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.
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.
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!
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.
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!