What's a party without food? Our volounteers helped prepare things on the day. Some folks from church popped in and brought things that had been made at home or bread or juice. One friend from church arrived with 40 small cozonacs, still warm from the oven (cozonac is a type of bread but is semi sweet and contains nuts, dried fruit or turkish delight). Cozonac is traditional fare for special occasions and this dedicated lady wanted to be sure that there was one for each person - we were very touched that she had spent all Christmas eve morning baking for street people when she had all her own family preparations to make. We had bought food as we didn't know how much we would receive, but in the end we had an over-abundance which we were able to distribute to poor families afterwards as well as sending all our visitors home with "doggie bags".
We were joined half way through the afternoon by carol songers from Oaza charity. Oaza used to work with street children some years ago and now has two children's homes which accommodate around 20 children, some of whom were once street children. The children sang carols to our young people which was lovely and much appreciated. Then, not to be outdone, our lot sang several carols back to the children!
After an afternoon of much eating, drinking (juice, of course!) singing and generally having fun our guests were given their Christmas gifts - Christmas shoeboxes which we received from Blythswood Trust in Scotland. Need I add that our entire family was utterly exhausted at the end of the day, having had a lot of running around and various preparations to make, in addition to having spent the previous few weeks in non-stop distribution of shoeboxes. However, I must say that as I looked around at the motely gathering as they were singing Christmas carols I couldn't help thinking that this is what it's all about - Christmas, I mean.