Our Christmas party is always a special occasion that the children are excited about. We were expecting most of our 125 children to attend and as we arrived at the hall there were already 10 - 15 children arrived even though the party wasn´t scheduled to start for another 30 mins.
The good thing was that the children could help with unloading the presents; two cars full arrived full of the red and gold bags that Yallama and helpers had made during the run up to Christmas. Robert left Yallama in charge as he went to collect the Christmas cake freshly made from the bakers and the hot samosas for a mid-morning snack. We had brought two large 20ltr water bottles to provide drinks for the kids, but as soon as we brought one, we needed to bring another. During the morning the children chatted, played pass the parcel and musical chairs and as a couple of the older boys were in charge of the music, there was quite a lot of dance music being played which the younger children all seemed to like. But as Robert is getting a little old now, he did have to tell them to lower the volume a few times.! Kids nowadays! :)
Before lunch Iris arrived with two large bags of fruit to be made into Fruit Salad to go with the now Iced Christmas cake to make a lovely desert. After all the running about during the morning Robert joined the children just in time for lunch. As we had booked a Hindu temple hall for the Christmas party we could only have vegetarian dishes on the menu. We had ordered Veg fried rice, Paneer Tikka Masala and Chana Masala and as it arrived there seemed to be a huge amount for the children. Every child was given their fill along with staff and helpers, there was just one portion of rice remaining at the end.
After lunch the children got to participate in their own dances and took it in turns to adorn the stage. The older boys very kindly organised them into their different groups as the children showed off their talents.
As the day progressed we made time for desert and collected the fruit salad and cake, carefully cutting the cake into 100+ pieces and serving it onto a plate of freshly cut fruit salad. The cake was a rich fruit and nut cake decorated with homemade lemon icing and mini marshmallow toppings. We got all the children to sit down and gave out the cake and fruit hoping there would be enough. Luckily, there was just the right amount with a little fruit salad remaining which was quickly polished off afterwards.
All that remained before we sent the kids home were the Christmas presents! As we announced it was 'that' time, all the children brought the chairs right up to the stage, not leaving a single centimetre gap between them and the row in front. One of the older girls (Budhmanti) wanted to be Santa Clause this year so she snook off to the back room and emerged in a bright red Santa Claus outfit, wig and even a pair of reading glasses. The children did guess it was Budhmanti, but that didn´t stop her from handing out the presents, sweets and shaking everyone´s hand as they were called to the stage. We tried to give out age wise, leaving the older ones till last but a few slipped through the net, but at the end of the day everyone who came received their gift. A few children didn´t attend as they had gone to the village so their presents will be kept safely until their return.
As the children received their presents they said their goodbyes and went home. A handful of children stayed to help clear away and it was finally the end of a very long but successful day. Thank you to all the helpers and children who made it a special day - Merry Christmas!