By Loretta Fulton
For your Christmas enjoyment, here are some last minute stocking-stuffers from Spirit of Abilene.
These little gems are sure to bring a smile and make you grateful for the spirit of Christmas. The top photos are from the Christmas party hosted Dec. 19 by Hillcrest Church of Christ for refugees experiencing their first Christmas in Abilene. The church worked in conjunction with the International Rescue Committee and families who sponsored the refugees for Christmas.
The second group of photos were taken at Global Samaritan Resources, where on Dec. 20, students involved with the Taylor County 4-H Club delivered stuffed animals for Global Samaritan’s Someone Cares Campaign. Global Samaritan collects the stuffed animals to donate to first-responders so that they can give them to children in stressful situations. Kit Horne, county extension agent for 4-H and youth development, and Ashlyn Patton, district delegate and council officer, were in charge of overseeing the “Holiday Stuffed Animal Drive” that netted 301 toys.
The bottom photo and video were shot Dec. 22 at the home of Victor Ramirez, a deacon at St. Vincent Pallotti Catholic Church. His home served as the location for that night’s Las Posadas (Inns), a tradition in Mexican and Hispanic cultures. Each year, Dec. 16-24, a scene is re-enacted at someone’s home or at the church telling the story of Mary and Joseph looking for a room to be the birthplace of Jesus. They are denied until finally someone lets them in.
Ramirez, the leader for the evening, opened the re-enactment with this welcome, “Sisters and brothers, in this celebration of the Posadas, we prepare ourselves to receive Jesus, who will be born again in our hearts. These Posadas remind us that Jesus came into this world and was not received by many people. We receive Jesus in our lives as we put into practice what he taught us.”
The evening also include music and refreshments. Lupe Garcia, who plays guitar for the Spanish language services at St. Vincent, played for the Las Posadas. Hosting one evening of Las Posadas is a tradition at the Ramirez home.
“We’ve had it so many years,” Ramirez said, “we’ve become accustomed.”