Friday, December 17, 2010

The Best Christmas Tree Ever

I’ve been partying so heartily this month that I completely forgot about blogging. But last Wednesday as we were decorating the Promise House Christmas Tree, I once again became awe-struck by the ability of our teens to be……just kids; and was inspired to tell you.

As we pulled out the decorations, decided how to do the lights, discussed which ornaments to put where, and ate pounds of popcorn, all the trauma, sadness, instability, abuse, fear, and uncertainty of their lives took a very backseat to the fun of the hour. We had babies, toddlers, tweens, teens, young adults, and us old staffers laughing, talking, decorating, and eating together as the tree blossomed into probably our best Christmas Tree Ever!

Even the shy ones got in on the act. With a little coaxing, a very timid 15-year old girl, who hates crowds, accepted the ornaments I brought her and found just the right spot on the tree for them. The older teens were helping the young kids reach to new heights (literally) while the toddlers wobbled around playing with and dropping the shatter-proof (thank goodness) ornaments.

When completed, the tree shone like magic and the kids, stuffed with popcorn and good cheer, shone right along with it. A good time was had by all.

I’ve often said that one of our most important roles in the lives of our kids is to be an anchor in their many-times stormy lives. Although we facilitate family visits, parties, overnight stays, and gift giving during the holidays with our teens and their families, there are always those kids who have no family, whose families fail to show or who disappoint, or kids who can’t be with their family for a variety of reasons. Consequently, it is experiences like the one we shared last Wednesday that serve as the anchor for them; that help them remember they are cared about, even loved. Hopefully, some day when these kids are grown and decorating their own Christmas trees with their families, they will fondly remember a long-ago day of tree decorating at Promise House…..and the sanctuary provided for them on that day.

That is the best Christmas gift for which we could ever hope!


  1. Promise House and the TLP staff need to be more organized. Telling people one thing and doing another. The TLP girls are left in the house alone with no source of heat. They are told they still need to be out of the house, even though there's no need for this. At night they are shivering in their beds even with the several quilts and blankets they have. They are told too many different things and lies by those that are supposed to be in charge. I won't give names, but some of them seem to be a bit on the incompetent side. I know it's the holidays and we are all wanting to have a good time and spend time with family and friends. But do not forget about those that don't have anywhere else to go, no one to go see. No family to say Merry Christmas or Happy New Year. They're still here, they're freezing. Are they not important to you at all? Do you all just work there for the check and don't care about them at all? While you are all out with your adoring families and loved ones, warm and happy. Think about those that you are neglecting. I guess money is everything. And if you're off work, you're off work. Why bother seeing if the TLP girls are warm or have food or if they are okay, if you're not going to be paid to do it?

  2. Dear Anonymous. I will be checking into your post to see what was going on. I'm very concerned about what you wrote, and if you are a current resident, wish you would voice your opinion to our program manager. I will follow up and see what I can find out from my end. Thank you for posting your concerns.