Thursday we will all gather with our friends and families to celebrate Christmas. Some will spend the morning opening gifts in our warm homes. Later we will gather at the table to sit and enjoy the feast that has been prepared. We will laugh, enjoy the day and we will give thanks to God for the many blessings. I have spent many of Christmas’s doing just that, but this year we celebrated a little early and not in the traditional manner. Yes, I will still be doing the Christmas thing on Thursday, but I think today was the Christmas I will always remember.
Today we celebrated Christmas with our friends without homes in the park. When we arrived at the park it was still snowing. As usual we were greeted with a group that helps unload the truck and helps setup. No big turkey dinner, but instead turkey sandwiches, hot chicken soup, brownies for desert and lots of hot chocolate. Okay it’s not your traditional Christmas dinner, but they loved it. Then Santa arrived. Terrica’s husband dressed as Santa and handed out gift bags that we stuffed with hot chocolate, gloves, handwarmers, socks, homemade cookies, candy and a personal card. I was blown away by the reaction of our friends. Their eyes lit up and there were smiles from ear to ear. To see these tuff street friends become like little kids was unbelievable. They hugged on Santa and some asked to have their picture taken with him. They started singing Christmas carols; they laughed and had such a goodtime. They were digging in their little bag to see what Santa had brought them; it was like watching little kids on Christmas morning. What a joy it was.
As we stood in the freezing weather and snow, I thought to myself, what is the biggest gift you could ever give someone? I looked around and yes they were enjoying Santa, the food and the little gift bags, but they will tell you that they will do without all that to spend time with someone who cares. The biggest gift you could ever give someone is unconditional love and you. Give of yourself and your time. I saw so much love and joy in the park today and all it took was a few hours of my time and it will not cost you a thing. You will be amazed at the impact you can make in a life, by not doing much of anything except saying I give a little bit of myself to you.
I want wish each and every one of you a Very Merry Christmas. May it be a day filled with joy and I pray that the New Year brings many blessings your way. Below are some pictures of today!
Before we arrived, our friends without homes made a snowman....they wanted to put beer cans in the hands, but opted to just stick a cig. in his mouth... :)
Waiting to get hot soup!
Some of our friends without homes!
Rudy and Dianna. Thanks to the two of you!
Travis and Dianna. Today was Travis's first time down to the park. We were blessed to have him come and hope he comes again.
Terrica, Kirk and Santa (Rodney). Thank you so much Rodney for doing what you did today. You were a blessing to all those in the park and it is something they will not soon forget. Terrica thanks for being santa's helper today, we all know you are still the brownie lady so don't go let this santa gig get you side tracked.......LOL