A Contemporary Christmas Carol

Each one of us has this time of Christmas to discover someone in need, someone who is sad, someone who is looking for Christ. And so often we learn that we really don’t have to look that far.
by Brenner LeCompte, LC | Source:
December 8, 2007, Port Chester, New York: the wind whipped through the streets of inner city blowing along the snow dusted sidewalks on this frosty Saturday morning. Children could be seen walking hand in hand with their parents, the cold wind nipping at their nose and reddening their cheeks.

For most of these kids Christmas looked like it was going to be “business as usual”. For many this meant going without the things that so often are associated with the externals of Christ’s birth. There would be no decorated Christmas tree in the family room. No Christmas lights glowing around a frosted window, or stockings dangling over a cracking fire. No, Christmas would be more like that very first Christmas shrouded in silence and poverty.

As these kids entered the parish hall of Holy Rosary Church in Port Chester, this all changed. As they stepped into a room filled with Christmas lights and laughter they experienced a warmth all to its own and which no wintry chill could take away.

They took in the scene of kids at play some getting their faces painted other playing games, still others sipping hot chocolate and marshmallows or opening up candies. Some thought they were entering heaven but rather it was a piece of heaven coming to them.

The event was a mission called “Angel for a Day” organized by the Saint Michael’s Mission Youth, a youth club of Saint Michael the Archangel Parish in Greenwich. 25 young men and women from Greenwich, Stamford, and Orange County organized and ran the event for 75 needy kids to give the kids an opportunity to experience a day of fun and friendship. It even helped the volunteers to appreciate more all that they had received from God.

Robby Nelson was just one of these kids that experienced a piece of this heaven. He was a little hesitant at first to get involved, but with the help of the youth running the event he was soon joyfully playing with the rest.

Robby lives in a foster home in Port Chester, and when asked what he wanted for Christmas he said that he always wanted his own bike. Robby Nelson got his bike and a whole lot more.

The youth involved with the organization of the event collected toys and food from local businesses and benefactors to be able to host the special lunch for kids. Each child left with a small gift and large smile.

In a Christmas that seemed so common, nineteen young men and women stepped forward to make it anything but usual for these kids. Each one of us has had time this Advent and Christmas to discover Christ in those around us – someone in need, someone sad, someone searching for God. And so often we learn that we really don’t have to look that far.

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