About the changing world all around us

A differnt kind of Christmas

Although I have been working at the women’s shelter the last two years, I have to say this year was especially affected by my work. For one thing I am now working in the daytime so a lot of responsibility had to be shared by my husband and my sons. Another thing is that my job is following up families with children who have lived at the center, and just before Christmas that isn’t the easiest job in the world.

However there are many reasons which I do love my job, and am grateful for the life I have here and now. My day started with the promise of a White Christmas. Although I left for work at 9 am this morning the sun was not yet up, and the soft colors of dusk filled the air and filled my heart with Christmas spirit. I ringed Renny and told him that he just had to go out and take some photos today, the results of which you may see here!

I have also spent the past few days making sure Christmas will be good for as many people as possible. I have been active in organizing the Christmas celebration at the center, and packed many presents for children of all ages. For the families I follow up I have been taking some of the children out to find gifts for their mom’s, and making sure everyone has something to open on Christmas day.

Dawn, December 24

Dawn, December 24

We also had to make sure that a nice dinner was served for everyone at the shelter and all our guests who have lived there earlier. Since many of the women are immigrants and don’t eat traditional Norwegian Christmas food we had to find something more to their liking. Therefor I was up until 1 am last night making 20 lbs of chicken curry, and cooked up an entire bag of saffron rice to go along with it.

Saffron rice with raisins, cashews and Indian spices

Saffron rice with raisins, cashews and Indian spices

Don’t worry there are other angels at the shelter and three other dishes were made by employees, and many more by the ladies of different cultures living with us. Even though some of them were Muslims, they threw themselves into the spirit and join in the festivities…as long as we don’t feed them pork!

Chicken Curry, without the extra sauce

Chicken Curry, without the extra sauce

All the children were so excited about Santa coming, and I enjoyed picking out gifts even to my adorable little 5 month old pal, who got some new rattles and a those great keys to chew on while he is working on his first set of teeth. The mothers received gifts from the largest cosmetic seller in Norway, plus The Body Shop, and Mary Kay (so everyone will be looking smart for Christmas Day!) Working here reminds me how greedy many of us can be, and how small things can bring so much happiness when you can’t afford everything you want. At least all my girls have everything they truly need, and for that I am grateful.

On the home front Renny made the traditional pork rib on “little Christmas Eve”, and made our yearly Lutefisk dinner this evening. Justin and Kyle were put to work vacuum cleaning, and dusting the furniture, decking the table and washing the bath. My family had done a fabulous initiative so that I could be out in the world helping others, and in that way they are a part of my work too.

This years Christmas Tree, beautiful as always!

This years Christmas Tree, beautiful as always!

And now I have over a week off to recover. I will go back to work the Monday after New Years, and well deserved since I have worked overtime everyday the last two weeks! I wish you all a Merry Christmas wherever you are. Remember how lucky you are to have a home, remember how lucky you are to have a family, you can lose everything in the blink of an eye. Never take it for granted – remember that you have what you need! And if you don’t, reach out for help and somebody like me will be there, have faith!

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Comments on: "A differnt kind of Christmas" (8)

  1. Merry Christmas, Diane! Your post had me teary-eyed. Definitely the spirit of Christmas! So wonderful with all that you do. ((()))

  2. perhaps a different sort of christmas but a very special one it seems. perhaps the first safe one some of these women and children have enjoyed. thank you for opening our eyes and sharing this part of your holiday with us. merry christmas to you and your family and to each of the families in the shelter, may they especially find the peace they need.

  3. I’m sure it’s difficult to be both with your family and helping those in need but I think you are doing a pretty good job.

    What a great idea to cook some Christmas food more to the women liking 😉 You have a big heart dear Diane.

  4. Ah yeas, really well deserved Diane! You’re doing a great job there!

    ♥ Happy continuing of the holidays ♥

  5. So in this post everyone can see why I feel so lucky to have you in my life! You are the most caring people I know and I love you for what you are, what you do and what you believe in…… and a hundred thousands reasons more of course 😉

  6. Very nice and interesting post, Diane.

    I know I’m late by now for Christmas wishes but I want to wish you and Renny a very happy, healthy and successful new year, filled with LOVE, JOY and PEACE!
    Susanne

  7. Dear Diane,
    your work and effort is of tremdous importance.
    Most people do not understand – have not the fantest clue what’s all about.

    Whish you will have a very peaceful time in Mariestad.

    btw. Thanks for the chat last evening

  8. That was quite a busy Christmas ! We had a very nice one in the Ardennes.
    and a white Christmas !

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