So the last few days all of the employees have been so depressed. Our big Christmas party is this weekend -and there was little hope we would still have it with the compound getting dark at 6pm every night. The entire courtyard is decorated and yet it’s pitch black. If one child has asked – at least 100 children have asked every day – when are we going to start showing movies?
Chuck and Jose were up most of the night – with still no luck this morning. But about an hour ago – Chuck got the generator running and everyone is dancing and singing!
Do we need power to save Christmas? I’m sure that when Mary and Joseph were in the stable they weren’t complaining – if we only had power – this could have been a truly great birth but now everything is ruined. I’m sure they weren’t yelling at the shepherds that the lights on the barn weren’t twinkling. I’m sure they were just happy to receive the gifts from the wisemen – not mad that they weren’t wrapped and under the tree.
We don’t need fancy parties or Christmas lights to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. The presents don’t have to be stacked high under the tree to know that we have people who love us. So why go to all the trouble?
When we were little – my dad would load all of us kids in the back of the car and we would drive to someone’s property. (We didn’t really ask or know those people) but we would cut down about 20 trees. 🙂 We would take those trees home and plant them all along our yard. We created our own winter wonderland. Kids would be so excited around Thanksgiving – they knew we would be decorating soon. Our house was the talk of the town. We were one of the homes that people drove miles and miles just to see. Seeing the twinkle in their eyes and the smiles across their faces – priceless.
I am the youngest and so as everyone else grew up and moved out of the house – I was the only one left to really put lights up. Even when I was in college – even while we lived here in Haiti – we would come home and put them up – we had to – we didn’t want to disappoint the children. Jose and I put the lights up every year – until we spent our first Christmas here in Haiti last year. I have never forgotten as a child how beautiful and how excited I was every year to see the bright lights.
My favorite part of Christmas last year was on the 24th when all the kids were sitting in the courtyard looking at the lights – watching a movie – and eating hot chocolate and candy. After the movie we talked about the meaning of Christmas – for some of them – they had never heard the real Christmas story.
Haiti is already so difficult as it is….. it’s such a wonderful gift to them – to spend an evening forgetting where they are – to spend a few hours forgetting how poor they are – forgetting how hungry they are – to just be a “regular” kid – if even for just a moment.
So did Chuck save Christmas? Just ask the hundreds if not thousands of little children…….children who have nothing to look forward to but when the mission opens its gates……children who ask me every day – when will you start the movies?
Categories: Mission Stories