The holiday season is upon us. For those celebrating Hanukkah, festivities have been underway for several days. For those celebrating Christmas or another holiday, you may still be in the midst of the bustle of decorating and shopping.

Regardless, the season is here and we all share in these days and weeks as an opportunity for reflection and hope for a good and bountiful future. Many will gather with family and friends to share laughter and cheer. Maybe even a glass of wine or a martini (or three – who are we to judge).

For us at North Coast Community Homes, the holidays are a special time to share with family and friends as well. But because of the work we do, it’s also a time to remember the importance of our mission and who it is we serve, and why.
Some of our residents are blessed enough to still have family members near and active in their lives. For others, family isn’t available. When we talk about our residents as some of Ohio’s most vulnerable – a lack of familial support is one of the things that comes to mind. That’s one of the reasons we work so tirelessly, so passionately to try to ensure that our residents experience a sense of home. It’s why we want our homes to be within the community, where we hope for more opportunities for interaction, stimulation, and engagement with a larger world.

The thought of so many without the encircling arms of a loving family can make you sad. Yet, when we go to these homes and are greeted by the bright, shining smiles of happy faces… wow, all the Christmas lights and decorations seem so dim in comparison. Our residents are so grateful for a friendly visit and an opportunity to share their joy with others. It reminds us of what’s really important.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the hubbub and rush of the season. The shopping, picking out the perfect gifts for everyone on the list and then some. Buying maybe more than you should. The pressure to get to all the parties, make sure to send all the holiday cards, make sure everyone has everything and feels cared for. It’s a lot. Honestly, sometimes it’s enough to make anyone want to be a Scrooge.

But just like Tiny Tim redeems and lives as a brilliant example of the real meaning of the season, so too do our residents.

Our residents are just like anyone else. Yes, some of them are interested in a cool video game system. Some would love a new big flat screen TV. Who wouldn’t? But at the same time, they’re so very thankful for the little things. A simple unexpected visit by someone bringing some funny reindeer antlers, a Santa hat, or a stocking with a little stuffed dog can bring the most amazing amount of joy to their faces. Because, what’s really important is time, consideration, and gestures of caring.

When someone gives of their time, when they make a small gesture of care, it validates – it communicates “I see you, the you inside. You’re important.” We’re rewarded with so many smiles for the gift of just a moment of our time. It takes just a moment to remind us what the season is all about.

So, with that in mind, we thank you for sharing in this journey with us. We thank you for making it possible to see faces alight with joy and magic, as if every day was a holiday. We wish you and yours much happiness and many joys this beautiful and blessed holiday season.

Happy Holidays. And God bless us, everyone.
PS – because it IS the holidays, we’re Very excited that all of our residents will find just a little something extra in their stockings this month!