Many traditions abound here at the Home during the Holidays; from festive decorations placed ever so caringly throughout the hallways and parlors, to warm gatherings and Christmas present giving from the Sisters to the Residents. It is the tradition of the Little Sisters to give a special gift at Christmas to each Resident. For some time now the Sisters have been planning and shopping whenever they have time and seeking out that special gift that will bring a smile to each Resident’s face. Sometimes it is a small token of significance and not a grand present that means the most to a Resident. Since the Sisters consider the Residents as their family here at the Home, they strive to find that one special item needed for each person, just as we would in our own families.
Another tradition of the Home is that on Christmas Eve our eldest Resident will carry the Infant Jesus up the aisle of the Chapel at Christmas mass to be placed in the manger. This year we are pleased that Mary Zsigray, who is 101 years old, will proudly be doing this honor. The manger also has a treasure chest with the prayer intentions that our friends and benefactors have been sending into us asking for their needs.
Many gatherings and activities are held for the Residents at this time of year. Some gatherings are small and others large; sometimes even involving the whole Home. We have so many special performances and activities this time of year that one of our Residents recently said “all I have to do is go down the hall to the auditorium to be entertained by so many different talents each day”. We have choirs from the local schools, travelling alumni musicians, our own “Merry Melodies” performing bell choir and many festive sing-a-longs and activities. All focused on bringing the joy of this Holy Season to each person. As one Resident exclaimed “it sure is feeling like Christmas around here!” This focus on many special activities and entertainment is directly in line with St. Jeanne Jugan’s teaching that we are to make the Resident’s lives Happy.
Soon the Residents will be welcoming in a New Year, “2012”! A wonderful New Years Eve party is being planned by our own St. Joseph Auxiliary and will offer special entertainment, cocktails, a music DJ and a beautifully catered dinner for our Residents. Even though our celebration will be at 8:00PM, a little before the Midnight hour, we will still ring in the New Year with plenty of songs and good cheer.
Through all these many traditions and celebrations we help the Residents experience the Joy and Peace of this season, but most importantly we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord.