Messiah Village is undoubtedly a special place to live, work, and play year round. But to me Christmas time at the Village is the most extraordinary time of the year. The spirit of Christmas at Messiah Lifeways is unlike any other place I’ve ever worked. The joy and wonder that we all feel in our own personal lives, whether you are a resident, staff member, or volunteer, comes together on this campus to create a unique Christmas experience. For one, the purposeful way in which we celebrate Christmas on campus preserves the sanctity of why we celebrate. Events such as the Live Nativity, Christmas worship services, and December Devotionals help us to celebrate the true “reason for the season.”
Secondly, the residents and clients make working here very special, especially during the holidays. As they say, “you sometimes spend more of your awoken day with your co-workers than your own family.” The same can be said for the residents and clients we serve. Subsequently fellow staff, residents and clients become your second family. And just like your loved ones at home, we share the joy and anticipation of the holidays as well. Whether it is Messiah Lifeways At Home staff volunteering their time to help clients decorate for the holidays or enrichment staff baking Christmas cookies with residents, we work side-by-side and help each other during the hustle and bustle and excitement of the season. This surrogate family really cares for each other. Though it is our responsibility as staff members, the holiday season enlivens the care and fellowship we extend to residents and clients with genuineness and purity. Similarly, each year residents take up a collection to give back to Messiah Lifeways by giving employees a Giant gift card as a way of thanking them for all their hard work throughout the year, for which we are all so thankful.
Lastly, the month of December here at Messiah Village is just plain fun. Decorations inside and out, a barrage of Christmas planters and gift baskets coming in for residents and staff, various holiday parties, Carols in the Atrium, the holiday buffet and the appearance of Ole Kris Kringle himself are just some of the things we enjoy each December. All this contributes to a month’s worth of fellowship and cheer for our 600+ employees and nearly 1500 residents, clients, and members.
I may be biased, but I truly believe Christmas at the Village is extraordinary. And below are number of other team members who shared their thoughts on what makes the holiday season so special at Messiah Lifeways….
…I am blessed to be part of an organization that celebrates the real “reason for the season” – Christ! It is a privilege to assist residents with decorating and shopping and Christmas preparations. I love hearing about their traditions and Christmas experiences past and present! Singing Christmas carols or listening to Christmas music! Truly blessed! O come, let us adore Him! – Heidi Curry
…we plan a Christmas Worship Service, followed by our Christmas Party, for [Adult Day] clients and family members. Clients are involved in the preparation and also participate in the service. This event is always a highlight of the Christmas season for our center and for me personally! - Kim Engle
…I enjoy when the residents, staff and community come together to share stories, music and song at the “Carols in the Atrium” program each December. After the show we gather for home-made cookies and fellowship. It’s the highlight of my holiday season at Messiah Village. - Anonymous
…we celebrated the holidays with our staff by hosting a Holiday Open House….we had a great turn out and hope to make this an annual event. We enjoy helping our clients get ready for the holidays by offering an hour of free holiday decorating. We enjoy learning about each of our client’s holiday traditions. – Messiah Lifeways At Home
…I’m always ready to see the beautiful decorations in the reception area, as it reflects on the residents & staff. They stop to admire them & comment on how lovely they look. We are so blessed to work here. –Anonymous
…I love baking my sand tart cookies that I only bake at Christmas time and give them out as gifts at home and at work. – Norma Martz
…in Enhanced Living we always have resident Christmas parties that family can attend. This is a great time of fun and fellowship to spend with residents and their families that we don’t often get to enjoy. – Anonymous
…in the Enhanced Living Neighborhoods we do everything together – decorate, bake cookies, sing carols, have parties, go to chapel events, make gifts and give gifts, write cards and send them, share memories and old traditions, create new traditions, go for bus rides to look at Christmas lights, have hot cocoa and cookies afterwards, have a Christmas Eve get together in our jammies, share a gift in the morning at breakfast, dine together on Christmas day, fellowship, enjoy the Live Nativity, celebrate the birth of Christ, and love one another. Whether you are residents, families, or staff the holidays are celebrated as if we are all family. – Mary Ann Ott
…I enjoy our annual family Christmas service and party. We include our clients in reading the Christmas story from the Bible, with family members, clients and staff all around. Then we have live entertainment and lots of food for everyone to share in the joys of the season. It is a wonderful time to appreciate our relationships with the caregivers. – Anonymous
…I love the Christmas Meal at Mechanicsburg Place. Everyone is so jolly and excited to see those they haven’t seen for a while. Plus we get to hear the chorus sing after we eat together. – Anonymous
…I am enjoying telling the Christmas story over and over in my Bible studies, looking at it from different angles and sharing the origins of different carols. Last week in Special Care I was reading from Luke 2 and letting the residents fill in the blanks. When I got to the verse… “And they found Mary and ______” One of the ladies beamed as she proudly responded, “A little lamb!” – Pastor Debby
…I love visiting nearly every department with other members of the Executive Team to bring holiday cheer and a fun treat! - Kristen Heisey
…it is wonderful to see how involved everyone is during the Christmas season. Team Members bake treats for residents, family members share favorite family recipes, and residents enjoy socializing with everyone. – Ken Beiler
Please also enjoy our short holiday video highlighting the many ways we celebrate the season at Messiah Lifeways.
HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS, FROM MESSIAH LIFEWAYS COACHING!!!