule.

The PEIWI board and staff wish a joyous and safe holiday season to all across Prince Edward Island.

This article is prepared by Ellen MacPhail, executive director for the PEIWI, and appears in The Guardian the second Thursday of every month. For more information on the items in this column or to join a WI branch, visit or contact the provincial office, 902-368-4860 or

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