There is nothing more rewarding during the holiday season than giving back to those in need. Our Christmas party focuses on just that: working together to plan, prepare, donate and celebrate the festivities with the families we support throughout the year.
Weeks before this special day, all members help donate groceries for the families to take home after the party to help through the coming days and different goodies for the bags that serve as presents for the kids. We did it all from a homemade dinner to decorating the bags, making the piñata, playing music and planning games. Getting involved during the planning and preparation of this party is a great opportunity for training and being better equipped to take care of others.
The day started off with a continuing class, followed by our weekly lunch at the club when we enjoyed a special dessert: a beautifully decorated cake made by one of our members’ daughter, accompanied with fresh blackberries that were picked by one of the ladies who was coming to the party later — she was looking after us while we were looking after her and the other families. A beautiful expression of giving from the heart.
It was also lovely to share the day with a member of the international family, as the President of the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Switzerland was visiting us, joined in everything and helped the day flow.
We needed to use buses to collect some families and the owners were happy to help (without cost) as were other members of the community who donated cakes and ice cream. As the families started arriving, we invited them to go to the ice cream sundae stand and that was when the smiling began. Kids of all ages loved the cool snack and were ready to go play. Just look at the pictures to see how much fun they had!
We had lots of interesting simple team and interactive games/activities to encourage participation and working together for the children from very challenging living conditions, where trust is not always high on the experience. It was beautiful to see how quickly they all joined together and enjoyed themselves.
During the meal, the families enjoyed different home-made dishes while being delighted by a saxophone player serenading each table with a Christmas carol. A truly magical and spontaneous moment happened when everyone started clapping and singing along!
To end the party there were more fun and games involving balloons and then… the favourite moment of them all: not one… but two piñatas! The little ones got their chance and then the older kids had their rather fierce go at the hand-made piñata. If that wasn’t enough, all of them got a bag to take home, filled with more candies and school supplies. Then it was time to get home with all the gifts and good memories.
And to those who couldn’t make it to the party this year, we went to visit them and delivered all the Christmas presents!