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A merry tradition: Free Christmas meals at Ashland City diner

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Posted at 4:06 PM, Dec 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-25 17:06:05-05

ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WTVF) — People can come into O'Brien's Southern Diner on Christmas day for a free meal. The diner sits on Highway 49 West in Ashland City and folks who come in are hungry for food and conversation.

It's a tradition the owner, Candice O'Brien Beasley, started a few years ago so no one will have to spend Christmas alone.

"We struggled a few years for Christmas so I try to make it something else, because we might be struggling but someone out there is doing way worse than us," said Beasley.

A tradition patrons like Mary MacRae is grateful for. MacRae lost her husband six years ago and calls this tradition a blessing.

"My first Christmas without my husband, I bawled my eyes out and said I will not do this again and instead will find something to give back others," MacRae said.

MacRae helps Beasley every year. They not only give free food to anyone who walks through the door but they also pack hot meals and items for the homeless.

"Everyone is grateful for it," said Beasley, "Today we had about 12 widows come."

This is a tradition Beasley says she will continue to do for as long as she can. While some of the items given to the homeless are donated from patrons and volunteers, many of them were purchased out of Beasley's pocket.