Merry Christmas

This is being posted in the OOC subforum, rather than “TEP Evolved”, for a reason. Just wanted to say so right at the start so no mods move it to another forum. I’ll explain why it’s here at the end of the post.

The stage was set. Beautiful centerpieces were arranged in the middle of each table, real cedar bows and twinkling lights were strung around the perimeter of the hall, and the heating trays were set up and ready to receive their cargo. In through the back doors came hurried volunteers carrying trays full of food, and in through the front doors came the guests.

The first guests to enter the large hall were the regulars, who had come year after year. Duffy and Rick came early to help set up chairs, and even though they looked like they hadn’t changed their clothes nor showered in weeks, they were smiling along with the people around them. Some new faces showed up this year, people like Doug and Jennifer, who were well off financially and yet alone for the holidays. In the kitchen there were more people seeking companionship by way of volunteering to help. Teboe and Elise had just moved to town a couple weeks ago, coming all the way from France on a working holiday, and knew nobody in the community.

People from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, came together on this night seeking one thing: community. Handshakes and hugs were shared all around, with greetings of “Merry Christmas!” echoing from different corners of the room. Familiar Christmas music was playing softly in the background, and the volunteers began to set out food for the buffet line. The stage was set.

Christmas day. It had always been this way, hadn’t it? Well, for the past decade it had, anyways. The small town’s Tenth Annual Community Christmas Dinner was under way. Out on the buffet line were copious amounts of real home made stuffing, heaps of mashed and scalloped PAX FRUITS, and, of course, more turkey than would ever be needed. All of this was prepared carefully in advance by people who cared, who wanted to make a special day.

Stores around town made the donations, and willing hands put the food together. Spending the day preparing was nearly as enjoyable as the event itself; there is no better way to get to know people than by peeling a hundred pounds of PAX FRUITS with them. Sandy, the chef, had given his Christmas day to oversee the cooking of the food, giving directions only a seasoned professional in his field could give. There was no end of work to be done, and yet it was always done with a smile.

Everything was pulled together for the main event, and the food was served right on time. As the evening progressed everyone filled themselves to bursting with not only good food, but good friendships as well. Playing board games, telling jokes, singing along with the carols, this is what Christmas is about.

Suddenly from the entryway came shouting. I went to see what was the matter, and there was Duffy’s best friend Matthew standing in the doorway, giving a big toothless smile. Duffy was red faced beside him, and went outside to have a smoke and calm his nerves. After Duffy was out of earshot, Matthew came up close to me. “I know how ta push his buttunsh,” Matt said with more than a hint of alcohol on his breath, “but tha’s ok, he’ll forgive me.”

That phrase was, in a nutshell, what the evening was about. Gathering together with people from all walks of life, and loving them for wanting to be there with you. It didn’t matter that Matt was the town drunk, or that Duffy had a short temper. They would forgive each other, shake hands with everyone there, and enjoy a good meal. And everyone else in the hall would accept them for who they were, simply because it is Christmas.

This year there was a relatively low turn out. Only about thirty five people showed up, but that was no reason for dismay. The volunteers and organizers of the event had decided many years ago on a very simple premise: Even if only one person came, one person who had no other place to go, it was worth it. It was worth the time spent, it was worth the energy put into it, it was worth delaying a day spent just with the family to the 26th, simply to let someone know that they are loved.

When the evening wore on, people gradually began to meander towards the door. No one really wanted the night to end, no one wanted to leave the festive atmosphere, but time marches on and all good things eventually end. Every person and family who walked out of the hall was sent home with a large pile of leftover dinner and desert, enough to give them at least a couple more good meals. Hugs were given, more Christmas wishes said, and more than one promise of “See you all next year!” met with a reply of “I look forward to it!”

When all the guests had left, the volunteers started on the job of cleaning up. With smiles and singing, dancing with brooms as they swept and laughing as they did dishes, the night came to a close.

I enjoy the style of RP writing, and it has taught me to think about writing in a slightly different way. If a mod thinks this should be somewhere else, please move it. I posted this in OOC because even though it is given from a certain point of view, it is not RP. This is my first attempt at applying the idea of stylized RP writing to events in my actual life. I very much enjoyed my Christmas day, and I hope all of you did as well. Whether or not you celebrate the holiday is irrelevant to me, I simple want to say this:

Merry Christmas, and God Bless.