We’ve all done it… we have dreamt of the perfect Christmas. We dream of families gathering around the table for a delicious meal with smiles on their faces. We dream of loads of gifts under the tree with each person having one to open. We think of how excited our children, grandchildren and friends and relatives will be. We walk down the aisles of department stores and see all the animated Santa Clauses, sparking lights and fancy ornaments. We smell the cinnamon spice candles burning.
Unfortunately, real Christmases aren’t always so glamorous. For so many of our boys at the Ranch Christmas can be a very hard time of the year. Nearly 50% of our boys have no family to go home to this Christmas. For many others, the picture perfect Christmas does not exist either. At McCrossan’s we feel it is our duty to make sure we teach the boys the true meaning of Christmas. We are blessed to have an amazing staff at the Ranch that put on a spectacular Christmas dinner each year with the help of our donors. Our kind Tree of Hope supporters make sure no child at McCrossan’s goes without a gift. The local Lions Club comes out and decorates our cottages with trees and decorations. For many of our boys, this is the first time they have put up a Christmas tree. Our Chaplain plans special worship services and shares the real Christmas story with our boys. The kids also get to enjoy lots of fun activities and outings planned by our staff, special volunteers and donors. Despite not having a “traditional” family our boys can still take part in Christmas traditions they will remember for a lifetime.
Recently, we asked our boys to share their thoughts on Christmas. These quotes touched our hearts and we are sure they will touch yours too. Thank you to all of you who help make the holidays more exciting for our boys. We are sure this will be the best Christmas ever for many boys at the Ranch.
Here are just a couple of things our boys had to say about Christmas this year:
“I don’t remember having a good Christmas.” – Brinden
“Christmas is not my day. It is kind of depressing. I am hoping this is my best Christmas because I have never had a good one.” – Darrius
“I feel excited about Christmas and having a new place to spend it.” – Seth
“I feel nervous about Christmas. I look forward to the Tree of Hope gifts the most. I am hoping this is my best Christmas ever.” – Matt
“I haven’t really had any great Christmases. Most of my holidays were spent running away, in JSC or off using drugs and alcohol with “friends” and not being with my family. I know this might sound cheesy but the only thing I want this year is to be surrounded by friends and family and a sense of acceptance.” – Jason
“If I could have one thing for Christmas… it would be a family.” – Percy
“I have never had a favorite Christmas because I can never be with my whole family.” – Quentin
“My best Christmas was at McCrossan. We got to eat at a really cool restaurant and I loved my Tree of Hope gifts.” – Melvin
“I like Christmas for the time to be a true Christian. I look forward to celebrating Jesus’ birthday.” – Lars
“If I could have just one thing this Christmas it would be to restart and fix my mistakes.” – Harley
“My best Christmas was last year at McCrossan Boys Ranch. I loved my Tree of Hope gifts.” – Chase
“Christmas doesn’t make me really feel anything. My family never really gave me gifts.” – Prosper
“My best Christmas was the one I had with my grandparents.” – Donovan
“My best Christmas was at McCrossan. I had more fun because I was around kids who were in the same situation as me.” – Devin
“Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year.” – Antovan
“I feel like Christmas is a time to rejoice and have hope. I look forward to spending time with my McCrossan family.” – Riley