Four weeks after Christmas and you are late!
Yes, we are, with good intention, for several reasons: right around the time of Christmas, there can be as many as 18 (yes, eighteen!) dinners and then January comes and basically everyone disappears. I don’t think folks forget about the homeless necessarily, but holiday fatigue (exhaustion for most) sets in as our bodies recover from our own Christmases and we try to dig ourselves out of the snow – hopefully in time for Easter. Then there’s the ‘winter blues’ when some of us who are in survival mode, are just try to make it through to spring.
Yet, the third week of January is a GREAT time for a dinner and celebration, for the same reasons mentioned above. Additionally, street-engaged folk receive their cheques on December 23rd – in time for Christmas, but it’s a long time before the next cheque at the end of January! Just about that time of the year, with five weeks (and counting) since the December cheque and one more week to go until the January’s, a special dinner is a real treat!
The responses to the January Christmas dinner have always been exceptional! People soooo appreciate the great meal, the warm smiles of a virtual army of volunteers serving and helping, children volunteering alongside their parents, and a sense of something special just for them… it’s heartwarming and encouraging!
There is something very special about the “Thank you’s” we receive from our guests who have nothing to give in return, who habitually feel like a ‘zero without the rim”, and who have limited or no resources. These “Thank you’s” are sincere, heartfelt and are to be listened with attentiveness and careful thought. Receiving such words of gratitude move us deeply and quickly to our own thankfulness for the blessings that we ourselves have received, from God and also from our friends.
Looking for a noble thing to do to ‘break out’ from the winter blues, post Christmas fatigue and the January doldrums? Donate a cooked turkey. Come serve a meal. Get ready to ask, “Apple pie or pumpkin?” Then get ready for the most sincere ‘Thank you’s’ that you have ever received.
Question: Ever had this kind of experience before? What was it like for you?