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Christmas at the orphanage

Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Children gather around the Christmas tree as gifts are distributed to them at this orphanage.

What is the one thing we look forward to on Christmas day? Well, besides the, of course. What would Christmas be without great family and friends to share it? It is the one time each year we get to gather and spend quality time with each other, sharing in some good old talk, food and fun. Our children get to experience the cheer, peace and togetherness the season brings. And we just love to see their faces light up when they sit beneath the Christmas tree to open their presents on Christmas morning. But this isn’t the way Christmas is celebrated in every home.

In reality, there are many children who never saw a Christmas tree, or the only family they have is a grandmother, aunt, or uncle who really cannot afford to facilitate them with the tangibles that come with the season. Then there are those who are even worse off; they have been abandoned, labelled as displaced children in society. But as God keeps his word when he says: “Though your mother or your father forsakes you, I will not forsake you,” (Ps 27:10). He sends help because more than anything children mean the world to Him. The T&T Guardian is happy to feature this year, Christmas at the orphanage, where readers can get a better idea of how socially displaced children spend their Christmas because someone cared.

The Christ Child Convalescent Home
At the Christ Child Convalescent Home, manager Sr Annunciata De Souza, was very excited as she spoke about the activities that take place at the home for the Christmas season. “Ooooh, for Christmas partying is on the agenda,” she laughed. “During the Christmas season the children begin to attend functions from as early as October straight into November, and then there is the climax in December. “The itinerary for Christmas is always full. These kids have themselves a ball.

They attend Christmas dinners, concerts, functions and parties held by long-standing friends of the home,” explained De Souza.
She said because of her commitment to making the children feel at home, she allowed them to assist in the decorating the home for the season. She said they also got the chance to display their artwork at Christmas time. “We hang up their paintings or drawings they may have done at school, and they feel happy about that. “Many of these children come from abused and displaced families, so we do our best to show them love and to make them feel special,” said De Souza.

She also stated that on Christmas day she allowed the children to sleep in a little longer than usual, then served a traditional Christmas breakfast, followed by the gift giving.“I must add that for the past two years we have had members of the Church of The Latter Day Saints come and sing carols to the children, and sometimes they also bring with them presents. “We also allow some of the children to spend the day with family members if they (family) want them for the day—we encourage this actually, because it’s good for the children,” she articulated.Asked what was her one Christmas wish for the children, De Souza said: “I just want them to know that they are loved.”

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