Christmas day was going to be a slightly crazy day as 60 - 70 children (plus a few parents) would descend on us ready to be entertained. What have we let ourselves in for! It was an early start as we prepared the rooms and balcony for the children, two rooms were cleared out giving the children lots of space and the large balcony was cleaned and most was done when Ekanath, one of the older boys arrived at 8am to help. The boy kindly offered the day before so we both took a trip into Mapusa to collect some extra fruit and a box full of piping hot samosa's and bread which had been ordered the day before. Once back we went out again to add some air to the 3 remaining footballs which still needed to be wrapped. We managed to find somewhere open even though it was Christmas morning.
After wrapping the last few presents, we prepared our first game which would be 'Pass the Parcel'. It was decided to cheat a little and not wrap anything up, instead we would print out a list of prizes and a few 'sorry' papers cut them up and put them into a jar. So instead of un- wrapping a layer of paper, they would just pick out a prize from the jar. It made life a lot easier and it was a quick and easy game to play. The children were expected at 10, but by then no one had arrived ...... and just as we started to worry the first three children arrived. We gave them a drink and put on a cartoon for them to watch, 3 minutes later a few more came and then a steady stream of children arrived. After 10 minutes nearly all the children had arrived plus a few extra ones. Sadly, these children were asked to leave as all the children we would be giving out to today had named presents and there were no extras.
The children received refreshments and had a choice of films to watch and then pass the parcel started and kept the children entertained. Ekanath was a great help on the day and took charge of pass the parcel and a couple of the parents helped with the music department. Time rushed by and we brought all the children in for lunchtime snacks; fruit, drink, samosa´s and bread and then by 1pm we started giving out the presents.
There seemed to be a LOT of presents, each child received two presents, one main one and one goodie bag. All the presents were in large boxes and as we dragged them through the children´s eye lit up with glee. 5 large boxes of sparkling presents certainly got their attention. One of the older girls, Anvarshi offered a helping hand to give them out, each present had a name written on it and most of the time it went smoothly until I remembered there are a few children with the same name! But it was all sorted out in the end. There were only two children who didn´t like their presents, one older boy getting a cricket bat and ball for his main present and the other getting a football. But everything worked out as they were both very happy to swap - Hey presto! Sorted - Thank goodness!
As soon as they received their presents they were eager to get home and open them. Most of the younger children headed home with older siblings/parents and a few of the older children helped clear up, which was a relief. Budmanti, Anvarshi and Modimbi all helped out, thank you girls! A few of the younger children were given a lift home with their large presents in large rice sacks.
As an extra thank you to the girls who helped clear up, two were given bunny ears and the third chose an outfit that she liked all of which were donated the day before by Amika.