Are you facing this holiday with dread? Having experienced the kind of tragedy in my family that forever alters our holiday celebrations with chairs left empty, I can certainly identify with the heaviness that comes around this time of year. I know I’m not alone as I often reminisce with a resident and we may shed a tear or two as we remember those we miss and times gone by.
Still, Christmas is my favorite time at St. Francis Villa. During the Christmas season, even though we feel our sadness a little more keenly, our common joys also grow. We all can sing the same songs, regardless of our taste in music. We all look forward to hot chocolate, Christmas cookies, and a few twinkly lights. At holiday time, we are visited by the sweet faces and voices of carolers young and old. We New Orleanians never need much of an excuse to gather and celebrate, but Christmastime gives us even more opportunities to enjoy. Whether it’s a children’s choir, a jazz band, a good ol’ spiked egg nog, or getting out those favorite ornaments, reasons abound to laugh, smile, sing and just be together.
Holiday time is when I have some of my favorite experiences around St. Francis Villa:
- Little hands held by wrinkly grandma hands
- Song requests shouted out from an enthusiastic audience
- Our spiral stairs filled with children singing Silent Night
- Happy hours where we run out of egg nog
- Crocheted ornaments, handmade by some of our first residents, adorning our tree
- Rides in a van full of residents to look at Christmas lights around town
- Helping residents find a special gift for a family member or caregiver
- Friends laughing over hot chocolate and cookies
- Our beautiful home, lit up outside with icicle lights and inside with glowing smiles
What are the lovely parts of your Christmas season? This year, I challenge you, even if your heart is heavy, to slow down and savor the Christmas joys that come your way. Look for and catch those sparkling moments of specialness before they pass you by. Take some time, in the midst of all the running, to really experience the joy. As we kick off December, I wish you a holiday time full of laughter, love, and peace.
In the Spirit of Caring,