Defy Ventures Washington’s Sponsors Spend Christmas Inside: Caring or Crazy, You Decide    by  Ruth Utnage

Let me set the scene for you:

It’s Christmas day in prison. We can’t exchange gifts, that’s illegal. We can’t cook a Christmas meal with our friends, that’s illegal too. We’re not even supposed to hug one another. So we cautiously slide cards and small gifts of Christmas prison nachos (surprisingly festively colored), homemade custard with a cookie crust, and small gifts meant to show we tried. This cautious celebration has been deeply engraved on our minds as the new normal, as if everyone does this.

Then comes Leo, Candace, and Rachel with Defy Ventures Washington. First of all, these people came to prison on Christmas Day to spend it with us! They had us go carolling and lip sync battle to Jingle Bells, and do you know who had the courage out of all them big ole’ boys to go first? Your girl Ruth and our very own Marshall! Okay, Marshall won, but in my defense that guy’s like bundle of flint rocks in a steel dryer that’s always moving.

They laughed with us, Leo dressed as Santa, which blew us all away because it’s against the rules to bring us cookies and cocoa, that makes the world unsafe somehow, but bring in a fake beard and Santa costume, well, that’s just fine? What?! We’re glad he did though because it brightened our day, it was normal, a reminder of the very HumanMe that dwells within us all.

I’ll go with caring and thank God they do.

With Love
Ruth Utnage

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