Mathers’ Bar invites community to free Christmas dinner | CraigDailyPress.com

Mathers’ Bar invites community to free Christmas dinner

Patrick Kelly

For more than 60 years, the Mathers family has invited the community come out to Mathers' Bar for a free meal on Christmas Day.

The tradition will continue this December said Tom Mathers, who will be providing six turkeys and three hams for Friday's feast.

"It's just fun," he said. "I love cooking for everybody."

By opening up Mathers' Bar for a free holiday meal, Tom and his brother Mike are carrying on an event started by their father decades ago.

Tom said his father noticed the out-of-town laborers who were unable to go home and spend the holidays with family and decided to host a dinner where all are welcome.

"We do it for anybody who wants to have Christmas dinner," he said.

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His father kept the event going for about 20 years, until Tom and Mike took charge about 40 years ago. The event has now become a family tradition.

Last year, Tom said he bought 11 turkeys but only about 50 people showed up. He scaled back on the food this year but is still hoping for a bigger turnout than last year.

The dinner starts at 1 p.m. on Friday at Mathers' Bar, 420 Yampa Ave., and the invitation is open to anyone who would like to attend. Those who do attend may bring a covered dish, but it is not a requirement.

Christina Oxley, Tom's daughter and Craig Chamber of Commerce director, said having Christmas dinner with the community is great way to people together for the holiday.

"It really is a family occasion," she said. "It's just everything that the holidays are about."

Not only is it a way to bring people together, it is also the Mathers family's way of giving back to Craig.

"Christmas is about giving not receiving and there's not a better gift than to fill somebody's belly full of food," Tom said.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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