I celebrated my Christmas in the company of strangers

My wife and I hosted Christmas in our home, as we do every year. We open our doors to any and all and offer chili, cornbread, and sweets to friends and family who want to join us.

In the past people have dropped by for 15 minutes or stayed all day.

The list of guests this year was interesting. We had fewer people than usual join us, but the people who did were an exceptionally diverse bunch.

Oddly enough, no one who stopped by knew anyone else who stopped by except for Elysha and myself. As many people as Elysha and I know, these people were all strangers to each other, and yet the house was filled with conversation and laughter. 

I like to think that this is what Christmas is all about. 

The way we met these people was just as diverse:

A storyteller who I met while performing in New York four years ago

A storyteller who I met while performing in Boston last year

A woman who Elysha met while standing in line at the doctor's office three years ago
That woman's brother, who we met at a party last year
That woman's son

A man who we met at a Speak Up performance this year

Elysha's former fifth grade student who she taught more than a decade ago

A former colleague of mine from 17 years ago turned Speak Up storyteller and book collaborator
Her husband

A woman who Elysha met at My Gym classes four years ago
Her husband
Their three children

They came in as strangers but left as a group who shared a part of their Christmas day together.