The Community Christmas Dinner, our tradition at Christmas every year since 1998 for my son and I. We are now organizer's of the event - and every year we serve more and more people - this year, 266 people total. Our town's population is close to 7000. We see more and more homeless in this small community every year. (We also serve a Friday Feast every Friday as part of our church's ministry).
The tradition for me means sharing with friends and family. The Community Christmas Dinner is hosted by our church and donors include local businesses such as grocery stores, drugstores, and restaurants, with everything from turkeys and hams to carryout containers, napkins, cups and plastic silverware. Individual donors give a lot of money so we can buy what the stores don't or cannot donate. This year marked the 10th Annual Community Christmas Dinner. This is the third year that I have organized the event with a lot of help from a lot of volunteers. I would name them all but most prefer to remain anonymous. The stores included Safeway, Harvest Market, Purity Market, Long's Drugs, Denny's Restaurant, the local Food Bank and Perko's Cafe.
The by far largest donor this year was Tom and Penny Honer's Harvest Market, with a $200.00 gift certificate that netted us ten pumpkin pies, one very large ham, six turkeys, celery, onions, dressing and some of the preparations for green bean casserole.
We see volunteers from every walk of life: from Jewish to Christian and non, come to help serve, deliver and help with cleanup every year. This has become our "family tradition" because we love to give in this way. Kids are given presents from under the tree by Santa, and some even stay to help with setting up the tables with new silverware when one group of people leave. It has become such a blessing; we have people playing music, singing, and it's like living in a very large family. ALL are welcome each year. This year, it was held December 23rd. :)