Christmas At CSC
I like to hear songs and see pictures about snowy Christmas times. I remember such times from my youth. Those memories are almost all good ones. But deep inside my mind are a few memories that my Norman Rockwell filter failed to delete, like gifts of socks, brown Christmases, ruined choirs, oyster stew, tone deaf carolers, fruitcake, etc.
Here in Cebu it is hot. No sleigh bells ringing or Jack Frost nipping at your nose. It is 86 degrees at 9:30 am. And its raining! But Christmas at CSC in Cebu has a charm and an attraction that cannot be replicated elsewhere. We are right in the middle of it. Thursday will be the Children of Hope School Christmas program. The kids will dance and sing and recite. The dressed rehearsal was this morning. Next week we'll have a progressive dinner for the kids at the homes of our staff: Schulzes - appetizer; Reasoners - salad; Teen Home - soup, and Healys - main course. Dessert is served back at the Shelter. The aunties will make cinnamon roll Christmas trees. Then comes our Junel's Box activity. The kids have given money from their allowances to buy building materials and food supplies for a poor family that lives in the dumpsite. We will take a jeep full of the kids to present these gifts to the family and sing a few carols. It is a great experience of learning and giving for the children. Though they live lives of safety and relative comfort now, most of them came from backgrounds similar to what this family faces. Christmas Eve will an exciting night of gift giving from Santa with lots of surprises and hijinks. Many of our new kids have never received a gift before and the excitement level is already getting high. Christmas Day will start early with the kids getting up to check out their Christas stockings. The staff will serve them a Christmas dinner of ham, mashed potatoes, rice, green been casserole and Christmas cookies. Then there will be a pageant with live animals at the Teen Home with the staff acting out the Christmas drama. Poor acting, botched lines and off key singing will be the rule but all will be forgiven as the kids marvel at the live manger scene.
So, although there won't be tobogganing, hot cider or a winter wonderland, Christmas will be a great time, and will produce memories that will, for some of the kids, last a lifetime.