Great Room participants enjoy holiday gathering

Women from the lakecity’s Great Room program enjoyed an extravagant Christmas party together over the holidays.

Dina Kennedy

Special to the Tribune/Advisor

Women from the lakecity’s Great Room program enjoyed an extravagant Christmas party together over the holidays.

The house was decorated in Christmas attire, warm and welcoming for the 11 women and three elves participating.

The aroma of the prepared meal filled the home as each woman was warmly greeted at the door.

Christmas music was playing in the background and their spirits were high as you could hear the excitement from each woman as they came in and made themselves at home.

Each table was decorated gracefully with a different kind of centre piece.

As the evening progressed we played games and shared our favourite Christmas memories and traditions.

One woman shared that her family had fondues growing up on Christmas day.

Many of us shared the traditional opening of gifts on Christmas morning and had the traditional turkey dinner, but for a few others; they didn’t have good family memoirs of Christmas and chose not to share.

The tone shifted into how grateful we were for the things and people in our lives.

Several women spoke about how grateful they were to have this home to come to and the Great Room.

One woman shared that “three years ago we never had this home or the Great Room to go to, but we do now, and I’m thankful for it.”

As we continued to share, another woman told us to look at the Christmas tree and to see how the ornaments decorated each branch.

“We are all different, like the branches coming out from the tree trunk,” she said. “We are loveable at times and not so loveable. We are friends in the Great Room. We can laugh together and cry together.

“We accept each other. We can be who we are in the Great Room and we are held together just like the trunk of that tree.”

Gifts were exchanged, hugs were long and tears flowed, but the best gift of all was the spirit of Christmas flowing through the lives of the woman in the living room.

Please join with the heavenly hosts in saying: “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace, good will toward men. “He has done great things!”

I would like to personally thank all those who have given generously of their time and finances to The Great Room. Without your help, all of this could not be possible.

With a grateful heart, Dina Kennedy and the women of The Great Room.

The Great Room program provides a sacred space where once a week, women in difficult circumstances can come to find safety, rest, friendship and a welcoming place to share their stories and take steps toward positive change in their lives.