Holiday 1994
                                        Happy Holidays!

I wanted to enclose this brief note as a way to update people that I have "been meaning to write
to or call."  As is for usual form with me, life has been pretty crazy (or at least I say it is for
theatrics).

First, I should apologize for not even knowing where I live.  The last time I wrote, my letter listed
my address as P.O. Box 4527, Oakland when in fact it should have read P.O. Box 5427,
Oakland, CA 94605.  My number is still 510/562-4864 so write or call.

I am going to Massachusetts for Christmas.  I am pretty excited and eager to see my family.  It
will also be 2 weeks off from work, and that should be nice.  If you are curious, I'll be there from
the 18th -30th (508-883-6808).  With any luck, I might even get to Washington, DC as well.  
The holidays, however are an interesting time. Thanksgiving was really nice.  I spent it with a
good friend and his mother in Mantica, CA (Central Valley).  I was very much surrounded by
love and family.  I must say the consumerism and commercialization makes me scroogeish.  This
is also one of the only times of the year I feel an innate connection to the lesbian/gay community.  
Around the holiday I find myself getting nervous about questions from relatives like "So, when you
getting married?" or "How's the girlfriend situation?"  Even worse is the empty pit I get in my
stomach when friends or family ask every question but ones about relationships, as
though they are afraid I'll bring up "that" topic (which I would).  Honestly I believe there is just too
much pressure to make the Holiday season perfect (which it never is).   Anyway, I am glad that
I'll be able to spend Christmas with my parents & family. I miss them and I plan to enjoy this
quality time.

Work is great.  I love my job and coworkers.  Catholic Charities is under some real heavy
financial strains and that makes for a tense atmosphere.  There are talks of cutbacks and layoffs.  
Luckily my program is generating money & publicity so I do not have to worry about the funding
ax.  I do really consider myself lucky to be where I am and doing the things I'm doing.  Recently I
saw a homeless man and his kids at a subway station, begging for money.  Everyone was
swishing by, trying not to make eye contact, avoiding
his need.  I took a moment to read his sign and realized he wanted clothing, food, and possibly
some financial help.  Basic stuff.  When I stopped and talked to him he seemed relieved that
someone would actually treat him like a human.  To make a short story long I helped get him to
Catholic Charities, and our Emergency Services department was able to help him out.  He had
never heard of us before.  It was a small thing for me to do, but it all started by looking in his eyes
and knowing that someday I could be in the same situation.   Up until that point I was in a shitty
holiday mood, right now I understand that the Holiday's are what you make of them.

So I guess I have a suggestion:  Make the best of the holidays, remember what this time is really
about, and take a moment to look into the eyes of a homeless person.  Recently I heard my boss
at liturgy, Fr. Jim, pray in thanksgiving for being born in this time, given the challenges he faces,
and the strength and faith to work to make things better.  It all comes together to be very warm
and fuzzy, but sums up the attitude that I'm trying to have right now.  As for the future, who
knows.  Stay tuned, I guess!

I hope that the holiday season is what you wish it to be.  For me that has usually been "done and
gone as quickly as possible."  Ever since I started dealing with AIDS I've looked to treat every
day as special as it is.  So, I hope you can do the same.  Enjoy every day and the gifts of this
season.  As a Catholic, Advent has always fostered images of light, hope and fulfilled promises,
so I'll make a promise to write more often.
You can feel free to write (hint, hint) if you would like to (or call), but always know you are in my
prayers and thoughts.
Peace and love,

Randy