Two Sisters Make Special Christmas Memories at NPH El Salvador
From piñatas to posadas, two girls explain why they love this time of year and their NPH family. December 13, 2019 - El Salvador
Melisa pictured at age 5 when she arrived at NPH.
From the moment that candles are lit for the novena to Virgin of Guadalupe on December 3, everyone can feel that Christmas is coming at NPH El Salvador. The climate in our country becomes a little bit cooler in the evenings. At the moment of praying the rosary in the novena, people feel a nice breeze. Praying the rosary is just one of the many traditions NPH children practice in this time of the year.
For sisters Tania, age 18, and Melisa, age 14, Christmas is a wonderful time to spend as a family. Both sisters came to NPH when they were little girls; Tania was eight years old and Melisa was five. They both came with their older sister Jacinta who is now 22 years old and currently studying at the university. From the moment they arrived in the home, their lives changes dramatically and the Christmas season took on a much deeper meaning.
Both sisters remember they loved receiving gifts at Christmas when they were younger—that was their favorite part of the celebrations. As the girls have grown older, however, their sentiments about this festive period have evolved. Tania says, “My favorite part of the season is Mass on Christmas Eve. During the service, someone brings Baby Jesus to the altar which I really like to see as it represents when Jesus was born.”
For Melisa, “Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It is a special moment to be thankful for what we have received.”
The girls say they really like to spend this time with their friends and caregivers at NPH; it makes them feel they are a true and loving family. They enjoy and participate in all the activities that are carried out in December at NPH.
Posadas are celebrated nine days before Christmas. This tradition commemorates the journey that Virgin Mary and Joseph took when they sought shelter as Jesus was about to be born. The tradition at NPH is that two children dress as Mary and Joseph and go about asking for shelter in different parts of the house. People accompany them singing Christmas carols until the couple finds a place where they are allowed to enter. The evening finishes with a presentation related to Christmas and finally the kids smash piñatas.
On Christmas Eve, everyone comes together at a special place in the home and Tío Olegario Campos, National Director of NPH El Salvador, along with the group of directors, dresses up and shares a gift with each of the children. Those gifts range from candies, snacks, and toys to clothes and shoes. Later that day, there is Christmas Mass and dinner and the night ends with fireworks.
Both sisters agree that this is the part of the year they love the most. The academic year in El Salvador runs from January to November, so children are done with school and have more free time. “I really like this season because I spend more time with my friends and NPH family doing different fun activities,” says Tania.
Melisa adds, “I really like to break the piñatas during posadas. I have so many good memories of this time."
It is also a moment that children appreciate support of their sponsors. Tania says, “We are always grateful for the help you give us. You help all times of the year, not just at Christmas. But it is at this moment where I like to share my appreciation for everything you do for NPH El Salvador, my sisters, and myself. Thank you.”
Interested in supporting children like Tania and Melisa to celebrate Christmas at NPH? Contact your local NPH office to see how you can help.
Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.
Carmina Salazar Communication Officer
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson