I seriously can not believe we have just a week ’til Christmas!!! To be honest, being in Kenya has lacked a lot of Christmas spirit. There aren’t any decorations at the Children’s home.. No picking out a tree, hanging countless strings of lights, or driving to see all the decorations. It’s not cold here.. So there is no bundling up and drinking hot chocolate, ice skating, or making snowmen. We don’t have an oven, so there has been none of the normal Christmas treats, or decorating cookies. We don’t have a radio, so there is no 24 hours of Christmas music, and without Netflix, no endless stream of holiday movies. Yeah.. In a lot of ways it hasn’t felt much like Christmas here, which is a bummer because it is my favorite time of year! But there has been one thing that has held us from being too upset we won’t be spending Christmas with our families under sparkly lights. In fact, we are SO excited. Maybe more excited than I have been since I was a little kid. It’s because of the gifts. No, Michael and I haven’t bought awesome gifts for each other, in fact, we aren’t exchanging gifts at all. It’s the gifts for the kids. A few weeks ago we thought how awesome it would be if these children could have a true, big Christmas celebration. How much fun it would be to see them all be able to open a gift and see their faces light up. To give them something that may let them know how very loved they are. The problem is, Happy Life Nairobi has 45 children living here. And another 52 at their location in Juja. There was no way Michael and I would be able to get gifts for 97 children. So we thought maybe we would narrow it down to just the children we spend every day with here at the Nairobi location.
But still 45 gifts would be way more than we would be able to pull together. So we decided to reach out and ask for help getting a small gift for each child. And we have been blown away. The amount of generous donations we have receive has brought me to tears. We have had so many sweet people share our registry, donate, or write us really encouraging notes. So many generous hearts that our registry for the 45 children here was completely filled. And then even more people who contacted us saying they wish they had been able to contribute. So we added to it. There are a couple things here that the house moms could use to help provide for all these children. And then those things were filled. So we added again. We thought of a few things that could make their play areas so much more fun. And then those things were filled. And we were shocked. And overwhelmed. And overjoyed. So we thought of the 52 beautiful faces at Juja and how exciting it would be for them to have a little something too. That having a few recess and after school play things would be so exciting for them, or even a few things to have a school to make the day a little more fun. So we added so that these faces may have a beautiful Christmas too.
Even though we are missing out on some of the things that make this season so much fun, we couldn’t be more excited for Christmas to get here. An old friend of ours, and one of our biggest contributors (who decided instead of giving gifts this season, she’d donate to kids here in people’s names) posted this video she helped create this Christmas season. And we are really feeling it. Watch, enjoy, and get excited for this time of giving. And if you feel inspired, consider giving $5, $10, $20, or whatever feel like to those beautiful faces above.