Mae’r Nadolig ar Ynys Môn wastad yn arbennig tu hwnt. Mae’n gyfnod pan mae’r naws o gymuned sydd i’w chael yma ar yr ynys yn amlwg. Mae nifer o farchnadoedd a gweithgareddau Nadolig gwych wedi’u cynnal yn ystod y dyddiau oer a stormus yr ydym wedi bod yn eu dioddef ar Ynys Môn yn ddiweddar, a chefais y pleser o ymweld ag amrywiol ardaloedd a dathlu gyda channoedd o drigolion lleol.
Christmas on Ynys Môn is always incredibly special. It is a time when the community spirit here on the island really shines through. Many fantastic Christmas markets and activities have braved what have often been cold and stormy days recently on Anglesey, and I have been delighted to visit all corners of the island and celebrate with hundreds of local people.
One of my favourite Christmas activities took place on the first day of December this year – my visit to the winners of my annual Christmas Card competition!
The winning design this year came from ten-year-old Alecia Hughes from Ysgol Llanfawr. Her gorgeous design included a red dragon wearing a very jolly Santa hat, a Christmas tree with presents beneath and both Merry Christmas and Nadolig Llawen written on the card. Visiting Morawelon to present Alecia with her £20 book token and framed card was my second visit to Ysgol Llanfawr in as many months and it was such a delight to see the staff and students again.
I also visited my runners up - Tyler Hughes (age 9) from Ysgol Y Tywyn with his design of a Lighthouse with Christmas lights, ornaments and a Santa sleigh pulling a Nadolig Llawen banner, and Graihagh Gwenllian Dawson (age 8) from Ysgol Caergeiliog with her design of a red dragon and a Christmassy outline of an Ynys Môn map. I presented each with a framed card and a £10 book token and loved revisiting the staff and pupils of both schools.
I would like to thank the team of volunteers delivering my cards around Ynys Môn. Almost 3,000 cards are being delivered across the island and I am grateful to my fantastic friends who have helped with this mammoth task!
The Christmas lights in towns and villages across Ynys Môn have been particularly splendid this year. Holyhead’s huge Christmas tree donated by Cefn Coch is festooned with white lights and the Christmas parade was excellent as always.
The light switch-on event at Beaumaris was fabulous – forming part of the Victorian Christmas Weekend which included a parade, fancy dress competitions, carriage rides, Santa’s grotto, artisan stalls and more. I particularly enjoyed meeting Moose the ‘reindeer’ donkey and visiting the Elf School in St Mary’s and St Nicholas’s Church
In Llangefni we stood in the frosty night air singing carols accompanied by the Menai Bridge Brass Band and Hogia ‘Bodwrog and enjoying treats from local food producers. It was a magical event and my panad and welcome from Lyfli Jybli kept me warm. It was also an opportunity buy Christmas gifts and support local businesses; thank you Tania at Craft-T Personalised Gifts for the brilliant cooking aprons for my brothers twins.
When it comes to Christmas Fairs, Ynys Môn’s fantastic artisans and producers never fail to impress. I also visited excellent fairs like Llangoed Village Hall and even brought guests from the US Embassy and Washington to the fair at Catch-22 in Valley. We are fortunate to have fantastic craftspeople and cooks on Anglesey and Christmas is a great time to show your support for them. A special shout out to Ifan and the Lamia team at the butchers in Bodedern for my turkey and Bob Bonwick-Salisbury for the delicious homemade Christmas cake with mounds of marzipan – the younger Crosbie’s are especially thrilled!
Christmas is also a time to think of all those who give their time and efforts for us – whether as volunteers or in paid service. People working in the police, health services, delivery services, food banks, and others, work hard to life better for so many people. Christmas can be particularly challenging for many of us and that makes their jobs even more important at this time of year.
Every year I make a point of visiting as many of these groups as I can. This year I popped in to see the Police, Delivery Office and JobCentre Plus teams in Llangefni to thank them for their work. Earlier in December I was pleased to be able to celebrate one member of our local police force who goes above and beyond her remit working in Holyhead.
I invited PC Lisa Thomas to the Local Community Safety Champions’ Reception at 10 Downing Street to recognise her work with the local Heddlu Bach. Under this scheme Lisa currently has 40 primary school age children learning about policing and taking part in challenges. Her last team won £1000 for their school when they won the summer challenge.
It was a pleasure to take Lisa through that well-known black door to Number 10 where she met with the Security Minister, Tom Tugenhat, and other community champions.
I visited the Coastguard team in Holyhead and the RNLI in Beaumaris to thank them for their hard work keeping us safe at sea. Their work is particularly important on Ynys Môn and they have faced very challenging, multi-agency situations over the past year.
Whilst in Holyhead I also popped in to thank the CAB, JobCentre Plus and the team at the Fire Station who were recovering from their Children’s party complete with bouncy castle!
Of course, no Christmas on Anglesey would be complete without my regular gig with Santa in Cemaes Bay. This fabulous event includes food and drink, music, stalls (thank you Kate at Island Breeze Designs for my gorgeous decorations!) and the wonderful Santa (Keith Owen) arriving with the Search and Rescue team instead of the more traditional sleigh and reindeer!