Is this my 5th year doing a Christmas theme?
I guess I shouldn't ever feel guilty about repeating a theme... especially this one.
Hot Chocolate and Art Projects
I had 5 groups this year. I packed up thermal pitchers of hot chocolate and colored lights for the table. .. books and decorations.
Every place I visited was already buzzing with festive energy. At the Center a few gathered at my table with craft projects they were finishing.
They sipped and sang carols and rang bells, while they finished folding Reader's Digests into Christmas trees. That made me smile, because I remember doing that in second grade.
My first group was distracted and as giddy as kids on Christmas Eve. I missed my usual intimate gathering when we share and laugh together. Quite a few had just enough time to ring a few bells before rushing off. There was Holiday Food Give Away in the meeting room.
I hurried to hand out Christmas cards I'd brought for each and reminded myself that it was a wonderful thing that my little Quilt Table wasn't the only thing these folks had going on!
Usually the wheel chairs are already gathered and waiting at the Nursing Home. Where was everyone? I knocked on a few doors and found a few empty rooms, which alarmed me. Where was Dorothy and where was Bob? The hardest part of working with the elderly is knowing you have to say good-bye.
I ended up with a sweet small group. Dot and Mary, both from the South laughed about their father's cutting down Christmas trees. Dot said the beauty of the tree her Daddy cut, sometimes had to do with how much beer he'd had to drink before heading out.
Mary said her father cut trees for all of the classrooms in her elementary school. She said it was the least he could do since she and her siblings filled up every classroom in the school.
We talked about Christmas stockings and what you might find. "Fruit and nuts and maybe a peppermint stick." Was the common answer. Then my Southern gals got all excited remembering their favorite nut with a jolting name that made me glad for a moment my sweet Dorothy was not there.
I had to gently remind them that we call them Brazil nuts now and that the old term could be hurtful. Then eagerly asked them more questions about what they loved best at Christmas.
What Did I Learn?
Funny I thought the Quilt had the power to stop the clock and give us a little Non-Rush-Christmas-Nostalgia-Time! Even my Quilt Groups felt hurried because of other activities and happenings. Actually it's a wonderful thing that there was so much going on for these wonderful people!
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For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.