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Open House – “Step by Step”



Christmas at La Mariola

03/02/2009: Spain

This year the boys and girls of « Step by Step, » the Open House which the Marist Brothers run in the La Mariola neighborhood of Lleida (in Lerida, Spain), ran a heavy schedule of Christmas celebrations for the Brothers, the educational aides, and the many volunteers who had given a helping hand during the past year.

Along with the littlest members of the center, we got caught up in a visit made to us by one of Santa’s elves. We also sang Christmas carols on the main street of the town, getting many people to put a smile on their face and dance. Even the mayor, pipe and all, did a few steps to the “Chiquirritín”! (Such is the name of a very popular Spanish Christmas carol.) The occasion was an enchanting promenade and a very joyous one too, marking the first day of the Christmas holidays.

And of the following days ? Well, a heap of activities!
With the older boys and girls, a competition; and, for the grandparents of the neighborhood, a healthy afternoon repast at the Civic Center. But you really missed something if you didn’t catch two or three of the grandmothers trying to do “hip-hop,” following the lead of some of our older girls!

Then, at three thirty in the afternoon, with everybody chipping in, a living Christmas crib appeared in the neighborhood square, with a mixture of quite terrific costumes and props. There was even snow to help the scene feel more authentic! It’s true . . . even the angels were wearing gloves and scarves.

The cherry-on-top was the period of three days when we made a trip to our house in Llinars del Vallès, days that were filled with games and adven-tures such as we had rarely experienced before.

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