Celebrating Christmas at a child development center in El Salvador means giraffes, bumblebees and donkeys! And in the midst of the carols and wrapping paper, God taught me so much about His heart for the poor — and my responsibility to His children.Continue Reading ›
Glitter and paper and string, oh my! Check out some fun do-it-yourself ideas for Christmas cards you can send to the child or teen you sponsor.Continue Reading ›
Traditions of dancing, singing carols, pageants, parades and nativity scenes fill our holiday season with joy. Uniting us with family, friends and church communities as we remember the birth of Jesus Christ. Enjoy these beautiful photos from our friends celebrating Christmas around the world!
I’m a big reader. As a child, I had books hidden away everywhere — in the cushions of the couch, tucked under my brother’s car seat and stuffed into my pillowcase. So when I was about 10 years old, I decided I would buy every person in my family a book for Christmas. I pored over the Scholastic Books order form and found books for my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. I wrapped them and carefully placed them under the tree. On Christmas Eve, when we exchange gifts with my extended family, I was so excited to watch everyone open their gifts. There was one problem, though. Not everybody likes to read.
I was about 3 years old in my earliest Christmas memory. I had chickenpox, and because I was quarantined, my stepfather dressed as Santa to cheer me up. I don’t remember the gifts I got that year, but I remember feeling so special that Santa had made a house call to visit me. That memory surfaced recently when I read the story of Valerie, a little girl in Togo. Valerie’s first Christmas memory happened last year — because it was the first time she ever celebrated Christmas.
What does a Christmas celebration look like for our sponsored children? Do they have special Christmas traditions with their families? Do they decorate their homes with Christmas decorations? Do they attend special Christmas services at their churches? Because it can take months to get a letter to your sponsored child, it’s not too soon to write about Christmas now!
Christmas is the season to visit relatives far and close. As for Christians, many tie marriage knots around Christmas. Other church events, such as public declarations of Christian faith, also called confirmations or first communions, take place around Christmas.
“When nights are cold and dawns much colder,” says 14-year-old Ozias, “When there is freezing wind, when our skin cracks and always looks dirty, when our mothers insist that we use lip balm, and when we do not have to wake up early for school, then we know it’s Christmas season!”