Christmas at a Compassion centre is a special time. In many Compassion children’s homes, there will be no special decorations, no Christmas feast and no presents. But our church partners go the extra mile to help children know and experience the love of God at Christmas time.

Children begin receiving your Christmas letters before the Christmas celebration—a reminder that they are loved by you—and God!

A little girl holds a Christmas card that says "Merry Christmas".

As the day approaches, our church partners put extra care into decorating the Compassion centre.

Red and green Christmas balloons hanging on a string.

The centres usually have a special meal for the children at the Christmas celebration, often including a staple, such as rice, with meat. These children in Ghana have a special Christmas meal of jollof rice and chicken.

Children eat a meal at Compassion centre

Children and youth prepare for months for the Christmas celebration, putting together dances, speeches, plays, songs and ceremonies.

Children in Burkina Faso perform a special Christmas dance.

The adults prepare special performances for the children too!

Child centre volunteers perform a Christmas song.

At every Christmas event, children and often their parents and siblings hear the Christmas story of how God loves us so much that He sent His Son for us.

A man dressed as Jesus preaches a sermon for the children before handing out gifts. He talks about the importance of family, being generous and kind, and that Christmas is about the birth of Christ and not just gifts.

There’s lots of time to just be silly, too!

a man dressed as Jesus preaches a sermon for the children before handing out gifts. He talks about the importance of family, being generous and kind, and that Christmas is about the birth of Christ and not just gifts.

And, of course, there are presents! Staff of our church partners work hard leading up to the celebration to buy and wrap hundreds of presents! Often, these are the only presents the children will get for Christmas that year.

a man dressed as Jesus preaches a sermon for the children before handing out gifts. He talks about the importance of family, being generous and kind, and that Christmas is about the birth of Christ and not just gifts.

Christmas is a time that Compassion children get to escape their sometimes bleak circumstances at home to experience that they are known and loved. Thank you for helping make Christmas a special time for Compassion children!

Written by: Amber Van Schooneveld

Amber Van Schooneveld is the Managing Editor for Compassion Canada. She is the author of Hope Lives and loves to help people learn more about Compassion's programs.