I was 8 years old when we got here after many years in the refugee camps. There were 5 of us (I was the oldest one) and my mom. My dad passed away, so my mom made the difficult decision to come to the United States. We stayed in a very poor part of town. We have never heard of Christmas, but that very first year in this country, we received our first Christmas experience. One night while we were settling down for the night, we heard knockings at the door. One of my siblings opened the door and several older people were standing by the door with bags of food. We didn’t speak a word of English, but we let them in anyway. They sat there and started singing Christmas carols. We were over joyed and tried to sing along with. They tried to communicate with us, but weren’t successful. They stayed for about 10 or 15 minutes, then left. Once, they left, we went for the bags of food. There were cereals, cookies, noodles, canned foods in the bags. It was food we normally would not get for ourselves because it was too expensive. It was a great Christmas for us because we were able to really enjoy the food.
That first Christmas stayed with me and I told my children about it. It’s not about how many presents they get or how expensive the presents are. Those presents will disappear from their memory, but the true gift is the experience of sharing with someone who is less fortunate than you.
Whoever they were, I want to thank them. I believe their act of kindness has helped shape me and how I value things in life.
Submitted by Anonymous
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