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Christmas sponsorship update from South Africa

Children celebrate Christmas at Port Elizabeth
Children celebrate Christmas at Port Elizabeth

An update on how one SOS Family is celebrating Christmas

People sponsor a child through SOS Children provide a whole new and rich life to children who might otherwise be alone. Here is one Christmas report from a family our sponsors support. See Christmas Charity with SOS Children :

Maddy, an SOS mother at SOS Children's Village Port Elizabeth loves to share Christmas with her SOS children and watch their delighted expressions as they open their gifts from under the Christmas tree.

The SOS moms and children at SOS Children's Village Port Elizabeth celebrate Christmas as family units. SOS mother Maddy, who has been with the village for 15 years, shares her family's way of celebrating Christmas.

Christmas time is very special to me and my SOS Children. For myself, Anthony (18), Nomzamo (15), Samuxolo (15), Cynthia (14), Ntombensha (13), Kwanele (ten) and Tazneem (twelve), it is important that we remember and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

What we do in the run up to Christmas and on Christmas Day:

We like to plan the day early in the year. We usually sit down as a family and discuss what we will do on Christmas Day. We decide how we will spend our day, who we will visit, and where we might go.

On Christmas Eve we put up our Christmas tree and the whole family helps with decorating it. We also go shopping for gifts earlier in December and the gifts we have for each other go under our Christmas tree. I start cooking on Christmas Eve for the big Christmas lunch and the children all help me with the preparations.

Before we go to bed on Christmas Eve, we set the table for breakfast on Christmas morning as we don't want to be late for the special Christmas morning sermon at church.

Once back home, we begin setting the table for lunch- our very special Christmas lunch. We have a tradition that name cards are made and we sit where our names are placed at the table. We then get to sit next to someone different, rather than the same SOS brother or sister, we usually choose to sit next to. For lunch we enjoy a leg of lamb, roast chicken, roast potatoes, beef curry with vegetables and rice, and three salads - tossed green salad, cucumber mould and wheat salad.

Christmas carols play in the background. We all love music and this puts us in a jolly mood.

Lunch is traditionally served around 1 p.m. After lunch we exchange and open our gifts. By this time the children are usually so excited and can hardly wait. I love looking at the expressions on my children's faces when they open their gifts. The excitement and joy on their faces really touches my heart!

Then it's time for dessert which is always a traditional Christmas fruitcake and hot custard! Everyone enjoys that.

We then sing carols together and dance in celebration. Later we all work together to clear the table, and some of the younger children go and have a little afternoon nap. After the nap we go visit friends in the community for the rest of the afternoon.

We round off the day with a Christmas evening sermon at church.

SOS Children has been working in South Africa since the early 1980s. Today there are eight SOS Children's Villages in the country (Ennerdale, Mamelodi, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Pietermaritzburg, Mthatha, Nelspruit and Rustenburg). Over 9,000 children and families are supported through our projects which include SOS Family Strengthening programmes to support children affected by AIDS.

You can help give a family for life to children by becoming a child sponsor.