Secret Santa: Community Edition # 1

For many, the focus from everyday life turns towards the spirit of giving during the holiday season. This year River Market invited ten citizens from New Westminster to shop for gifts on River Market’s dollar. Many would say these citizens are actively engaged in making this wonderful city better each day. These individuals were tasked to hand pick each item which they thought would make a great gift and their only parameter was that they had $50 to spend. Once they were done their shopping, they would wrap the gift and deliver it to an organization of their choice in New West.

First up was me! Jen Arbo, co-owner of Tenth to the Fraser, perpetual volunteer, and 2016 Citizen of the Year.

Shopping for my Secret Santa recipient!
Shopping for my Secret Santa recipients!


I chose to shop for the staff at the Seniors Services Society. I really admire the hard work they do with our community’s elders and wanted them to have a few nice treats to share as a team.


What did I end up buying?


  1. Tortas – Canteen & Supply – Laura tells me they are by far her favourites, and they are hand made. Sound amazing.
  2. Nice Soap – Jolene’s Natural Soap Works – I’ve bought Jolene’s products before and really enjoyed them.
  3. Hand Lotion – Jolene’s Natural Soap Works – I thought this hand lotion might be a nice pick me up with the lemon verbena scent.
  4. Cheez Poofs – Donalds Market – because who doesn’t love a good cheezie poof?
  5. Prosecco – Paddlewheeler Liquor Store – I chose this rosé prosecco because it was such a great colour
  6. Shortbread – Pamola Bakery – this is one of my fave treats at River Market – loves these little checkerboard shortbreads
  7. Scratch and Wins – Paddlewheeler Liquor Store – you never know, right?
  8. Toffees – Canteen & Supply – love these toffees. So buttery!
  9. Mink – Mermaids Choice Chocolate Bar – Canteen & Supply – These bars are small but packed with so much decadence! I love them.
  10. Gummi Bears – Donalds Market – because no good time is complete without some Gold Bears!

River Market also asked me what I’d ask for if someone was shopping for me and I’d like some BC Ferries gift cards so I could visit my family on Vancouver Island more often, and I’d love it more if people felt compelled to donate the money to their own favourite charities.

The Seniors Services Society team getting their gift!
The Seniors Services Society team getting their gift!