It’s interesting that, this time of year, you can take almost any group of people with a Judeo-Christian background and put them together, add some Christmas traditions, and have a party. The case managers at the Homeless Day Resource Center pooled their talents and put together a nearly spontaneous party this afternoon for the clients. One brought her keyboard, another her piano books of Christmas carols and photocopied song sheets, another her pastor-husband and funny Christmas hat. Several brought games to play. There were ice cream treats, peppermint candy canes, and chocolate candies.
We sang some carols, including a couple of rounds of 12 Days of Christmas that everyone seemed to enjoy. The pastor-husband did a devotional on Jesus, the light of the world. One client gave an abbreviated, but passionate, version of Oh, Holy Night. We passed out gift bags with bubbles, bolo paddles, socks and underwear.
It was a light hearted time of shared memories, lusty singing, and fun. Not something that all of these people get on a regular basis. Some will pass through after a few days; others have been with us for months with no prospects for moving on toward anywhere else in particular.
Regardless of one’s circumstances, when a Christmas party starts, there is a desire to join in, to be a part of something that many have enjoyed in years past somewhere. It was nice to share that hour and a half with these unlikely friends and see their smiles and hear their voices come together over the birth of a baby who lived and died so they, and we, could have abundant life, however one defines that.