Santa Clause is in the House

No Christmas day would be complete without Santa Claus, and at Sarnelli House Santa made 3 separate appearances. Santa was played with enthusiasm and great gusto by visiting Dutchman Ben Ummels who the kids adore.

Christmas Eve was celebrated at Don Wai after mass at the Good Shepherd Church. During mass the kids from the village put on a nativity play complete with the little Buddhists kids joining in to play the coveted role of the sheep and cows.  All the villagers and children gathered afterwards in the cool evening air for the fantastic food made by the ladies of the village. Santa appeared and gave out sweets and hugs and was warmly welcomed by all. Dancing and singing on the rickety wooden outdoor stage was enjoyed and performed amidst much laughter and pre show nerves by the children. The evening before a similar occurrence happened after Christmas mass in the village of Pi Si Tong and the annual judging of the home made nativity cribs was done by honoured guest Tony Zola, and prizes were handed out to the most creative crib.

On Christmas day using the new Mary and Joseph Hall at Don Wai the kids celebrated a Sarnelli House Christmas Day inside for the first time. Usually the Christmas Day celebrations are held outside at either Don Wai or Pi Si Tong and the staff build a stage for the day. However with  the very loud sound system working overtime belting out music, the stage was full of kids performing their well rehearsed Christmas acts. Each house put on a performance which included dancing and singing and they dressed up in traditional Thai costume or whatever suited their act.  Santa appeared and gave out the much anticipated presents and everyone got to sit on his knee, some of the littler kids from House of Hope were a bit freaked out by the big man in red, but the lure of the presents brought them around to approach him and receive their gifts. Lunch followed which finally reduced the noise level and the kids compared presents and ran around the hall with their usual energy.  Santa’s job was finally done and the red suit and beard was removed and  Ben was back with the kids after giving the performance of his life. A big Thank You to Ben and our Dutch visitors for sharing a wonderful Christmas with the children and staff.