Caywood Christmas Traditions

Once when my girls were teenagers my yougest JoAnna was visting a friend Just before Christmas. The girl was listing all of her families traditions. When Jo got home she was down thinking our family did not have many traditions. As she thought about it she remembered the tradition our family had. She thought “Wait a minute! Our family always goes to the mission on Christmas Eve”.

At the time I was President of Union Rescue Mission of Los Angeles. On most days the program men served the homeless men their food. We served in the neighbor hood of three thousand meals a day. That does not mean we served three thousand men and woman because they people many times they ate all three meals. Everyone who ate at the mission ate the same food including the Board of Directors.The Board was wise and remembered that The book of James in the New Testament warmed against favoring the rich.

I ate many meals at the same time as the street people. I had learned that me showing up at the street meal improved the street meals better than a thousand emails.

Back to my daughter. After she thought about our faimily Christmas traditions she said to herself”Wait a minute. At Christmas we go to the mission and serve the program men.

When the girls were serving the men they had a ball. The loved dashing around and pretty well pushed food. The men loved it and joyfully protested they could not eat another bite. They always ate more despite their earlier protest to the contrary. Then they were truly stuffed.

There is a reality about being food stuffed. There is not room for more regular food. However, regular food stuffed is completely a separate category from being dessert stuffed. Full does not mean you are dessert stuffed.My girls understood that out of their own experience.

At The Mission dessert time set the girls off again with renewed vigor. Of course the program protested they were completely full. Their protests only resulted in a new energy to further stuff them That is what” Christmas Tradions meant in the Caywood home. There were other traditions we had. I think I will write about those traditons later. I need to tell you in advance those traditions wer invioletable.


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