The ladies of Bethlehem Lutheran Child Care in Germantown arrived in the lobby amidst a cloud of giggles and good cheer. The group, most of them first time visitors to The Pfister Hotel, were onsite to view the historic hotel draped in its holiday finery.
I guided the happy group through the landmark, sharing with them a bit of the hotel’s past. As Christmas decorations were the reason for their visit, I asked the women to share their favorite part of the upcoming holiday.
- Debbie, a true Christmas enthusiast, loves everything about the season, particularly spending time with family.
- Liz adores the holiday lights and decorations that make the season extra-special.
- Katie loves sharing the season with her daughters, ages 3 and 5. Soon, the trio will see The Nutcracker, marking her youngest child’s first ballet.
- Sharon, Like Liz, loves the magic of holiday decorations.
- Linda most cherishes the family moments during the season.
- Megan, recently engaging and happily anticipating the next chapter of her life, holds on tightly to her family’s holiday traditions and looks forward to continuing those tradition with her own family.
- Sharyn celebrates her joy in the “birth of the Christ Child” and loves the “fun, festivities and food” associated with the season.
- Deb loves the aura of happiness that surrounds us during the holidays.
Together, the women moved merrily through the hotel, enjoying the time together. Relaxed and away from the work they love, the group showed their affection for each other through compliments and inside jokes. The smiles were as big the hearts of these caregivers as they giggled their way thought the tour.
Child care is notoriously difficult work. The role is emotionally demanding and often not well compensated, which leads many to leave the profession, yet it is clear there is nowhere else these women would rather be. The caretakers spoke of the joy they feel working with children and how it fills their hearts to share the message of Jesus with the little ones in their care. They shared the satisfaction felt while watching the infants they tend to grow and bloom into toddlers, and then pre-schoolers. There is a deep sense of pride, both in the essential work they do, and the trust that has been bestowed upon them by the families of the children to which they tend. The women are aware of the awesome responsibility of their roles, and they embrace it.
I left the group happily chatting in front of the fireplace that has warmly welcomed visitors for 125 years. The glow of the flames played upon the glasses they held, causing the group to twinkle and shine as brightly as the Christmas trimmings around them. The light, coupled with their peals of laughter, which was reminiscent of the tinkling of bells, made them appear every bit as merry as the Christmas decorations they’d come to see. I raise a glass in cheers to these women: shine on you sparkling lights!