Surrounded by Goodies
I am surrounded by gift bags and boxes, both big and small, blankets, homemade and store bought. I have crosses and crossword puzzle books. I have games, puzzles and bible verses. There are bags of cookies and cupcakes and candy canes galore. We are stacking up the canned goods for our food pantry in Affordable Housing. Never have I seen the pile so high. Poinsettias keep popping up every time I turn around. We live in a sea of red. The sound of jingle bells fill the hallways, and the residents are laughing. The multiple trees are sparkling on every floor, in every corner. We have Elves and Santas and Angels, oh my!
Our employees will be enjoying the generosity of our residents, as they receive a gift card from them. Their way of saying “thank you” for the love and the care they have lavished on them all throughout the year. From the generosity of our residents and community partners, we collected a record amount to add to our Benevolent Program, which provides care for those that have run out of funds, by no fault of their own, while under our care.
Blessings Multiplied during COVID Christmas
You may ask, what is unusual and striking about this bounty that is being donated to our wonderful residents and staff during this holiday season? We have always been blessed by families and community partners “giving” during the holidays. But during this COVID Christmas, the blessings have multiplied. People are reaching out, to do everything they can to make our Christmas here at Crestview, “a special one”. From our Chaplain Gary Adams, “I’m doing a white elephant gift exchange, if it’s the last thing I ever do!” He is bound and determined to find the time to wrap each and every gift for our residents, so they can sit together and pass the presents around. We’ll be doing this while looking through a mask, goggles, gloves and a gown, because once again, we are dealing with the effects of COVID.
Season of Safety and Giving
This Christmas looks very different from Christmases in the past. December is usually a month where we have many volunteers wanting to come in and sing for us, and pray with our residents, and enjoy family visits. It’s a little quieter around our halls this year. Our visits are somewhat limited, and not like before. Our staff tries to make up for that loss, but you can see in the eyes of both residents and staff, that we are all tired. We want to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We have been so blessed to have kept our staff and residents safe during this pandemic. Our leadership team is known as the “mask police”! We implore our residents and staff to keep their masks on at all times, and to wear them properly. We ask them to limit visits with their family members off campus, in the hopes that we can keep our “on campus” families safe. It’s a lot to ask of both staff and residents. The word “vaccine” is now on everyone’s lips. There is quite a buzz about this. Will this be our “Christmas Miracle?” Will this truly become our Season of Giving, the gift of Life?