The Tuesday Talk: The Christmas Spirit

It’s a little more than a week before Christmas, and we’re all bustling around – have to get presents, have to go food shopping, have to clean the house for guests, have to decorate our homes. I’ve been caught up in it, too.

But this weekend, we took a break from all the Christmas preparations and, instead, helped serve a Christmas feast to the gentlemen at the Central Night Shelter (Mac’s Party, named in honor of the son of one of my favorite people in the world).

You don’t quite understand how ridiculous it is to be worried about garland or toys until you shake the hand of a man who is  grateful to be someplace warm for the night.

the whole hall

The children decorated the hall for the feast – making paper chains to drape along the railing above and making popcorn garland for the tree.

paper chain and mats

The kids also served the men drinks and appetizers.


The food was plentiful, thanks to many who cooked and brought food, donating their skills and time.

dessert table

The choir – the Atlanta Homeward Men’s Choir – sang beautifully.

choir singing

Even Santa made an appearance!


The children had decorated bags for the men which contained breakfast and lunch for the next day.

decorated bags

And volunteers addressed Christmas cards for any man who wanted to send one.

We all had a wonderful time and the Director of the Shelter, my friend Katie (who writes beautifully about her experiences with the Shelter and the men who stay there at her blog, Views from the Sidewalk. Go read it now. You will be glad you did) said the men were still talking about the party on Sunday night and how great it was.

I hope my kids will remember it, too. I remember delivering “Meals on Wheels” to people on Christmas morning when I was a kid. I hope they fondly remember this the same way.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the “stuff” of Christmas, without remembering that it’s not about toys or garland or turkey or ham. It’s about family, giving, warmth, love. To give these men a little of that for one night this season was a blessing for us.

So, for the Tuesday Talk, what is the most meaningful thing you’ve done or plan to do in the Christmas spirit, or what has someone done for you that was meaningful?

As always, thank you for stopping by.




  1. Karen,
    Just a beautiful event! My heart goes out.
    When I lived in Chicago, our church would visit The Pacific Garden Mission, a similar outreach, and we loved to be able to spend time with the men. The kids not only loved taking part in visits, but the men took so kindly to them; they’d all be leaving with all sort of candy and we’d all have a bus load of kids with sugar highs for the 60 mile ride home (which is a long time in a big city! lol!)
    My oldest is in his mid twenties, and still remembers these days when he was so young.
    This is what Christmas is all about!!

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