Celebrate the Christmas Season with Gratitude

Christmas. Each of us has memories of Christmas that we hold special. As a youngster, I recall going to the Barber family home every Christmas afternoon; relatives everywhere, aroma of scrumptious food coming from the kitchen, and the much-anticipated visit from Santa. This was usually the only time of the year that the extended family got together, so we were greeted by “Oh my! How you’ve grown!” and “So good to see you!”

My brother Joe’s birthday is Christmas Day, mine is two days after, and my late sister’s was a week after mine. Even as we grew older, we continued to believe in Santa – how else could our parents afford to give us both Christmas and birthday gifts?? Yet rather than focus too intently on our presents, my mother always reminded us to be thankful for everything that God had already given us, most especially our family and friends.

When Ryan was a toddler, I encouraged him to think about the fact that when the Magi visited Jesus, they brought with them three gifts. To this day, Ryan has always received and expects three Christmas gifts. What better way to come back to the true meaning of Christmas but in remembering why we celebrate Christmas at all, celebrating the birth of baby Jesus. We also began an annual tradition of making a list of people whom we are thankful to have as a part of our lives, people we celebrate. It has been fun to save the list from the previous year and use it as a way of reflecting on those who are still in our lives, and to see the new people who have joined us.

In that spirit, I’d like to thank the long-time friends and supporters of the Barber National Institute, many of whom we consider family now, as well as the new friends we’ve made throughout 2014:

The Barber National Institute parents, staff, volunteers & our generous donors


Barber Ball supporters & chair persons

Beast on the Bay supporters

The Blackburns

Bob Boorum & the men and women of the Mannerchor

Erie Arts & Culture

Erie Flagship Council

Erie Insurance

Erie Playhouse

Erie School District; especially East High School, Wayne Middle School & J.S. Wilson Middle School

First Books – Hooked on Books

First Niagara & Erie Bank

GE Community Outreach

Happy Hatters

Ladies Only Luncheon committee and supporters

Marci Smith & the ELBS Parent Group

Mary Beth Pinto, Laurie Sieber and their therapy dogs, Jessie & Charlie

Mr. & Mrs. Claus (Rhonda and Joe Schember)

Perseus House

PNC Grow Up Great

Steve Weiser & the Erie Chamber Orchestra

UPMC Hamot & Highmark

Variety ‘My Bike’ Program

Villa Maria High School students

Young People’s Chorus

Thank You

The above list is only a few of the hundreds of people who support us day in and day out, and allow us to make dreams come true for children and adults with disabilities. This season we are celebrating all that you have done and continue to do for us – Thank You and Merry Christmas!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s