the true meaning of christmas

Earlier this week I experienced what the true meaning of Christmas really is. I was on a committee for our department’s annual holiday charity giving. We had selected a local special needs agency. They provide housing for 43 adults with special needs. Our department provided gifts for all the residents and hosted a holiday party.

It was at the party that I experienced the Christmas spirit in full force. These individuals were the friendliest and happiest people I have been around. Their disabilities did not limit them from enjoying life to the fullest. I personally believe that they have no preconceived notions and prejudices. They see the good side of people and bring out the best in people. I saw nothing but happy smiling faces in the room.

We ate, socialized and caroled with a room overflowing with happy people parting to the max. When Santa made an appearance, the room just erupted in joy, laughter and clapping. He did a great job of making the giving of each gift something special for everyone. I was happy to serve as his assistant. My co-workers and I left with high spirits and feeling blessed to have experienced the evening.

I’ll footnote this by saying this agency and their director have done a phenomenal job of instilling pride and a great deal of self worth into these individuals. Prior to the party, we toured two of the apartments in the complex. Two brothers sharing a two bedroom apartment were so excited to show us their apartment. It was very evident that this sense of independent living has made life so much more livable. It is a shame that this country can not provide all people with these needs this type of arrangement. In Medina County alone over 160 people remain on a waiting list to have their own apartment.

Merry Christmas to my new friends Matt, Casey, Adam, Ashley and all of the other folks in Medina! May you grow and continue to flourish in 2010.

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