Friday, November 9, 2007

Making Christmas Merry

It’s happened. I left the country for less than a week, and when I came back the Christmas season had arrived in Kansas City’s retail outlets.

Christmas has always been a magical time of year. Growing up as an American child in South America, I would read books from back home that were filled with pictures of snow, sleighs and roaring fires under mantles bedecked with decorations and stockings. Then I’d go outside into the 90° heat and see wilting Santas parading around in heavy velvet suits as the perspiration dripped off their faces. But the incongruities never made the season lose its magic.

But there really are kids in another world who never do more than hear about Christmas. Theirs is a world of scant survival, a world where their parents don’t make a big deal about Christmas so they won’t have to explain why there are never any presents; a world where Christmas really is just another day.

I’ve talked to families in the countries where we work about the gifts they receive through Children International and what they mean to them and to their children. Moms’ eyes get suspiciously misty as they invariably burst into fervent words of thanks. And almost without exception, when I ask them what their children would have received for Christmas had our sponsors not given them a gift, the answer is a quiet, “Nothing.”

If you are a Children International eNews subscriber, you’ll love reading next week about a little girl name Mayra and her first experience with a Children International gift distribution. And if you’re not a subscriber, you can become one by clicking here and then selecting the button on the right-hand side of the screen that says, “Sign Up for eNews.”

But what I really want to mention is the letter you most likely have received in the last few days from our CEO, Jim Cook. If you haven’t received it, please be on the lookout for it. Jim has written our sponsors because we’re coming into the Christmas season, and this is a time of year when we need all the help we can get in order to make sure each sponsored child has a magical Christmas.

So please, when you get the letter, give some serious thought to helping us give our sponsored children the best Christmas they’ve ever had. Or if you’d like to help out right now, simply visit the Children International home page and click where it says, “Give the gift of joy this holiday season.”


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