Making Christmas Merrier
Are you like me and find that while we may sing “Silent Night” this time of year, in the midst of the Christmas season, calm, quiet nights are hard to find? I’m Shannon Miles, and as the mother of five children, I know how much energy a mom puts into making Christmas special for her family.
It’s not just about decking our homes and trees with decorations. As women, we look for ways to build special Christmas memories and traditions for our families. As I thought about the children at the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes (FBCH), I wondered who is making their Christmas special? Do they have memories to cherish?
So, I asked about the Christmas traditions at FBCH. I was excited to hear that we share some of the same activities.
- At the Miami campus, kids say that driving around looking at Christmas lights is one of their favorite activities. This is something we also do every year. Another tradition at the Miami campus is Noche Buena, a traditional Christmas Eve dinner meaning “Good Night” to celebrate the night of Christ’s coming.
- Residents in Pensacola drink hot chocolate and watch Christmas movies together during the Holidays. Christmas morning begins with singing “Happy Birthday Jesus.” My children decorate a birthday cake for Jesus and sing this song as well.
- And a resident from the Fort Myers campus shared an idea that I might borrow: “One year we had a present scavenger hunt, and we had to find our gifts from each other throughout the house. It was fun.” My kids would love this!
- An 11-year-old Lakeland resident shared that this Christmas would be extra special for her: “Christmas is a holiday where you celebrate Jesus’ birthday. Since I became a Christian this year, it will be extra special this year.”
Two former residents, Matthew and Lumare, shared some of their memories of the FBCH. The two brothers recently came back for a visit and are pictured in front of the Christmas tree at the Jacksonville campus.
“When we came to the Children’s Home, it was the nicest place we had ever been — all the foster homes we had been in before then were in a bad neighborhood, ” said Lumare. “And we had no idea who God was before we came to the Children’s Homes.”
Now, Lumare wears a bracelet that says, “Messiah over everything.” Lumare is a rapper and has written more than 20 songs, all about Jesus and the change the Messiah has made in his life.
My questions about traditions at the Children’s Home revealed that lives, not just Christmas memories, are being made special. Thank you for being a part of Women of Compassion and FBCH, a ministry that does more than make Christmas merrier for children in need. It changes lives and gives hope!
I hope to see you all at the WOC “Cups of Kindness, an Invitation to Tea” on Feb. 15. We’ll hear an inspiring speaker, enjoy fellowship over tea, and share more stories about how the lives of hurting children are being transformed.
God Bless You and Merry Christmas,