Tis’ the season of giving, and several groups have again shown their generous spirit at the Home in the past few weeks. First, six freshman students from Georgetown Preparatory School used their community service hours to lug box after box of decorations down from the attic. In the course of a few hours, with all their repeated ascending and descending of the stairs and bumping into each other on the way to and from the attic, they began to resemble a herd of unruly reindeer. Once the Christmas tree was up and it was time to add the lights, a cacophony of, “You start from the bottom” followed by, “No! You start from the top, it’s much easier that way,” could be heard. One young man spent most of his community service hours untangling and testing the extra light sets, perhaps setting himself up for a bright future as a disaster engineer or fly-fishing guide. Once the lights finally did go up, a good start was made on hanging ornaments as the Guests joined in to help.
The next of our gracious-givers were the elf-like members of the Town and Country Garden Club. As they have done since 1958, they brought forth their formidable decorating talents, quickly transforming the Home into a festive landscape of holiday cheer. Their creations, ever-changing from year to year, are always amazing, and are appreciated by all. They bring an aura of transcendent peace to the Home each year. These hardworking, talented elves also provided a flower arrangement for Guests, a delicious lunch, and lively conversation. It turns out that one of our garden-club elves was once a champion speed-skater, and another was the recipient of a prestigious academic scholarship. This year’s leader of the elves, Linda Derrick, at one point rambunctiously appeared to climb the front yard magnolia tree, in an effort to snip the perfect branch for her decorating purposes.
This same elf was later seen performing Olympic-level ladder climbing. She won points with the judges for precarious twisting while adding red bows to a lofty garland. The bow-maker elf (aka, the Martha Stewart of the DC Metro Area, Merrily Hardisty) speedily pumped out perfectly tied bows while simultaneously giving a mini bow-making tutorial to Guests. We certainly don’t want Santa to find out about our Town and Country Garden Club elves—Linda, Merrily, Donna, Connie, and Cindy—as he might steal them for his north-pole Christmas workshop. We are sure they could whip up a toy or two in no time!
Rivaling Santa in generous giving were Lucy Cannon and her husband James, who delivered beautiful Christmas baskets and much-appreciated monetary gifts for the Guests. Lucy, who made the baskets, is carrying on a tradition that her mother-in-law, Cherie Cannon, once the manager of the Christ Church Thrift Shop, completed for many years on behalf of the Guests. Out from each basket peeped an adorable nutcracker, and each basket was filled with fun items wrapped with a plethora of colorful wrapping paper. Lucy obviously has flair for wrapping, as there were lots of oohs and ahs when the baskets were received.
Our youngest elf, age 8, turned out to be a sticker specialist extraordinaire. She was able, in short order and with enthusiasm and aplomb, to perfectly place stamps on our solicitation envelopes. She was a little miffed that we did not provide an actual elf hat for the job, but we will make sure to order her one for next year.
While the list of our holiday angels is getting rather lengthy, we can’t forget all of you who have participated in the Home’s annual solicitation/GivingTuesday drive. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support of the Home and Guests.
To all the Friends of the Home, we wish you a Happy Holiday season, and may your generosity return to you many-fold in the new year!
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