We often hear people say, “pang bata lang ang pasko” (Christmas is just for kids). The “Grinch” (the famous fictional character who stole Christmas) in us would brush aside the true essence of the season either by pushing us to commercially and excessively celebrate it or making us totally indifferent to Christmas.
Arnel Pineda Foundation Inc. (APFI), being true to the values of Arnel Pineda himself, will never be The Grinch but will rather celebrate Christmas spreading love, sharing, blessing others and making a difference. And so, even this early, APFI chose to be Santa Claus in November.
On the morning of Wednesday, November 10, 2010, APFI officials and volunteers trooped to Barangay 397 Zone 41, Padre Noval St. Sampaloc, Manila to bring an early Christmas treat to more than 50 kids ages 2-10 years old. As soon as we unloaded the goodies, the kids were already lining up for the gift giving activity.
Tiny tots and school-aged kids greeted us with excited looks on their face. APFI started the activity with a short prayer joined by the kids, and immediately proceeded to distribute school supplies, multivitamins and paracetamol, and gift packs with some clothes and hygiene kit.
As we handed each gift pack, the sweet but shy voices saying “thank you”, made us (volunteers) realize that we need not wait for December to share the joy of Christmas. It can be everyday — each time we share what we have, however simple the gift is, when it is given wholeheartedly and we give a part of us… it is Christmas.
And yes, as the kids shouted “Thank you, APFI” in chorus… the old adage can be true that Christmas is, indeed, for kids after all. Only that, we, adults must make Christmas possible for them, and when we do, the joy of the season is shared with us as well.
So now, will Mr. Grinch succeed in stealing Christmas again? I hope not, now that APFI vows to bring Christmas to more kids. With your help, we can do it Christmas time or any day.
by Mellany Zambrano-Obal