One of my fondest memories of Christmas time was having all of our family around the table together. We were, and still are, a loving and close family. Always together for holidays, birthdays, and even every Friday morning at 9:00 for the family Coffee Klatch at Pastry Perfection. I don't know how this ever started but there were several years when I was very young that my parents got it in their minds to make a phone call out to the Marsing Job Corps and invite a couple of guys to our family's table for dinner. Let me remind you that we're talking about 1970 Idaho...white, Republican, pretty closed-minded (so I thought), way off to the right. The more I think back about this deal, the more it amazes me. So, we'd drive the hour each way to the facility and pick up whoever they had selected to come with us. At least one year, it ended up being two African-American guys. One named Alfonso and I can't remember the other guy's name. My mom still has the Super-8 movie film of the three of us kids playing in the living room after dinner with these guys......nice, friendly, smiling and (I hope) happy. The tree is decorated in the corner. My sister is twirling around with her long hair flapping in the breeze. My brother and I running back and forth in our matching Christmas outfits (why always matching, I'll never know). And Alfonso and his buddy with huge grins on their faces. Like they'd been liberated or given a little break in life. I very well remember, then, sitting down at the dinner table filled with good food, all of us together, and holding hands for the first time ever with someone whose skin color was not the same as mine. We gave thanks for the food, ate for what seemed like forever, and later in the day took the guys back to Marsing to the Job Corps facility. By that time of the day, it was dark. As far as we could see, snowy farm landscapes, with Christmas lights sparkling in the blackness, as we said goodbye to these guys who still impact my mind and heart today. As deep in my heart as I can feel, I am thankful to my parents whose hearts are bigger than life....for the memories, for the teaching, for the inclusion....no matter what. Whose around your table this year?