The miracle of Christmas is alive and kicking in Valparaiso! And with the help of some friends in some unlikely places, the Valpo Restaurants are planning a new Holiday Festival that captures the essence of the holidays. The festival, which will take place a week before Christmas Eve, will capture the spirit of the Christmas Tree, the spirit of family fun, and the spirit of giving!
The miracle of christmas comes to a new Holiday Festival in Valparaiso
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and miracles do happen!
To learn more about this magical event,  keep reading…or just pack a bag with food and visit the Valpo Restaurants on Friday, December 17th. The spirit of the Christmas Tree lives strong in the Vale of Paradise.

The Miracle starts with FREE Stockings, Refreshments, and Christmas Caroling.

The new Holiday Event will bring fin, family and the spirit of the Christmas Tree

Let’s be clear… the chefs love being a part of Holly Days! Who doesn’t?  It’s like a Hallmark Movie that showcases our wonderful town. While we are lucky to have Northwest Indiana’s biggest and best Holiday Festival,  the Valpo Restaurants also wanted to give the community a smaller celebration that puts more emphasis on old-fashion traditions and the spirit of giving. While Holly Days captures the specialness of our city, the Valpo Restaurants’ event is meant to capture the traditions in a more intimate setting.
The miracle of Christmas comes with delicious celebrations
It makes perfect sense that the Valpo Restaurants would want two separate Holiday Celebrations. While Holly Days is the perfect venue to showcase our remarkable town and diversity of restaurants,  the new holiday event puts more emphasis on their food, family, and friends. Nobody loves to express their love for family, friends, and neighbors with a culinary event quite like the Valpo chefs.
The event allows the chefs and restaurant owners the chance to put down the aprons and raise a glass with customers. Cheers!
Even the date for the new event was selected carefully to include family and friends! Holding the celebration a week before Christmas Eve allows people who are home for Christmas to rediscover Valpo’s magic during the holidays. Many loved ones come home just before the holidays and miss the wonderful experience that is Holly Days. This celebration welcomes friends and family home with the spirit of the Christmas Tree.

Giving is fun, and this event will have plenty of fun

The miracle of Christmas comes with festive food

This Friday, December 17th, each restaurant will have live Christmas music, free refreshments, and a “best Christmas Tree contest.” The festivities include good fellowship, seasonal food specials, desserts, beer, wine, and holiday cocktails.
And while it’s always fun to celebrate with family and friends, Christmas is about giving gifts. Valpo Restaurants’ season sponsor, Uptown East, is giving free Christmas stockings to anyone that brings a bag(s) of food and supplies for Hill Top Pantry. Of course, giving is its own reward, but on this night, anyone that brings a bag for the pantry will be asked to sign a Giant Christmas Card. All participating restaurants will have their own Giant Christmas Card which will be on display at their respective locations.

Donate food or money & sign       the Giant Christmas Card

While a Christmas card is a great way to send your wishes to families in need, signing the Giant Christmas Card enters you into a drawing for a chance to win 10 bottles of very, very good wine from each restaurant!

The Best Christmas Tree comes with a miracle…Wine from each Chef

The Miracle of Christmas comes with wine....

Each restaurant will have a decorated Christmas Tree that will compete against the other restaurants.  The restaurant that is voted as having the best Christmas Tree will win a signature bottle of wine from each restaurant–That’s ten bottles of wine!!!  In turn, the 10 bottles of wine will be raffled to someone that signed the winning restaurant’s card.
Wine will go to the winning christmas tree with a sweepstakes for anyone that signs the Christmas Card. A Holiday Mirracle
The more bags you bring, the better your chances of winning. For instance,  if you bring 10 bags of food (1 bag per restaurant) you are entered in the wine sweepstakes at each restaurant.  This increases your chance of winning by ten, but the real winner is a family that will benefit from your generosity. What can be better than that!
To sweeten things up a bit, anybody that brings a bag of goods can get a free $25 Gift Card when they purchase a $50 certificate. While the special is limited to one Free Card per restaurant, you can take advantage of the offer by donating 1 bag per restaurant.  Imagine getting 10 Free Gift Cards in one night!

