KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Christmas is a holiday filled with traditions. A local restaurant owner is sharing his tradition with people in the community.
"Merry Christmas," said Doris Lyman with Papa Lews. "It's nice to have you all."
Doris Lyman is the co-founder of Papa Lew's in Kansas City. The soul food restaurant welcomed members of the community on Christmas with soul food and warm hugs.
Marvin Lyman says it's something his mother and father started 17 years ago to share a holiday meal with people in need.
"She understands poverty and she knew what it was like to grow up poor and not to have," said Marvin Lyman. "She wants to make sure that every child and every family have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas dinner, they can have that."
The holiday meal has become a tradition for volunteers also. Mattie Eely has volunteered a Papa Lew's on Christmas for about a decade.
"There's unspeakable joy that we are able to do something," Eley said.
It's a joy Eley says she can see on the faces of those that come to share their Christmas at the restaurant.
"I'm just glad to have a good Christmas dinner like this," said diner Tom Jones. "I think it's really cool way that somebody has taken their time and money out of their budget to supply something like this for someone in the community."
Another diner, Don Kimball says he also appreciates the meal.
"I'm not a good cook so this is a good place to come," Kimball said.
Lyman says offering a Christmas meal gives people one less thing to worry about.
"In times past they didn't have enough money for Christmas dinner and toys," said Marvin Lyman. "This gave them the option to have a nice, hot Christmas dinner without having all of the expenses associated with it."
Lyman says he plans on serving holiday meals as a way to serve the community for many years to come.