The halls have been decked, the children have been gifted, and the pace has slowed as we get ready for Christmas.
December 8 marked the annual Christmas party for the children in Arts & Smarts. As usual, there was a wonderful feast, carols with friends from Aldersgate UMC, and card making. And there was the usual opportunity for children “shop” in our Christmas Store for gifts for their families. They had earned tickets for shopping through good attendance.
The children were encouraged to think not of themselves but of their families and friends as they did their shopping. We were fortunate to have a great team of parents and volunteers who helped the children choose gifts in the Christmas Store and wrap the gifts they’d chosen.
As in previous years, the Christmas Store was organized by our teen volunteers as part of their leadership training activities. The weekend before the Store, the teens went on a fabulous shopping trip to stock the Christmas Store. We are grateful for a Youth Resources Make a Difference grant that funded their purchases.
Other festivities around Patchwork have included the Worship Community’s annual trip to old strip mine land to collect Christmas trees for Patchwork and our homes. The trees we find would make Charlie Brown happy. The one for Patchwork is particularly large (almost touching the ceiling in our main room) and beautiful. As big as it is, it was a challenge to get lights all the way to the top!
The Community did our annual Hanging of the Greens during worship on December 11 and now the building looks wonderfully Christmasey with lights and greens scattered everywhere.
Patchwork will be open mornings only during the week before Christmas (our food pantry will be open during that time) and then our offices will be completely closed during the week between Christmas and New Year. We’ll open back up on January 2 with a flurry of activity including the return of the children in Arts & Smarts.