Christmas 2009

December 12: Christmas Shopping at Plaza Andares
December 21: Christmas Party at Gerard's Restaurant
December 23AM: Christmas Bicycles
December 23PM: Open House at Hope House
December 24: Christmas Eve - Nochebuena

December 12: Christmas Shopping at Plaza Andares In mid December we decided to take just our godsons, Dany and Efrain, on a shopping trip to the new Plaza Andares in an upscale section of the City of Zapopan. The new Plaza is surrounded with high rise expensive condos, a new hospital and car dealerships like Mercedes, BMW and Maserati. The Plaza is filled with high end stores and was decorated brilliantly for the Holidays.

[Plaza Andares] [Dany & Efrain with cow] [Liverpool Department Store at Plaza]

The boys posed patiently for pictures before we began shopping. We had given each of them money to purchase presents for their family or friends.

[Dany  Efrain at Christmas Tree] [Christmas Trees] [Dany & Efrain]

They were excellent shoppers and worked with the vendors to get just what they wanted for four special people in their lives, pooling their funds for one purchase. They boys had pointed out some jazzy bicycles at one store, and so while Robin distracted them at California Pizza Company for lunch, Jim went back to buy them. Back at their dorm the boys seemed somewhat put out because no bikes had appeared. Later, however, we learned that they had seen the bikes in the back of the SUV after all.

[Robin, Efrain & Dany with saleswoman] [Jim & Robin at Tree] [Boy's Dorm Christmas Tree]

December 21: Christmas Party at Gerard's Restaurant

Gerard at our favorite restaurant, La Vita Bella, sponsored a Christmas luncheon party for all the children at Love in Action. We picked up eight boys at the Center and were first to arrive where the boys immediately found lounge chairs, footballs, toy cars and a tree house to play in before lunch.

[Efrain & Aarón] [Giovani & Dany] [Boys racing toy cars]

Efrain climbed into the tree house then it was time to be seated with the older kids at the front view side.

[Efrain in treehouse] [Boys at lunch] [Boys at lunch]

The smallest kids sat at a long table in front of the restaurant, all served macaroni and cheese with fruit drinks. There was little trouble getting the boys to pose, except the illusive Javier who finally allowed a shot.

[Smaller kids] [Antonio & Javier] [Aarón, Pedro and Noe]

Chef Gerard posed with Anabel, the Center Director after the meal. Then kids were taken out front and lined up in their age/dorm groups for ices and gifts. The Center was fortunate to be one of several children's charities to benefit of free toys from a major toy maker, Hasbro.

[Gerard & Anabel] [Smallest kids lined up] [Mid sized boys lined up]

December 23am: Christmas Bicycles

We decided to give Dany and Efrain their bicycles privately rather than in front of the other boys. We took them to Cristiana Park in Chapala by the Lake where they were able to test them out along the many paths and roads.

[Dany & Efrain on new bikes] [Efrain & Dany] [Riding by the Lake]

December 23pm: Open House at Hope House

Hope House is a companion children's shelter which house about 24 boys between 7 and 17. Chava, a boy who often went on outings with us was sent there in October, and Efrain's older brother, Victor is also there. The boys were seated in the courtyard listening to the Director sing. We easily spotted Alejandro in the center, and Chava sitting in the first row.

[Dany & Efrain on new bikes] [Efrain & Dany] [Riding by the Lake]

The boys posed for pictures for us to take back to their friends at Love in Action. Chava is on the left and Victor the boy on the right in the photo on the right.

[Chava] [Chava between Robin & Jim] [Alejandro with friend]

December 24: Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) at Love in Action Center

On Christmas Eve, called "Nochebuena" in Mexico, godparents, volunteers and staff sponsored a grand party for all the boys and girls at Love in Action. Larry played Santa and posed with the kids. Victor from Hope House appeared briefly and we were able to get a picture with the three brothers: Oscar (7), Alejandro (10) and our Efrain (9).

[Santa with the boys] [Los Hermanos] [Santa with youngest]

The kids were excited and played in the playground and posed for more pictures until the Pinatas appeared with the smallest kids trying first.

[Boys in field] [Brothers and others] [Smallest boy with first pinata]

As the boys and girls took turns to break the pinata figures, finally it was time for Efrain to give it a try. He got a few solid hits releasing candy and coins to the floor.

[Efrain] [Antony] [Efrain swinging]

Jim tried to get pictures of the kids and our boys opening their presents, but the mad pandemonium kept him from getting clear shots, as you can see. Dany sat near his mother Cleo, but appeared to be waiting to open his presents with his family later.

[opening presents] [Cleo & Dany] [opening presents]

[red line graphic]

Our Godsons: Dany and Efrain

Nuestros Ahijados: Dany y Efrain