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Celebrating Christmas in a unique and fun way

Our Christmas advocacy basically started when we identified what the Ancheta family culture will be. As a child growing up, I was far from appreciating and understanding the lives of less fortunate families. It was only during my col-lege years, when I joined a group involved in ministry for the poor, that I realized thatI can enjoy their company. My wife Layle, on the other hand, has always embraced the value of lov-ing the poor. Thus, when we got married, we decided to start a family tradition. 



We came up with the decision that for the first five birthdays of our chil-dren, instead of celebrating it with the usual parties with friends, we will celebrate these occasions with a group of children who have never experienced any sort of birthday celebration. We celebrated Adam and Kaila’s birthday parties with kids from ANCOP, Corner-stone, and orphanages. We prepared the food, and had lots of games which allowed my children to interact with their new friends.


We first did it during one weekend, but because of our schedules at work and the kids’ school activities, we decided to do it during Christmas. For this Christmas season, we are again planning to have a party for the kids. What we thought we would be doing only for the first five years of our children’s lives has now become a tradition for our family.


This tradition has extended to both sides of our families who have decided to join us in this advocacy. Even our friends at work have joined us in keeping this tradition. What made them decide to join? Perhaps they saw how this activity not only made the kids (both ours and our guests) happy, but also allowed them to feel the true spirit of Christmas.


Our children have come to appreciate the real essence of what we have been doing. As parents, we take pride and joy in seeing them play with the kids, hugging them, personally interacting with them and handing them gifts with much great excitement and joy. We have seen how our kids have developed a genuine heart for the poor. For example, when we are on the road and they see kids begging for food, knocking on the doors of the car, Kaila and Adam would be the first to say, “Dad, let’s give something to  OUR Christmas advocacy basically started when we identified what the Ancheta family culture will be. 


As a child growing up, I was far from appreciating and understanding the lives of less fortunate families. It was only during my college years, when I joined a group involved in ministry for the poor, that I realized that I can enjoy their company. My wife Layle, on the other hand, has always embraced the value of loving the poor. Thus, when we got married, we decided to start a family tradition. We came up with the decision that for the first five birthdays of our children, instead of celebrating it with the usual parties with friends, we will celebrate these occasions with a group of children who have never experienced any sort of birthday celebration. 


We celebrated Adam and Kaila’s birthday parties with kids from ANCOP, Cornerstone, and orphanages. We prepared the food, and had lots of games which allowed my children to interact with their new friends.We first did it during one weekend, but because of our schedules at work and the kids’ school activities, we decided to do it during Christmas. For this Christmas season, we are again planning to have a party for the kids. What we thought we would be doing only for the first five years of our children’s lives has now become a tradition for our family.


This tradition has extended to both sides of our families who have decided to join us in this advocacy. Even our friends at work have joined us in keeping this tradition. What made them decide to join? Perhaps they saw how this activity not only made the kids (both ours and our guests) happy, but also allowed them to feel the true spirit of Christmas.


Our children have come to appreciate the real essence of what we have been doing. As parents, we take pride and joy in seeing them play with the kids, hugging them, personally interacting with them and handing them gifts with much great excitement and joy. We have seen how our kids have developed a genuine heart for the poor. For example, when we are on the road and they see kids begging for food, knocking on the doors of the car, Kaila and Adam would be the first to say, “Dad, let’s give something to  them!” We are delighted to see that our efforts haven’t gone to waste. Initially, my objective was just to teach them good manners and avoid their being ‘spoiled brats’. 


We are happy that the tradition has taught them real family values and the true essence of Christmas, which is love. It was also through this activity that I saw how the perspectives of my kids have broadened, that at their young age, they appreciate the good things in life but they are also learning lessons on justice, generosity and fairness. For them, it is as simple as, ‘Pag may mahirap, tulungan natin. Kung may taong walang makain, big yan natin.They are really growing up having the heart for the poor and as a father, I couldn’t be more proud. (Rommel Ancheta)

Added on Monday, January 15, 2018


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