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How we create a Christmas Feast for a friend in need by asking you to offer one dish.

December 17, 2014

Do you enjoy preparing your Christmas Dinner? When you shop for the supplies to round out the feast are you able to purchase the necessities without being concerned with the final cost? Do you sit down at the end of Christmas Day and feel full in body, heart and spirit?
If so, you are in the majority of the households in our community and that is a wonderful blessing all around: to be comfortably able to afford to lay out a spread that creates not only filled bellies but memories, and to live in a community that appreciates and celebrates heartily and happily a traditional family meal.
In 2005 I had my eyes opened to life’s flip a coin and dreaded the approaching void of that holiday tradition that I had so very much enjoyed and possibly not appreciated as much as I should have. I had become one of those in our arm’s reach who either could not able to afford this bounty and blessing of a full table spread, or have experienced a loss of a loved one, or major health trauma and simply can not find the strength emotionally or physically to offer this gift to their families, or the reason to. That’s when I succumbed to the voice that wouldn’t leave my head or heart and rallied the first Hope and Friendship Christmas Dinner asking those in our community to offer a small offering from one home that would make a huge impact in another.
Preparing for the 10th one I find myself excited to see the unique and delicious dishes that appear and how friends offer their donations of a helping of a side, veggie, potato or dessert for a friend’s dinner in a creative, compassionate, and completely selfless way.
I love hearing stories of how families have embraced preparing a dish, desserts, or offering of supplies to the Hope and Friendship Christmas Dinners as a team effort. Involving the kids in making the stuffing, the veggie dish, grandma’s secret recipe side dish or dessert and dropping it off on Christmas Day before their own traditional family Christmas Dinner unfolds. To me it flavors your own Christmas meal to know someone in a home within your arm’s reach will be enjoying your offering of one dish alongside of another friend’s offering of one dish, creating a compassionately prepared and amazingly full spread of a meal from one friend’s home to another.
This has become, and will only be successful as long as it remains, a community effort collaboration meal that is offered unconditionally in the most beautiful act of Christmas love by a friends who can for friends who find themselves living through a most difficult chapter of their lives. Each dish, each hand that helps, each person who offers what they can joined with the next person who is offering as they are able makes this a true and real Christmas Act of Kindness that will fuel body, mind and spirit far longer than the day it is given and received.
Ripples my friends. You have and you are making beautifully nourishing and hope filled ripples.

Any offerings of side dishes, pastas, veggie dishes, salads, rolls/butter or desserts can be dropped off on Christmas Day to the Lemont Township Office (1115 Warner Ave- behind Chipain’s Fresh Market) between 11am-1:30pm. Anyone wishing to help can join us at 1:30 for assembling or 3pm for deliveries. Questions? Email me at
Wishing you the most blessed Christmas season and spirit!


Terri O’Neill-Borders


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