Piedad Quintas from Ecuador
I remember a sad Christmas when I was a little child in 1980. First, my brother got sick a few days before Christmas day and had to stay in a children’s hospital about one week. My father didn’t have a job, and my mother was pregnant with her last child. My sister and I had a Christmas party at school with our classmates and teacher, but when we arrived home, we saw my father was very sad because he didn’t have enough money to buy gifts for us. My sister told him the most important was to be together, always.
Then, he smiled and promised that the next year would be better. Christmas Day arrived. The dinner was simple, but we were happy because my brother was getting well. My brother, sister, and I didn’t have any gifts, but we learned a lot from this experience and it helped us to appreciate our parents very much.
Christmas brings a lot of families together and they have a lot of fun. I celebrate this holiday every year.
Chinyere Adagbo from Nigeria
I remember when I was ten years old. That is when I really knew what the meaning of Christmas was. Before that, I didn’t really know. When I asked my parents and they told me the reason why we have Christmas. They told me that it’s when Jesus Christ was born and all Christians have to celebrate it. The Christmas holiday may not be the longest holiday, but it is the most enjoyable holiday for Christians because it is a public holiday. Christmas brings a lot of families together and they have a lot of fun. I celebrate this holiday every year and I go to church on Christmas day to get the final miracle of the year and to ask God to make the next year better. All the children talked about Santa because they were waiting for presents.
Mirna Salgado from El Salvador
I remember Christmas when I was a child. On that day, everybody was always very busy. In the morning we woke up and prepared everything we needed to cook. For example, if the family was going to make tamales, they prepared the meat one day before. In my country, families celebrated this day in church. We also celebrated at home.
We danced and enjoyed the time with many friends and cousins. About midnight, we shot off fireworks and played with the children. All the children talked about Santa because they were waiting for presents. Parents put toys under the bed, and the next day all the children looked under the bed to see if Santa left something for them. When I was four years old, I heard the first Christmas sermon from missionaries.
Eduardo Soto from Guatemala
When I was four years old, I heard the first Christmas sermon from missionaries. I was very excited because at the end of the service, they gave little presents to all the children. Since that time, my parents always teach us the meaning of Christmas. Christmas means the birth of Jesus. He was born in the Middle East in Jerusalem. His mother is the Virgin Mary and his father is God, the Holy Spirit. For me, it was a very interesting story because I never knew a story with that kind of miracle. I will never forget those missionaries because they were very kind people and they were the first white people I ever saw in my life. On December 30, at night, we began a remodeling in the kitchen. We worked all night.
Victoria Philippova from Russia
I want to tell you a story about the day before New Years. It happened two years ago. I went to Siberia to join my family. My mother’s birthday is on December 31, and all the family was together on that day. My sister and I decided to surprise our mom. On December 30, at night, we began a remodeling in the kitchen. We worked all night. While we were working, we listening to music and laughed a lot. When we finished, we were very tired.
The next morning, when our mom saw the results, she was surprised and happy. On December 31, we were proud to cook dinner for the New Year’s party and my mom’s birthday in the new kitchen. That was the first Christmas day for my son. He was born in October of that year.
Ricardo Villalobos from Colombia
I remember Christmas Day in 1980. I was living with my family in a small village in Colombia, near Bogotá. The name of the village was Fusagasuga. That was the first Christmas day for my son. He was born in October of that year. My wife was cooking turkey for the Christmas dinner, but it burned in the oven. My wife was sad, but we decided to go to an Italian restaurant. We stayed there until midnight, eating and listening to Italian music. We ate different kinds of dishes, especially spaghetti and lasagna. My brothers and I were running around the Christmas tree in the living room.
Iris M. Pavon from Nicaragua
I remember a Christmas day when I was seven years old. I saw my mother in the kitchen. She was cooking dinner for Christmas, and my father was talking about the dinner. My brothers and I were running around the Christmas tree in the living room. We were happy and talking about the gifts. After dinner, we opened the gifts, and I started to cry because I was looking for a beautiful doll. My parents just gave me clothes, and I didn’t like that. Then my parents said, “It isn’t our fault. Santa Claus couldn’t read your letter very well. We will buy you a doll tomorrow.” I was sad, but happy together with my family. That Christmas Day was the happiest I ever had and I will never forget it.
David Salas from Mexico
When I was eight, my family went to my uncle’s house in the U.S. to celebrate Christmas. There were a lot of people in the house. At 8:00, we went to a sermon and after that everybody went to my uncle’s ranch. We drove one hour to get there. At 12:00, we had a big, excellent dinner and then we opened the presents. A couple of hours later we shot off fireworks and enjoyed that a lot. It was almost morning before we went to bed because we were having such a good time. That Christmas Day was the happiest I ever had and I will never forget it.I have many good memories about this day, but the Christmas Day that I will never forget was when I was five years old.
Vera Melendez from El Salvador
Christmas Day is a nice holiday for me. We have Christmas Day traditions in my family. We always wear new clothes, have a big dinner, shoot off fireworks, and give each other presents. I have many good memories about this day, but the Christmas Day that I will never forget was when I was five years old. At that time, my mother was having some money problems. My sisters, brothers and I were kids, but we knew that we wouldn’t have anything on that Christmas Day.
Even now, I don’t know what my mother did because she didn’t have any money, but at 6 p.m. she appeared with new clothes for everybody and some fireworks. She told us we were invited to have dinner at our aunt’s house. When it was midnight of December 24, we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, prayed, wished blessings for everybody, and opened our presents. What was my surprise when we found a present for everyone under the Christmas tree. At that time, I was very young, but I carry the memory of that Christmas with me always because I know my mother didn’t want her kids to forget the magic of Christmas Day.
María Pachecho from Venezuela
For me, Christmas Day is very important because I spend the whole day with my family. We have dinner together and give and receive presents. Last Christmas, I was with my uncle and aunt in Caracas because I was baby sitting my little cousin while they were working. The day before Christmas, we went to my grandmother’s house in Valencia. She wasn’t there. She was in the U.S. with the rest of the family members. During the night, we danced to modern music and drank champagne to celebrate. At ten to midnight, my cousin Eduardo said that it was almost 12:00, so we all stayed in the living room. After midnight, we wished each other Merry Christmas and kissed each other. Then we opened the presents and read a letter from my grandmother.
We have a family tradition. The kids give presents to the adults and the adults give presents to the kids. For example, we say, “To Maggy from Uncle José and Aunt Sandra” or “To Uncle Carlos from Jésus.” It is like this with each family member.
After we gave each other presents, we talked, danced and played. At 4:00 a.m. we went to our house and slept until 12:00 noon. That was a great Christmas Day, even though my Grandmother wasn’t with us.
My brother, sister, and I didn’t have any gifts, but we learned a lot from this experience and it helped us to appreciate our parents very much.