Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This Christmas was very interesting. We had never realized how dependant we were on the mental stimulus for the holidays that comes from the weather, fireplaces, stores playing music (in English) and the constant reminder from the upcoming ABC Family Christmas shows. But rest assured with all of those things gone we still had four amazing and very real reminders of exactly what time of year it was!
Most of the kids we work with have somewhere to go for Christmas: mom or dad, aunt or uncle, grandparent, someone that will step in and at least help them avoid the pain of waking up alone in a children’s home on Christmas morning; but a few don’t.
We had the opportunity to have a family of four at our house for the Christmas Holiday. In the midst of our very limited Spanish and their non existent English, these 14, 12, 11, and 10 year olds gave us a crash course on what Christmas was all about. We had such a great time. We played Wii, fed them sugar cereal, and took them out for hamburgers. (All of which was a first for them) There was money donated from a few people that had been on mission trips to Back2Back for their Christmas gifts. It was a real joy watching them open their gifts and have stockings with their names on them. One of the boys loves music and playing the guitar. A B2B supporter from the United States bought him a used acoustic guitar and sent it down, he was ecstatic when he saw it!
For those of you that know us well or have had dinner with us as a family, you have probably experienced the Whited mealtime tradition of “High, Low, and Thankful”. The point is to create conversation, purposeful rabbit trails, and a structured format to share your day with the others around the table. A day or two before Christmas a good friend of mine named Rodolfo was also a guest for dinner and since he is fluent in five languages I thought this would be the perfect night for high low and thankful.
As we went around the table I was completely shocked and caught off guard by what these kids had to say. I thought for sure the rare break from beans and tortillas would be a big hit. Maybe the Carmel corn and amazing line up of movies we picked out would be on the list. Based on the kind of “lows” I have some days, I was even a little nervous to include that part of the game knowing it could get ugly or negative pretty quick. After all was said and done there was one common theme with each one of these kids. Each and everyone, above all else, were thankful to have a family to be with for Christmas! No gifts, no snacks, no movie, just time and attention…love. The part that really threw me off was that in spite of being asked the same question in different ways not even one of the four could come up with a single “low”.
I have had a lot of Christmas’s, but even with no snow and no TV, I have never felt like I was more in the center of what the season is all about than at that table looking at four lonely kids loving being loved.
Thank you for all of your prayers and support, we miss you all!
The Whited Family