By Kelly Shank –
We hope your Christmas was filled with fun, family, and friends! With so kids in our home we can’t help but have fun during Christmas. From the littlest kids to the biggest, everyone has been excited to celebrate.
Every year we have special guests who visit our children at Christmas time, including special friends from America and Santa Claus himself. As you can imagine, taking all of our children to visit Santa would be a little difficult so instead Santa makes a special trip to Dorie’s Promise each year. The week before Christmas Santa came to visit during a special pizza party for our kids. He listened to their last minute gift requests and brought an early present for each child. The littlest children were so excited to have a chance to see Santa in person.
We hope that your holiday has been filled with all the people and moments most special in your life too. Maybe it’s a favorite holiday meal, a visit with family, or Christmas carols that bring the holiday spirit to your family. Each of us has special memories that help create the perfect holiday. It’s no different for our children and staff at Dorie’s Promise. There are very special holiday memories that we share in our home every year. This year was even more special because we were able to start creating special memories with several new children, including Myra who just celebrated her fifteenth birthday.
With a house full of kids, Christmas is a special occasion at Dorie’s Promise. We create a uniquely Guatemalan holiday celebration for our children, where they can participate in Guatemalan traditions, celebrate the birth of Jesus with our staff, and experience the love of family as we spend time together.
In Guatemala we usher in Christmas Day with lots of celebrating on Christmas Eve, known as “Noche Buena.” On December 24th each of our kids received a new special outfit, got dressed up, and shared a traditional meal of tamales and ponche with the Special Mothers. This is one of their favorite meals of the year. Folded into a banana leaf, tamales are a mixture of corn, meat, and sauce while ponche is a special hot fruit punch that is made specifically for the holiday season. A combination of fruit, sugar, and cinnamon, each family has their own recipe of ponche, making it even more special. We want our children to celebrate their Guatemalan traditions so they can pass them on to their children in the future.
After supper the families of our staff come to spend time with our kids and play. We forget all about bedtimes on Christmas Eve and everyone counts down until midnight when our real Christmas celebration begins. Once it’s officially Christmas our whole neighborhood begins lighting fireworks and all of our kids open their gifts. In a home with so many children it’s special to watch them open gifts chosen for each individual. Our staff does a great job of making sure each child has something they will enjoy.
Thank you for helping us make Christmas special for our children.
From the children and staff at Dorie’s Promise, “Feliz Navidad y que Dios te bendiga.” (Merry Christmas and God bless you.)