Street Talk; Christmas stories to warm your heart

Street Talk asks people in Goshen to share favorite Christmas stories.

Posted on Dec. 20, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 20, 2013 at 4:36 p.m.

Elkhart Truth correspondent Mark Shephard visited Goshen this week and asked, “What Christmas-related news story or local tale have you heard that has filled your heart with joy?

Tom Enright, park manager, Jones, Mich.:

“I live up in Jones, Mich., and our church continues to do gift baskets for families who are having rough times. We had over 100 baskets that were delivered to families in the Three Rivers area, and that was a great story for us as a church, and just to the spread the joy of Jesus Christ around.”

Joanna King, pretzel cafe owner, Middlebury:

“Probably the most incredible one is not one that took place here, but took place with a former resident of here. Toby McCrae lived here in Goshen for years — her and her husband Matthew just moved up to Canada — and she happened to know of a child who wasn’t going to get a Christmas tree so she posted it on Facebook. And just last night again she said how they have a tree, they have presents, they have a warm coat for the kid, they’ve got everything they need for the family for Christmas. That kind of stuff is cool. The power of social networking is pretty cool.”

Reynard Hilman, chief software architect, Goshen:

“I guess I would say the spirit of Christmas with people helping and making a difference helping other people. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s here or somewhere else, whenever people are doing something to help.”

Brea Reimer, delivery coordinator and IUPUI student, Middlebury:

“We work at the local Menards and one of our fellow employee’s house caught on fire, and so some other employees got her a Christmas tree and decorations and everything, so that was cool. It was about half destroyed as far as I know.”

Ezra Mast, real estate broker, Goshen:

“I don’t know of anything in particular happening, except what Christmas really stands for is Jesus Christ’s birthday, which is a big deal. That’s what Christmas is to me, and that fills my heart with joy. Without Jesus’s birth there would be no Easter, there would be no crucifixion and resurrection, which means that’s our salvation.”

Natasha Weisenbeck, candy store attendant, Goshen:

“The closest story that I’ve heard recently would be how this one gentleman who was adopted and from overseas — he had been in an orphanage for four years, so he had a lot of personality disorders when he came over, and his adopted parents stuck with him for several years even as he had no connections to people whatsoever, and even had a point when he held a knife to his mother’s throat when he was a younger boy. But through working with him through therapy of having eight weeks where they had to be together in really close relationships trying to recreate kind of like a maternal bond between a newborn and an adult — he’s about 13 years old when they’re doing this, and he can’t be more than 5 feet away from his adopted mother at that point in time — between different kinds of things like that, he was able to at the point when he was 16 or 17 to have relationships again. One of the reasons why that story is so important to me is because my boyfriend is very high-functioning Asperger’s, which means he does pretty well in the world in relating, but there are some things that he says or does, where I’m like, ‘OK, you don’t really think that’s a big deal to the rest of us, but it is, and you don’t understand it, but we have to work through it.’ So because we’ve gone through these different communication things, it makes it so we have to be on top of communication and understanding, and purposefully talking about empathy.”

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