Bring a Bag of Food for the Hill Top Pantry and receive a Free Gift!

Hill Top will experience a Christmas Gift from everyone with the spirit of christmas

This Holiday Event is about good friends and neighbors coming together to celebrate with good cheer. To help the restaurants use their space for visitors, Christmas Trees, and live music, anyone interested in bringing a bag of food will be asked to start the evening by dropping their bags off at the Hilltop Van parked on Lincolnway near Don Quijote.

Once you’ve loaded your bag of food into the van, someone from Uptown East will offer you a free Christmas Stocking and a punch card with the name of all the participating restaurants. Your punched card will indicate which restaurant(s) you’ve supported so that you can sign their Giant Christmas Card(s). Your punched card also entitles you to an opportunity to take advantage of the special incentive of getting $25 free with a purchase of $50.

Double Your Donation | Your Donations will be Matched Dollar for Dollar! 

The Valpo Restaurants work as a Team to make miracles happen!

While the can drive is on Friday, December 17th, you can sign the Giant Christmas Card between now and December 17th by bringing a donation to any of the restaurants listed below.  Whatever you donate will be matched dollar for dollar! That means if you bring a check for $20, your check will be matched with $20! Through the magic of Christmas and a friend named Howard, whatever you donate will be doubled (limit $10,000).

Just drop off your check at any of the Valpo Restaurant members or their Member Partners, including Grieger Motor Sales, Uptown East Apartments, or Perma-Green. Our partners are selected for their community activism, so it wasn’t surprising that these businesses stepped up to join our drive!


Perma-Green is a local company that is invested in its community.

Steve Daly Family

Always there to help the Valpo Restaurants and the community, our associate members, Steve Daly and Perma-Green, helped us get things started by donating $1,500– which after being matched, means that Daly and Perma-Green bought $3,000 worth of needed supplies for Valpo’s families in need. Talk about making the green grow!

You’ll improve your chances of winning the wine sweepstakes by bringing your check or cash to all 12 participants. Make checks payable to the Hill Top Pantry. Any amount is appreciated and cash is also welcome.

Some people might call it a Christmas Miracle!

While the Holiday season typically sees a jump in giving, the food and funds begin to dwindle and the shelves start getting bare in January and February. The Spirit of the Christmas Tree is meant to help people get through the winter by bringing food and supplies to families beyond Christmas. Your bags filled with supplies will be delivered straight to the Pantry, and 100 percent of your monetary gift will be spent on food for the Hill Top Pantry. Here is a list of places (with links) where you can drop off your cash donation and sign the Giant Christmas Card.

  1. 1) The Abbey Steak House 2) Amici Grill & Pizzeria 3) Veleros Mexican      4) Don Quijote   5)  Radius-Valpo 

6) Tommy Bs   7) Pikks   8) Martinis‘ 9)  Furin Japanese  10) Elements   11) Uptown East   12)   Grieger Motor Sales

Hill Top needs much needed can goods to help families in need the Christmas and miracaes will happen

Hilltop Food Pantry Wish List

Your gift of food is a Christmas Miracle

  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Spaghetti Noodles     
  • Oatmeal
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Fruit Juice
  • Cereal (Hot & Cold)
  • Canned Fruit
  • Canned Tuna
  • Canned Chicken
  • Canned Ham
  • Canned Ravioli w/ Meat
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Refrigerated Items
  • Ground Beef
  • Hot Dogs
  • Cheese Slices
  • Milk
  • Margarine/Butter
  • Household Items
  • Reusable Grocery Bags
  • Toilet Paper
  • Diapers
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Dish Soap
  • Personal Hygiene Items

It’s a Wrap | The Christmas Miracle in Valparaiso

The Gutenstein Family Foundationnmatches anything donated for Hioll Top

So what do you call it when your donation is doubled and matched dollar for dollar? Some people might call it a Christmas Miracle. The Restaurants like to call it the Gutenstein Miracle. Special thanks to our very good friend Howard and the Gutenstein Family Foundation.

Sometimes the spirit of Christmas comes from the most unlikely places from unlikely people. Fortunately for Valpo, we have an angel named Bob! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Article by Jim Jano Janesheski 




Happy Holidays!