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A post from Zen Habits: How to Survive (and Thrive) During the Holidays When You Feel Alone has inspired me to share our volunteering experience this Christmas.

Des and I volunteered this year at a Christmas Dinner for those who are alone,have no family, or are away from their families on Christmas Day. This tradition started 10 years ago here in Tweed Heads, where a lunch is provided for people who were alone . the Christmas Day Celebration Lunch committee, headed up this year by a wonderful woman Pricilla Abrahams, who acknowledged her 4 children for their support, they were volunteering too, along with 50 other people.

The food – a real Xmas dinner, with ham, turkey, roast vegetables, cranberry sauce, was followed by mini plum puddings and custard. Much of the food, drinks and present for each child were donated by local clubs, organizations and businesses.

About 500 people sat down for lunch, ranging in age from toddlers to a 95 year old woman. Two buses collected people from around the area who did not have transport.

We were pleased to see our local member of parliament, Justine Elliott, pitching in with the other volunteers to serve meals.,. Justine is also the Federal Minister for Aging in the new government.

Xmas Lunch in Tweed Justine Elliot

This was for us a very different and rewarding experience and enables me to be very grateful for the friends and community I have.

And to round off our Christmas we headed to the beach in the afternoon. Here families were playing cricket, flying kites, children laughing and playing.


I would also like to acknowledge my online community, especially the many people who sent birthday wishes to me on Xmas Eve. For once it was such a joy to have so many emails in my inbox. So if you want lots of birthday greeting, fill in the boxes in all those forums and social networking sites you belong to.