On Friday afternoon, December 23, 2017, the children and their parents gathered for an early Christmas celebration in Saint Rachel’s center in Jerusalem.

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The 28 babies, who frequent the day care center and their parents and about 45 children, who frequent the after school program, and their parents, gathered for a joyful Christmas program in the Center.

Everything began with a mass celebrated in the beautiful chapel of the Capuchin Fathers. Father Rafic, Latin Patriarchal Vicar, explained the meaning of Christmas in his homily to the children and asked them what gift they would like to offer Jesus. Two answers from the children were: “I offer him my heart as a place for him to dwell in” and “I offer him all the good deeds I can do”.

The mass was followed by a Christmas party in the courtyard of the Center. Father Rafic welcomed everyone and then the celebration continued with two dance sequences , one by the girls and one by the boys and a song and dance by the smallest children, dressed up as Santa Claus. One highlight came when the children received their Christmas gifts from Santa Claus and her helpers.

As always, the celebration ended with a delicious feast, prepared by the mothers, with an abundance of delicacies from the Eritrean, Ethiopian Filipino, Indian and Sri Lankan kitchens.

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