Loving Christmas … and Our Neighbors

By Diane Holloway
Communications/Volunteer Coordinator

No matter how crazy and tense election season has made us, the Christmas season always grabs hold of our hearts at Trinity Center and keeps us smiling. How can we not be happy when 200 of our beloved neighbors come to celebrate with us? On December 11, we filled the St. David’s Church Gym with love, food, music and very silly antlers atop 50 devoted volunteers. For me, this party is the beginning of a season that is happy — no matter what else is going on in this hard, cold world.

Father Chuck Treadwell of St. David’s started us off with a blessing, Double Eagle filled the room with music and our beloved BBQ benefactor Tom Davis (Scholz Garten and Green Mesquite) arrived with more food than ever. This man seemingly has no limits!

Over the past few years, I’ve tried to thank Tom dozens of times, and he always brushes it off. “My pleasure. Happy to do it. Love doing it,” he says, then disappears.

The gifts we were thrilled to hand out to the neighbors were backpacks stuffed with roll-up blankets, knit hats and gloves, socks, tumblers, flashlights, scarves and more. Many thanks to former Trinity Center board member and constant benefactor Robin Shepherd for contributing substantially to these special gifts and the party. For several weeks before the party, her home is always filled with huge boxes headed for Trinity Center.

The generosity that produces this festive gathering is matched only by the gratitude of the guests. Hugs, thanks and even a few tears are shared among neighbors and volunteers. Several neighbors followed up with thank-you notes and Christmas cards the following week. “It’s just not Christmas without this party,” one lady said, dabbing her eyes with tissue.

Ditto. Me, too. There are parties before and after Trinity Center’s holiday gathering, but none can compare to this one. Not even close. We start planning it in the summer, and by December it’s ready for fun!

Special thanks, as always, to ace photographer Rick Patrick, who sets up his traveling portrait studio at the party, and neighbors line up to acquire these beautiful memories. One man pulled a plastic-wrapped treasure from last year out of his bag.  “I thought I might lose it, but I didn’t,” he said proudly, before having a new picture made.

We are so blessed to see these faces every day, in good times and bad. Their lives are challenging, but they always have a kind word, a sweet smile and often a warm hug for staff and volunteers. We are all richer for knowing them.

Trinity Center makes us especially grateful for this blessed season and for each other — our neighbors, our families, our friends and our co-workers.

So from our family to yours, Merry Christmas!