Christmas this year was…

: Cate creating the coolest, thoughtful and oh-so-unique homemade gifts, all on her own.

: Handing out gifts and turkey sandwiches with The Dale’s outreach team on Christmas Eve day. One man was so perplexed he kept declining, until he finally understood we meant the gifts were truly FOR him.

: Realizing that I miss my Dad a lot this time of year. I wanted him alive again.

: Cooking a turkey ahead of time for the Sunday service before Christmas. Then the ice storm happened. Miraculously I managed to clear the car of ice and actually make it safely to Parkdale, turkey in hand.

: Having friends stay with us because their power was out until December 24th. I don’t know how or why, but we were in a pocket that didn’t lose power, except for little blips here and there.

: Thinking of those who experienced Christmas without power.

: Thinking of those who don’t have power to lose and sleep outside.

: Enjoying an Open Stage and Christmas party for The Dale. One person sang a song about losing their partner to an overdose one Christmas. Another had the courage to recite what he remembered of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. The evening was marked with melancholy and joy, tears and dancing.

: Hosting a shockingly serene Drop-In on the 23rd. The dishes even got done early.

: Thinking of friends who would prefer to blink and have it be January 1st. Trying to trust that the truth of Christmas might shine through the sentimentality and consumerism that has become the season.

: Being woken on Christmas morning by Dion and Cate with the banging of pots and pans. This has become a tradition. I am always the last one up.

: Being with Dion, Cate, my Mom, brother, sister-in-law and nephews on Christmas Day. My Mom isn’t able to be over very much (she lives in hospital close by) and almost didn’t have transportation here, but everything worked out to have us all together.

: Staying in my pajamas all day on Boxing Day. The 26th is one of the few days of the year I do nothing. My biggest decision is what I should eat or drink next. Sigh.

: Praying for my friends who are estranged from family and/or friends and who may be numbing the pain with unhealthy things, or isolating themselves further, or falling into deeper depression.

: Believing that God is with us. Holding onto the hope that one day peace and joy will truly reign.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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