‘I’m not really used to happy Christmases’
Dianne (not her real name) believes she is more fortunate than many as she looks at spending Christmas in MacKillop House with 26 women and 11 children who have nowhere else to live.
At nearly 70, Dianne has found herself living in the home in Lyneham run by CatholicCare after a breakdown in her relationship with a son. She is philosophical about what this means at a time of year that is expected to be about joy and family.
“I’m not really used to happy Christmases,” she said. “Christmas Day is often associated with drunkenness, not enough money and being marginalised in society, and is not always a great day for people. But you’ve just got to reach deep into yourself and try to appreciate what you have. I understand I am better off than a lot of people.”
She hoped to be able to spend Christmas Day with another son and his family, but also expected a “lovely time with a group of lovely women” at MacKillop House.
That time will be made more memorable by the generosity of people who donate gifts for the residents. MacKillop House manager Caroline Barrett said her hope was to “create a MacKillop family” for the women, aged between 24 and 69, and children who had no other family to spend Christmas with.
The Christmas feast will revolve around cold meats and salads.
Donations of gifts such as soaps, hand, face and body creams, room scents (no candles), hair accessories and chocolate (including vegan options) are welcome. Donations of gifts can be delivered to MacKillop House (50 Archibald Street, Lyneham) between 9am and 5pm weekdays between 29 November and 10 December. It is advisable to call ahead on 0498 468 121.
Donations of food for Christmas Day can be dropped off at the house between 3pm and 6pm on Christmas Eve.