Newly homeless Christmas edition


Christmas for the homeless. Not a great prospect. But thanks to some friendly people out there we less fortunate folk will have one. The church down the street is serving Chrstimas dinner to us and I for one appreciate it. Getting sick of beef stew and soup.

I chat with some of the other people waiting to go in, and we're all happy, but also realistic. It's said that not only will we get dinner, but a gift as well. That's nice. Hopefully, it's something I can use.

Bertha and her buddy Louise barge through, hugging everybody whether they want to be hugged or not. She said she's spreading the Christmas spirit, and speaking of spirits,, it seems as if she hasn't indulged today, which is surprising. She smiles a toothy grin upon seeing me, and says she has something for me. But she'll give it to me later. Don't know what she got me. I did get her something, so I'm not a total lowlife.

We get inside and are led to the church basement, where we will be eating, and is is splendidly decorated with wreaths, two trees, crepe paper, little Styrofoam angels and snowmen. It realy is beautiful.

We sit wherever we want. I wonder where Donald is. I ask some of the regulars at the shelter if they know where he's at, and someone says he got invited somewhere. I hope so. He shouldn't miss out on this.

I settle in with Louise sitting besdie me and Bertha directly across from me. They talk enthusiastically about the decorations. They're particularly giddy as they handle the little snowmen. Bertha asks one of the church people if she can have one of them, and the lady says okay, but just one.

We are welcomed by the minister, and he leads us in grace, then we go get our food buffet-style. Everything looks so good, and we are encouraged to come back for more. I do. I go back two more times and eat more than I have in weeks. There was pumpkin pie for dessert, but since I don't like that, I settle for some Christmas cookies, which are good. It was a nice feast for all, and everybody behaved themselves, which was a minor Christmas miracle.

Before we all left, we were each given a bag of leftover food, and a gift. I got a pair of heavy gloves, which is great because I lost the ones I had a while back. I am very greatful to those folks who helped us and i tell them so, profusely.

As we get outside, Bertha gives me a present. "Betcha forgot about me'" she says. She is wrong. I produce a present from my backpack. She's happy, especially when she opens it and finds a bottle of perfume. I don't know how good it is, or what kind she likes, but I bought it for her, and she is ecstatic. She hugs me, and tells me to open my gift.

I'm a little apprehensive, but she assures me I'll like it. It's an organizer with a date book. I'm overwhelmed. It doesn't cost much, but it's the thought that counts. I amlost break down, and hug her, and we both say Merry Christmas. It was a nice moment.

Time to get back to the shelter. Fortunately for our frozen asses, one of the church crew offers to take a bunch of us over there in the church bus. That was nice of him. I'm glad because that's a 2-mile walk, and with full bellies in cold weather, that wouldn't have been pleasant. So about 30 of us pile in, and we're on our way.

Somebody leads us in Christmas songs, and we all sing along. It completes the day, us all having the Christmas spirit even if we don't have much. Hell, Joseph and Mary didn't have much al those years ago, so why should we complain? They had to sleep in a barn. At least our place is heated.

Donald's already there, coughing up a storm. I asked him why he didn't come over, and he made up some excuse. I asked him if he'd eaten anything, and he he said he had a sandwich somewhere. So I opened up my bag of food and gave him some. He ate like he was starved to death. Poor guy. I had been planning to save some of my food for tomorrow, but he's my friend in need so I let him have it. At least he won't go hungry.

I'm so full that all I want to do is sleep. So I check out my datebook and settle in for a long winter's nap being thankful for what I have and for what I recieved this Christmas.


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