It is no longer just a regular day. December 2, 2016 - Peru
Working on a Christmas drawing
“No,” says Merary* when asked if he celebrated Christmas before he arrived to NPH. Merary and his older sister Marili* arrived to NPH in July 2015 due to a family member no longer being able to care for them. Marili is nine years old and soft-spoken compared to her little brother. Merary loves making silly faces and running around with the other primary aged boys in Casa San Antonio. He turned seven last year, and it was the very first time in his life that he celebrated Christmas. Back home it was just as normal day for him and his sister, but this is not the case anymore.
The month of December is filled with events leading up to the 24th, as we celebrate a day before. We have many visitors who come to host a “chocoletada,” at Casa Santa Rosa, which includes the consumption of hot chocolate, paneton (a sweet bread with dried fruit), and of course gift giving. The 24th is a day filled of many activities. Last year we had Mass in the home, our older girls reenacted the Christmas story, and some of the younger children sang. Dinner varies year to year, but it always is stellar and quite a treat.
After dinner, one of our caregivers comes out dressed as Santa Claus. Then one by one each child, caregiver, and even volunteers receive their presents. Christmas is a very long day, and it usually lasts at least until midnight. The 25th is a day reserved for rest.
In his drawing Merary included some of his favorite elements of Christmas. He even drew a plate of sopa seca with a chicken leg, although his favorite meal to eat is fried chicken and french fries.
Merary said he loved getting presents for Christmas, and especially the clothes he picked out for himself. This year he is definitely looking forward to the presents and hoping that he will get something Pokémon related.
Anna Hester Communication Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson