A Gracious Christmas Set for December 6

The women of First Presbyterian Church will host their annual A Gracious Christmas on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at 520 Washington Ave.

This year’s event will feature three speakers: John Davis, local florist who has been awarded Best Florist from both Savannah Magazine and Connect Savannah each year since 2007; Jesse Blanco, host of Eat It and Like It on WTOC-TV; and Johnathon Scott Barrett, Savannah cookbook author of Rise and Shine: A Southern Treasury of Food, Family and Friends and Cook and Tell: Recipes and Stories from Southern Kitchens.

In addition there will be a marketplace featuring live wreaths, potted Amaryllis, fresh arrangements, small Christmas decorations, a silent auction and bake sale. A gourmet lunch by chef Kirk Blaine of Howlin’ Hound restaurant on Waters Avenue and Castaways in Sandfly will be served.

Davis, long a favorite of Savannah brides, began his career early. By age 18 he was making Valentine’s and Easter arrangements for customers out of his home. In 1988 he purchased a small shop in the heart of Savannah, and he has been pursuing his passion ever since.

Originally from Miami, Blanco first moved to the area in 1999 to accept a job as a television sports anchor on WSAV-TV. After television jobs in Nashville and El Paso, he returned to Savannah in 2008. His love of food led him to a food blog (initially called You’ll Eat It and Like It as homage to moms of picky eaters) and then to a TV show and a newspaper column.

Barrett a native of Perry, GA, has called Savannah home for 30 years. A CPA, he moved into nonprofit management in the late 1990s. He serves as vice president of statewide operations for Junior Achievement of Georgia. He traces his love of cooking back to his family’s seven generations of farm-to-family food traditions. He is the author of two cookbooks that combine stories of Southern food and family.

All proceeds from A Gracious Christmas will benefit the Matthew Reardon Center for Autism, the only organization in southeast Georgia that operates an accredited year-round education progam for students with autism.

Tickets are $50 or $40 for the lectures only. Online tickets are available on the First Presbyterian website (www.savannahfpc.org) and at the church office.

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