Feliz Navidad from the children and staff at Dorie’s Promise.
With 40 kids in our home, Christmas is a big deal. There’s lots of shopping to do, gifts to wrap, activities to attend, and special meals to make. In the midst of our Christmas preparation, one thing remains the same each year: we’re committed to celebrating the promises of Christmas and giving our children the opportunity to experience the joy of the season with people who love them.
Making Christmas special
Children are always excited to celebrate Christmas. With so many kids in our home, we also have lots of different ideas about what Christmas will be like and lots of expectations to consider.
This time each year we get to see the very best from our staff. Since our children all have very different stories and experiences with holidays, we try to help each one feel special this time of year. Depending on what they experienced before coming to our home, the holidays can be a hard and confusing time.
Some kids have lived with us since infancy. For them, we’re their family and our traditions are exciting, expected, and comfortable. For others, the holidays are a reminder of the family they left behind. No matter if their memories are good or bad, some of our kids still grieve their families and wish for a day when they can return home. Imagine going from a home with 2 or 3 children to one with 40. It’s a big adjustment.
Knowing our children so well, staff members take special care to make Christmas memorable for every child. Whether it’s a special gift or spending extra time talking about their feelings, each child is given what they need to feel loved. The way our staff loves and cares for the kids in our home is the best gift we can ever give.
Our big celebration
Christmas brings out all the best in our home. We believe the holidays are a time for everyone to have fun. Most importantly, we teach our children the meaning of Christmas and the value of creating memories with people who love you.
Taking 40 children to visit Santa Claus sounds daunting, so every year Santa makes a special visit to Dorie’s Promise a few weeks before Christmas. Watching the littlest kids light up when Santa enters our home never gets old. Their excitement and wonder bring back a glimmer of innocence to their little lives. Plus, listening to their last-minute gift requests is always fun. Some of our kids have a lot to say when Santa shows up.
All of our preparations come to life Christmas Eve, known as “Noche Buena.” Wearing new special outfits, our children enjoy one of their favorite traditional meals, tamales and ponche, with our Special Mothers. They love getting dressed up for their “fancy” Christmas dinner. Afterward, our home fills with the families of our staff members who come to join in our celebration. Without the worry of pesky bedtimes, our kids and guests stay up late into the night playing games, watching movies, and enjoying each other’s company.
As the day nears an end, our children begin counting down. At midnight, when Christmas officially arrives, our neighborhood comes alive with the sound of fireworks. The celebration inside our home explodes, or at least that’s how it feels with 40 kids opening their presents. The love filling our home is overwhelming. We’re thankful for the opportunity to create loving memories our children will carry with them into adulthood and into their own families.
We want to thank you for helping us provide a loving home where our children can celebrate Christmas again this year.