Rafael tells us about Joy and shares how he saw it during his first Christmas ever. December 11, 2018 - Peru
A photo Rafael shares of when he was just 13 years old, celebrating Christmas at NPH.
As Christmas is getting closer, we start feeling the excitement within our children. With Christmas time, symbols of happiness, love, hope, and peace will soon surround our home. While many around the world do forget the true meaning of Christmas and all that it represents, at NPH, we strive to keep Christmas’ spirit alive.
One mission for NPH during this holy time of year: Help our children have the happiest of holidays, but remember why we all gather together on this oh-so-special day. Be thankful for what we have, while sharing love with others.
Joy is one of the strongest Christmas values, but what does it mean? We asked one of the kids of NPH Peru, who explains: “Joy for me means being with the people you love, your family, your friends, and sharing time with them. Also being here when they need you, supporting them.”
Rafael, who grew up at NPH Peru but still stays very connected now that he is over 18 years old, continues: “I remember the first time I received a card from one of my godparents, it was amazing. Someone who does not know you, who you do not know either, and who pays attention to you, cares about you. I do not have the words to describe it. I still have the first cards my godparents sent me. When I receive a card or when I write one I think 'wooo,' someone far away is carrying about me, it is a wonderful feeling.”
Rafael has been part of NPH family for a few years now. While he remembers many happy moments, he shares one particularly emotional one: “I spent my first Christmas at NPH, I had never celebrated it before. So the first time I did I had no idea what it was and why people were so excited about it. I asked myself, 'What are we celebrating?' 'What is going on?' When I arrived they asked me what gifts I would ask for Christmas and I had no idea what to answer, I thought 'Why would I receive something?' I had never seen a Christmas tree before either. We were all together and the kids were all saying: ‘Santa is going to come, Santa is going to come!’ and I was looking at them, ‘Well, who is going to come? From where is he coming?’ It was all mystery to me. We were all together, eating paneton (a sweet bread with dried fruit inside), chocolate, having a delicious dinner, and sharing gifts. It was amazing.”
Now that Rafael has grown up and knows why we celebrate Christmas, he explains to us why he likes it: “Christmas is a nice celebration, wonderful, a family reunion. It is pure love and enjoyment being together.”
Joy can be found at any time; some say that this feeling should be guiding us all our life. Sharing happy moments with the ones we love and the ones who loves us: This is just one of the many feelings that keeps life going at NPH.
Elodie Chapotot Communications Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson