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Christmas with the Salvos TV special 2021

Christmas with The Salvation Army is about celebrating and connecting with people in the community. Through Christmas cheer and outreach services, Salvos around the country are working hard to ensure those doing it tough can experience joy at Christmas.

Come Christmas time, Salvos distribute over 64,000 hampers and vouchers and give out around 500,000 gifts and toys to families in need; provide over 130,000 meals across the country to those doing it tough, and more than 66,000 beds for over 10,000 families in need of accommodation. We are immensely grateful to our supporters and partners who come alongside us to make this happen, as well as Aussie celebrities who get on board to help bring Christmas cheer.

This collective good has led to the return of a very special event – after the success of last year’s television special, Christmas with the Salvos, The Salvation Army is proud to announce the second installment of the Christmas special, airing on Channel 7 this December.

This year’s special sees the return of Salvation Army ambassador Samantha Jade and TV chef Fast Ed, who are joined by Jules Sebastian and The Wiggles cast members Simon Pryce and John Pearce, to give back to some very special families and individuals at Christmas.

“I love working with the Salvos”, says Samantha Jade. “This is my sixth year and I have seen first-hand them helping people. They really do deliver on their message of hope.”

Christmas cheer with all the trimming

The fun-filled 30-minute production, Christmas with the Salvos, spreads a message of hope and joy this festive season while highlighting the power of kindness when caring for vulnerable people in the community.

Bringing social awareness to the issues many families face not only at Christmas but all year round, the special is wrapped up in a lifestyle show format that everyone can take inspiration from.

Christmas with the Salvos sees The Wiggles surprising families who have children with additional or complex medical needs. Liam and Ally Holland, who work for the Salvos in North-west Sydney, along with their son Asher, and two families from their community, spend the day decorating cookies alongside The Wiggles and Samantha Jade while singing and dancing to Christmas carol favourite, ‘Jingle Bells’.

Meanwhile, Jules Sebastian brings her eye for style and knack for baking to the Christmas Special, wrapping beautiful hampers and baking tasty Christmas cookies along with Samantha. The hampers are then brought along to a special lunch prepared by Fast Ed.

Fast Ed’s Christmas Pudding-stuffed chicken recipe goes down a treat

Many people and families who journey with the Salvos go on to have a lifelong connection through volunteering or employment. Some of these special families – who have been helped by the Salvos, and also given back to those in need through The Salvation Army – had the opportunity to experience Fast Ed’s Christmas recipes for themselves at a Christmas lunch in their honour.

Preparing a delightful feast for the families, Ed cooked a Christmas pudding-stuffed roast chicken and a date and coconut cake. The two Christmas recipes are not only delicious but also very simple and affordable for anyone at home to create on a budget.

Fast Ed has made these Christmas recipes available for everyone to try. You can find them at the bottom of this page.

“The thing I love about the Salvos is that you don’t have to be part of The Salvation Army in order to appreciate all of its incredible benefits … they do great work,” says the Better Homes and Gardens chef.

Christmas with the Salvos finishes up with an intimate concert from Samantha Jade, singing a medley of classic Christmas carols as the Salvos hand out the hampers and toys to the attending families.

“I am so, so proud to be a part of a movement like the Salvos,” says Samantha Jade. “They are giving people hope every day, and especially at Christmas time.”

This Salvos Christmas Special is in conjunction with The Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Appeal, which is currently aiming to raise $20 million to ensure that Aussies doing it tough can have a special Christmas. To leave no one in need this Christmas, please donate to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal online or by calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).

Christmas with the Salvos premieres on 18 December at 12pm (AEDT). Watch it via this page, as well as on Channel 7. It will also have encore screenings across Channel 7 on Christmas Day at 2:30pm, and will also be available to stream on 7Plus. 

Christmas tips from the Salvos Moneycare team

Christmas can be an amazing, joy-filled celebration - and it can be stressful. The Christmas with the Salvos TV special features Kristen Hartnett from the Salvos Moneycare team who shares her advice on how to enjoy Christmas and not be over it before it begins:

  • Make rest a priority. You’ll be surprised how much easier it is to make decisions and take actions when you come from a position of rest
  • Revive childhood traditions. Think about Christmas when you were child. What were the things that brought you joy?
  • Christmas is more manageable when you have realistic expectations
  • This year, make it your mantra to enjoy Christmas. Not to overspend, not to be overwhelmed, and not to overcommit

The Salvos Moneycare team work with people who face unexpected financial pressures and together work out a plan to get people back on track. Learn more about The Salvation Army Moneycare financial support service.

Fast Ed’s Christmas recipes

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1½ hours
Serves: 6-8

While a turkey might be a spectacular centrepiece on the Christmas table, it’s simply not making budget for so many Australian families. But really, it’s not a problem, in fact you might just be getting the better deal. This chicken is tastier, easier and yes, gentler on the pocketbook. So that’s a recipe for a really Merry Christmas.

1 large chicken (approx. 2kg)
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp celery salt
½ cup dark fruit cake, crumbled
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
juice of 3 lemons
2 egg yolks
sea salt flakes and freshly-ground black pepper
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ cup golden syrup
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
all the trimmings

1 Preheat oven to 210°C. Pat the chicken dry all over with kitchen paper, then use fingers to life the breast skin, making a pocket. Mix half the butter with the celery salt, then spread into the pocket. Pull the skin back over neatly.

2 Combine the remaining butter, fruit cake, breadcrumbs, dried herbs, juice of 1 lemon and yolks in a bowl and mix well. Season with sat and pepper. Press into the chicken’s cavity, then season with a skewer and truss the legs.

3 Brush with the oil, then arrange on a rack set over a roasting pan. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°c and bake for a further 45 minutes.

4 Meanwhile, put the golden syrup, sugar, spice ad remaining lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook rapidly until beginning to thicken. Baste onto the chicken at 5 minutes intervals until the chicken is completely cooked. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then carve and serve with the trimmings.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Makes: 1 cake

500g dates
2 Tbsp molasses
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup coconut sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup self raising flour
¾ cup coconut flour
golden syrup and fruit salad, to serve

1 Preheat oven to 180°C. combine the dates, molasses, vanilla and 1 cup water in a saucepan and set over a moderate heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and beat in the bicarbonate of soda. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.

2 Combine the butter and coconut sugar in a bowl and beat with a whisk until very light. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, until smooth. Fold in the date mixture, then sift in the flours and stir until well-incorporated.

3 Spoon into a lined 22cm cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a skewer can be inserted and removed cleanly. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then on a rack.

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

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The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

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Hope where it's needed most