Christmas is still more than a week away, but for a group of 400 Hoosier seniors, Christmas dinner came early this year.

In the first week of December The Salvation Army hosted a special Older Adult Christmas Luncheon to share the goodwill and love of the Christmas season with this special group of Hoosiers. Seniors from Central Indiana and surrounding counties gathered at the Indiana State Fairgrounds to celebrate fellowship, sing along to Christmas carols and enjoy a delicious hot meal together.

Dozens of volunteers scuttled between tables, serving chicken and sharing smiles with the happy crowd. Among the day’s entertainment were beautiful piano music from Major Jeffrey Horn, a Christmas carol sing-along with Major Jolene Hull, and several solos from Captain Carol Lewis that brought rounds of applause from the appreciative audience.

Indiana Divisional Commander Major John Turner spoke to the gathering about the gift of Jesus, calling Him “the most precious gift that anyone could get” and encouraging everyone to accept that gift this Christmas season.

Captain Carol Lewis continued Major Turner’s thought with a music ministry, singing “All is Well” and speaking of the joy that lasts long after the decorations come down and the snow melts. “Jesus is the anchor for the soul,” she told the listening crowd. “When he is your savior, all is well in your soul because joy comes from within.”

From the joyful smiles of the audience, it was a message that rang true.