The most wonderful time of the year has officially arrived; Milwaukee’s East Side landscape is starting to look like a winter wonderland, and the city’s sidewalks are dressed in the finest holiday style. It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! 

While it’s still acceptable to roast chestnuts on an open fire and dream of a white Christmas, there’s no denying that the holidays will look much differently this season.  Time once spent with family and loved ones, exchanging presents by the tree, singing carols, or enjoying a holiday dinner, may have to wait until next Christmas. It seems hard to believe and frankly, heartbreaking, to think that something as simple as hugging a relative is a luxury we simply can’t afford right now.  

Despite the challenges this year has brought us, we at Milwaukee Catholic Home continue to make concerted efforts to ensure our residents feel that they are engaged, healthy, and connected. While much of what we do this Christmas may not be what we’re used to, the spirit of connection is alive and well as we stand together while staying apart.  

Santa’s elves (aka the A Life Engaged staff at Milwaukee Catholic Home) have been hard at work thinking of ways to still make this time of year merry and bright to all who live here. In addition to Christmas movies being shown throughout the month, here are just a few of the ways that Milwaukee Catholic Home residents and staff will be getting into the holiday spirit this season. 

MCH Advent Retreat 

Fr. Domenic Roscioli is a priest on a mission.  He has a God-given knack for storytelling and brings each story home to the spiritual aspect of these stories, touching the lives of those who listen.  We will begin Advent here at MCH on Monday, November 30th and Tuesday, December 1st with a two-day retreat, God’s Story, Our Story. There will be two virtual sessions each day at 10AM and 1:30PM.  

Christmas Concerts:              

While we will be enjoying them virtually this year, there will be a special touch for each Christmas concert this season! Residents will have the option to gather, socially distanced, to enjoy the concerts in our large community spaces, or they can experience the performance from the comfort of their own apartment. Our concert line-up includes: 

Michael Buble Home for Christmas (2011) – (Thursday, Dec. 3rd – 7:00 PM) 

Carolyn Wehner’s A Classic Christmas (Thursday, December 8th -7:00 PM) 

Addison Teng and Paul Hauer – The classical violin powerhouse will perform Mozart, Shubert, and Christmas carols – (Sunday, Dec. 13th – 7:00 PM) 

Frederick Moyer – (Tuesday, Dec. 15th – 7:00 PM) –The renowned Classical and Jazz pianist will honor Beethoven’s 250th birthday. His holiday concert will feature the complete “Waldstein” Piano sonata, one of Beethoven’s greatest piano works. The program will also feature a beautiful collection of Romanian Christmas Carols arranged by Bartok, and Fred’s jazz arrangements of some seasonal favorites. 

Tom and Evan Leahy present a “Celtic Christmas” – (Tuesday, December 22nd–7:00 PM) 

Deck The Halls (and by “Halls”, we Mean the HCC Courtyard) 

Families of Milwaukee Catholic Home Health Care Center residents were invited to lend their hidden holiday gems to the A Life Engaged Christmas elves this year, and this call to arms was enthusiastically answered! From treasured ornaments to cherished family heirlooms, plenty of family keepsakes will be on display throughout the holiday season in the Health Care Center Courtyard 

There will be a chance for residents to see these decorations up close and personal during MCH’s Winter Wonderland from Tuesday, December 15th to Thursday, December 17th. For three consecutive evenings, guided outdoor tours will be offered by the MCH Life Engaged Elves. Cookies, cocoa, and campfires will be enjoyed during this special event. 

It’s displays like this (made possible by the kindness and generosity of our friends) that truly prove that our days will be merry and bright. 

MCH Christmas Marketplace-Wednesday December 16th to Thursday, December 17th 

The Christmas shopping experience is being delivered to the Residence this year as we create a Christmas Marketplace for our residents to shop safely and conveniently from the comfort of their own home! For two days, residents will be able to purchase “best sellers” from local small businesses as gifts for friends and family or themselves! In an effort to support local businesses, we will feature items from independently owned neighborhood businesses such as Boswell Book Company, Beans & Barley, Sendik’s, Downer Liquor and more. The Marketplace will be open to staff as well. Packaging, wrapping and delivery is also part of the service if desired! 

Resident Community Christmas Tree Decorating-Friday, December 4th         

A favorite tradition continues as residents enjoy adorning their Christmas tree with both community and personal ornaments. Christmas music is enjoyed and stories of wonderful family traditions are shared! 

Nativity Gallery-Friday, December 11th                               

Residents will have the opportunity to experience a unique collection and display of one-of-a-kind Nativity scenes as residents are invited to share their personal Nativity scene(s) with our community. A gallery of these scenes will be on display for all to enjoy at their leisure. 

Christmas Fashion Show-Friday, December 18th               

 All staff and residents are invited to walk the runway in their favorite and finest Christmas outfit! Serious or silly, casual, cocktail or formal, what’s not to love about showing your Christmas spirit with some fashion fun! 

Holiday Lights Tour-Dates to be Announced!                                                                                                 

Residents will tour the festive streets of downtown Milwaukee and beyond, enjoying the wonderful display of Christmas lights and decorations. Our MCH Christmas Express (bus) will be their sleigh for the experience and they will be socially distanced for the ride! We will take as many tours as needed to accommodate the interest level and maintain safety protocol. 

Resident Christmas Party-Tuesday, December 22nd                        

Residents can expect a day filled with surprises and special moments to remember as we celebrate this most wonderful time of the year! Special deliveries and visits will create a personal connection. A delicious and savory menu with delightful desserts will most certainly be part of this day! MCH staff have some Christmas plans to surprise and delight residents, which involves singing, dancing and of course an appearance by jolly old St. Nick himself!  

We can’t wait to celebrate and share the magic of Christmas with our MCH community!