When Holidays Aren’t Times of Celebration

As I walked into Transitions, there was a palpable air of sadness. I recognized it immediately. In fact, since we have been working at Transitions Homeless Shelter for over a year, I knew what I was walking into. 

I was walking into disappointment, loneliness, and sadness. While most of us spent yesterday celebrating with food and family and fellowship, the members of our transient, ever-changing congregation spent yesterday with the acute reminder of where they weren’t. They weren’t home. They weren’t with their families. They were alone, not where they wanted to be. 

Not to mention that for many, they weren’t at work because of the holiday, which meant starting the month already behind, already worried about making ends meeting, while trying to save up for a permanent housing options. 

Holidays aren’t a time for celebrating for the homeless community. Holidays aren’t a day off. Holidays aren’t a time of fun. Holidays are hard. 

Engaging in this reflective process of how we have food, fun, and fellowship while others have hunger, sadness, and loneliness is a difficult process. It is easy to defend one’s position and privilege with the explanation “I work hard. I deserve a holiday,” but this mindset is what perpetuates the great divide that exists in our society. 

What if instead, we looked inward and said I have enough to share? I have enough food to share. I have enough clothes to share. I have enough money to share. I have enough energy to share. I have enough expertise to share. 

I have enough to share and because it’s a holiday I have time to share. 

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