PRATT — The 2019 Taste of Christmas at First United Methodist Church earlier this month was a sold-out success with proceeds to benefit several local nonprofit organizations, said Genny Schmidt, who has co-chaired the event with Jeanette Garretson since its inception more than a decade ago.

“We always have a sell-out, which is great because it’s our main fundraiser,” Schmidt said. “We decorate 22 tablescapes that seat eight guests each.”

It takes two full days to do the setup, Schmidt said.

The tablescapes reflect Christmas-related themes, designed by each hostess, who also provides the table decorations.

Schmidt said more than 70 church guild members are involved in preparation for the event which annually hosts 176 guests in the church fellowship hall.

“It takes everyone, but it’s fun for us and everyone always enjoys sampling a variety of Christmas foods,” Schmidt said. “It’s a beautiful, relaxing evening with Christmas music in the background. It sets the tone for Christmas season.”

The food samplings are served at the tables in courses, with appetizers such as miniature meatballs, followed by main-course sampling of meat-and-veggie skewers and a variety of tea sandwiches, followed by mini-desert courses.

Included in the local charities that receive funds from the UMW Taste of Christmas fundraiser are the Pratt Food Bank, Hope Center, Circles and Pratt Ministerial Alliance.

“It’s a highlight of the Christmas season for many and it brightens the season for us because we’re giving back to the community,” Schmidt said.