From the CHS mailbox...

Good afternoon,

My name is Wendy Ripmeester - a volunteer with "Step into Christmas" Live Experience; a free interactive performance where guests take an outdoor tour of the town of Bethlehem as it was on the night of the very first Christmas, 2000 years ago. 

“Step into Christmas” is fast becoming an annual holiday tradition for many families in Orléans – and with good reason, too: there’s no other experience like it in the city! I thought that members of your community association would be interested in learning about – and might be interested in attending – this historically-based performance, now in its fourth year of production. Please consider this our invitation!

It’s quite the production – and a labour of love – by the volunteers who put it on. The performance includes over 40 actors, live sheep and a donkey, 3 costumers and a 15 person construction crew that takes 12 hours to set up wooden structures outdoors, including two Bethlehem markets, the Inn, the synagogue, and the stable. The costumes and script have been researched to provide visitors with glimpses of the daily life and customs back then.

Last year’s performance attracted over 500 people over two evenings, with many drawn from all over Orléans and beyond to the bright spotlight lighting up the night – our Bethlehem Star over the stable. And the seven-member hospitality crew served over 100 dozen cookies with hot chocolate and apple cider to warm guests up inside after their tour.

There is no cost for admission, however, non-perishable food and cash donations to the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre food bank are gratefully accepted. To see photos from past events and testimonials from "Step into Christmas" visitors, visit

This year, "Step into Christmas" will take place on the evenings of Friday, November 30 from 6:00-8:30 pm and Saturday, December 1 from 5:00-8:30 pm at Redeemer Alliance Church, 4825 Innes Road

You can find the event here: Watch our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @RedeemerOrleans for more details as we get closer to the event.

I hope many community members from greater Orléans will "Step into Christmas" with us!

Wendy Ripmeester, on behalf of "Step into Christmas"