Give for Freedom

What Christmas Means to Us

Christmas at The Rose Center

This was the very first Christmas at The Rose Center in Alabama, so of course, had to celebrate with a party! We had a lovely Christmas tree, and we decorated plenty of homemade ornaments. Some had an orange rose, some had first initials of names, and there were even paperclip angel ornaments. There was glitter everywhere!

There was Mexican food for a “Feliz Navidad” theme--along with Christmas cookies, of course. Everyone wore goofy, crazy Christmas sweaters. We got to talk with participants about their children and Christmas plans. It was such a nice change of pace from the conversations we usually have about trauma-focused and therapy-minded. While it’s so important to do the difficult work of spending time with and speaking about the heavy things, everybody needs a break from it once in a while.

We can remember the very first day we opened the doors. We were anxious because we didn’t know what was going to happen, but we wanted to do our best. We had faith that if we trusted our head and our hearts, God would lead us to serve some incredible people--and He has! It means so much to the staff and the participants to be at the Rose Center, which had become a place of growth, friendship, healing, hope, honor, encouragement, and love.

This Christmas, we’re reflecting on all of the large and small beginnings that we’ve experienced over the year with our wonderful volunteers, supportive community, and brave survivors. We remember the bad with the good: the memories of where we used to be, and the milestones and breakthroughs that led to where we are now. We’ve all come a long way! Now that the seeds of so many great relationships within The Rose Center and with the wider community have been planted, we can’t wait to see all that God will continue to do through each of us.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

- The Rose Center Staff

Christmas at The Rose Home

We have such a full Rose Home for Christmas in Wisconsin this year, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! We celebrated with an early Christmas party which one of the residents did most of the planning and coordinating for. There was Christmas music playing, a variety of yummy snacks, and a handmade gift exchange between all of the participants and the coaches.

As a surprise gift, the participants made t-shirts for all of the coaches! The shirts all have the Eye Heart World rose and a word that personally describes each coach. It was such a thoughtful, wonderful gift! Throughout December, the participants were also able to make paper snowflakes, decorate gingerbread houses, and do other winter activities like sledding and ice skating.

The Rose Home staff wearing new t-shirts from the participants!

We’ve had a lot on our minds and our hearts this past year. The coaches asked the participants to re-focus on themselves--to think about why they ended up coming to The Rose Home in the first place and what it means to each of them to be here. The participants did an activity called “Your Life Story Through the Years.” They each wrote down something special that happened in every single year of their life--either a memory they have or, when they were younger, something that their family told them about.

The first thing we want the participants to think about is what they want to be healed. This could be more patience, less anxiety, a feeling of being at peace, or many other things. We all have something to work on in ourselves. After that important, difficult question is answered, the second focus is what the want to be able to give back to others. When we look at the people who have helped us come so far, we want to be able to give thanks to them and show our appreciation--but in order to have the strength to do that, we first have to thank and appreciate ourselves.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

- The Rose Home Staff