Despite Setback, Christmas Dinner Continues

A Christmas tradition was at risk Tuesday, after the original organizers were forced to drop out last minute.

Candle light, Santa hats, a christmas tree adorned with ornaments served as the perfect setting for a Christmas dinner at Saint Margaret Mary Parish.

"It means a lot because it brings people together that don't have family," Ed Christiansen said. Ed and his wife Coral brought their neighbors, brothers, from the Underwood Tower. "We enjoy the fellowship here, they do a good job, give me a nice meal. I'm not with family members on christmas day and it brings us on out for that,” Coral said.

On Christmas, about 40 volunteers helped make and served the meal, others would pick up, host and sit to eat with each guest. “The thought of people being hungry and alone on Christmas just doesn't sit well with a lot of us,” unofficial organizer Alice Smith said.

The annual Christmas dinner at St. Margaret Mary has been a tradition in central Omaha for over 10 years. But what made this year so special Smith said, was that she had less than a week to organize the event and it was made possible because of the church members volunteers.

"All you have to do is make a little mention of something and you get a lot of people with good hearts coming out,” Smith said.

Everything from the food, to the table centerpieces, the wine and the gift baskets were donated. Dozens of volunteers helped set up the tables on Monday. It was all to help provide a Christmas meal and even a Christmas blessing.

The church group expected to serve about 40 visitors Christmas. The original hosts of the dinner will not be able to continue in the future. Smith hopes Saint Margaret Mary will carry on the tradition.


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