Okay, I wasn’t just a place-setting person at the Christmas dinner. I also played Christmas duets on my violin with my younger sister. We played a variety of songs from Away in a Manger to O Holy Night to Jingle Bells. As I played Joy to the World for the third time, I watched the guest come in. The table hosts gave them a TFish Fund pin to wear and seated them at tables, chatting merrily with them. Younger kids made crafts at the craft table.
Once everyone had arrived we sang songs of praise and worship. Blessed be Your Name, La Montana, and Eres Todo Poderoso (which I recognized from a Mexico mission trip and sang along, hoping no one would hear my Spanish mispronunciation).
The cooks stirred up something delicious. Chips and dip,green salad with shrimp and scallop, turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, cranberry sauce, squash, and stir-fried rice. For dessert, apple or blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream. I could tell that our guests enjoyed the meal. As they ate each course they listened to a different assortment of speakers give their testimony of faith.
In the end, Santa Claus burst through the door in his jolly red suit and white beard, handing out presents to all the children. Once all the gifts were distributed, all of the staff sang Christmas carols with dinner guests.
I had a wonderful time (I even had a wonderful time cleaning up - for real!) and I hope the families in East Palo Alto did as well.
By EV High School Intern, Emily Kam