Cranberry spritzers

Ladies of St. Paul Armenian Church in Fresno Hold Sparkling Annual Christmas Luncheon


FRESNO — On Saturday, December 2, the Ladies Society of St. Paul Armenian Church in Fresno held its 43rd annual Christmas Luncheon in the Haig Berberian Hall to kick off the holiday season. As is the tradition, the hall was filled with the sights and sounds of Christmas as nearly 200 church friends and family members from near and far gathered to celebrate the spirit of Christmas.

Following a lively cocktail hour featuring cranberry and wine spritzers and mini charcuterie appetizers, the program opened with a welcome and devotional by Ladies Society president Darlene Chardukian, immediately followed by a delicious luncheon of sautéed breast of chicken in a creamy Tuscan sauce. White chocolate raspberry cakes decorated each table and were served as a sweet treat at the end of the meal.

Months of planning preceded the annual event at St. Paul with individual committees set up to create the invitations, bake homemade goodies for the country store, purchase the unique raffle prizes, and decorate the hall. Donors and sponsors help underwrite the costs of the luncheon that also serves as a fundraiser for the St. Paul Ladies Society philanthropic endeavors. Janice Hallaian chaired the event this year with assistance from Isabel Chilpigian who served as chairlady for many years. Other committee members include: Alberta Bedoian, Diane Sirabian-Messerlian, Jacqueline Grazier, Jackie Manoogian, Beverly Larios, Paula DerMatoian, Janet Sabbatini, Darlene Chardukian and Ozzie Tashjian.

L to R: Melene Ouzounian, Peggy Akbiyikian, Diane Sirabian-Messerlian, Darlene Chardukian, and Alberta Bedoian seated at the hostess table

To make this festive holiday cocktail for yourself, combine together and chill before serving:

1 liter bottle 7Up (or Sprite or Sierra Mist)

1 64 oz. bottle cranberry juice (any variety)

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1 bottle of your favorite red, white or rosé wine, prosecco or champagne

1 bag of fresh cranberries

Lots of ice cubes

Scale up or down this recipe as needed. Serve in small cups or glasses with additional cranberries or fresh mint or rosemary sprigs as garnish.

Entertainment was provided by Fresno’s Award-Winning Bullard Talent Concert Choir from Fresno Unified School District.

“With heartfelt gratitude and respect, we celebrate the many talents of these hard-working, dedicated ladies who made this special day possible,” said Janice Hallaian.

To support or donate to the St. Paul Armenian Church Ladies Society, contact: St. Paul Armenian Church, 3767 N. First Street, Fresno, CA 93726.

To purchase A Taste of Fresno Armenian and American Cuisine Cookbook for gifts for family and friends, contact: St. Paul Armenian Church, 3767 N. First St, Fresno, CA 93726.

For the church website, go to:



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