Simple Joys of the Season

A light snow on the ground.  Watching my children open presents left for them by Santa Claus.  Homemade cookies from recipes passed down by my grandmothers.  “These are a few of my favorite things…” as the song goes.  These are some of the things that will bring me joy this holiday season and help me to move into the new year with a renewed sense of hope.

When I stepped into Calvary Women’s Shelter yesterday afternoon, the decorations were going up in preparation for tonight’s annual holiday party.  Charlene was covering the doors with wrapping paper and wreaths when she told me she had gotten the full-time job she had applied for last month.  Jan explained that her knee was feeling better after a recent injury and that she was glad to be able to sit in the living room with her leg up looking at the lights on the decorated tree.  Sherry, a woman who moved in just this week, was singing along to the carols that were playing as she put the finishing touches on the garlands she was hanging.  Martha, who is preparing to move into her own apartment very soon, urged me to check out the new big screen TV that a generous donor delivered and set up over the weekend – a wonderful present for everyone at Calvary.

Like each of these women, all of us carry personal challenges into this holiday season.  We can’t ignore the losses and struggles we face, but we can seek out people and support that will help us make positive change in our lives.  The women at Calvary have made that choice, and in doing so, move out of homelessness and into bright futures.

Sometimes it is in the simplest things – like shiny decorations, homemade cookies, and gathering for a party – that we experience joy and catch a glimpse of the hope that helps us to move forward.

Wishing you the simple joys of this holiday season and a hope-filled new year!

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