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The Center for Christmas Day dinner

Christmas Day used to be a day when Peg cooked a ham and all the trimmings dinner for her family! Presents were wrapped, stockings stuffed and the tree decorated. She felt excited to see her children’s faces when they opened their gifts, found their favorite candy in their stockings and when they sang Christmas carols together! Just thinking of the memories brought a smile to her face.

Traditions come and go. The children grew up, married and have families of their own. Every other year the kids and their families come to Brainerd and celebrate Christmas with Peg and Walt. The first few years, Peg didn’t do so well adjusting to Christmas “alone.” Then she heard about the Christmas Day Dinner at The Center. They were looking for volunteers to assist with making, serving, delivering and clean up following the dinner. Peg had found a new purpose, a way to give back and a way to celebrate the season of Christmas!

Two years ago, Peg and Walt arrived mid-morning. Peg mixed up salad, Walt set the table and made coffee. They and other volunteers assisted Dave with preparing the dinner. Once everything was ready, meals were packed for delivery and delivered; people were picked up and brought to The Center for dinner. Everyone enjoyed a terrific dinner at 11:30 a.m., while Christmas carols played in the background. The Center was decorated for the Christmas season and everyone was in a festive frame of mind! The dishes and clean up were a breeze with so many helping hands. The day was filled with food, fun and fellowship; as Christmas should be and was in the past for Peg!

This year, Peg and Walt will be at The Center again. In the past, they enjoyed the day so much; it was almost as fun as watching grandchildren on Christmas! They have signed up to volunteer where needed for the day. The Center is located at 803 Kingwood Street, Brainerd. Dave’s menu this year will be oven baked ham, sweet potatoes with candied pecans, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, dinner roll and apple pie! If you would like to sign up to volunteer or come just for the Christmas Day Dinner, please call The Center at 829-9345. Come join us!

DEANN BARRY is The Center director.