Every day in our life's journey holds its own special treasures, if we have eyes to see...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hosting Royalty

This past week, I got to be part of an amazing event: More than 120 tables filled the huge civic auditorium, each holding 8 people and decorated with  unique holiday-themed settings. A chef-crafted meal, a team of servers in black and white, greeters, transportation crew, table bussers, kitchen staff, and more all collaborated for the effort, assisted by artists, singers, Christmas elves, and picture ops with Santa. Why? For the express purpose of honoring greatness.

The guests were not monarchs from other nations, nor lords and ladies with famous names. Media does not value or know these individuals. Many did not even value themselves. Somewhere along life's journey they had lost some if not all vision for pursuing dreams, and it was our job and our joy to speak to the treasure within them, to awaken them to hope again by reminding them of what they may have forgotten about who they are. We wanted to do this not through words, but by treating them with dignity, honor, and grace, and giving them a day to remember.

Some walked through the doors pushing all their worldly goods in little rolling basket-carts. Another left his dog tied to the bushes outside, guarding bike and backpack while big feathery snowflakes drifted down. But in spite of these and other such situations, many wished me "Merry Christmas" as they passed by, and their smiles were heartfelt. I was so impressed. One couple at my table cheerily announced they lived in a tent.  "What do you do when it snows like this?" I asked, to which they replied as if they had the best set-up ever: "We have a heater!"

 From the raucous little boys in the table behind mine to the baby dressed in Christmas best for her picture with Santa, it was the children that impressed me the most, though. I marveled at the way they immersed themselves in the wonder of the moment, and had not yet forgotten their greatness. One little boy stood up to show me how tall he was and let me feel his muscles. "I'm Daddy's strong boy," he said with a toothless grin. His sister confided that she is her daddy's brave girl, and undertook to teach me her family members' names. One child wanted to be a singer, another a writer, and as they confided this, the light of a thousand possible horizons shone in their eyes.

Our teams set about to give, but in the end, it was we who received, for we came away knowing we had gazed on something of wonder and magic. But after all, isn't that how it works when royalty comes to call?


  1. Yes. I'm confident the King was smiling, enjoying each one there and all who made this 'honoring' happen. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Since this type of thing is what you're always doing, I know you'd have enjoyed it :-) )

  3. i know We certainly felt like royalty when u guyz 'hosted' us in your home for 5 daz...
    u gave us a much needed resting place at a very tired & trying time in our lives, you fed our bodies & our souls & our spirits too. i trust you will continue to give this gift, as it means more to me than i can really say.

    1. Ah, thanks. You guys were amazing, and as always, when royalty comes to call, we felt so priviledged :-) And yes, the big-nosed one has recovered :-)