Looking back over a lifetime of Christmases, I’d imagine the times that stayed with you the most aren’t Christmases spent alone. Your favorite Christmases probably involved spending time with loved ones in joyous activities like laughing around the dinner table, wrapping gifts or spending time at church.
People, after all, are social creatures. We have an innate desire for the companionship of those with whom we have common bonds. And, while the universal need for belonging is ever-present in each of us, I think this need is uniquely vital around important celebrations like birthdays and, of course, holidays like Christmas.
I expect you recall a Christmas or two as a child when you awoke Christmas morning to an uplifting symphony of fragrances — your parents’ coffee, a turkey or ham roasting in the oven and cinnamon apples reducing on the stove. Maybe, as you rushed to see what presents awaited you under the tree, you chanced a look out the window and were surprised to see a beautiful virgin snow adding a special touch of perfection to this special day.
In much the same way, our expert staff put a great deal of effort into making each Christmas the best, most memorable experience it can possibly be for our girls and boys — they’re worth it!
The children we serve come from a wide array of backgrounds, homes and cultures. They have in common a shared desire for safety and stability, an inspiring desire to reach their fullest potential and the need to be surrounded by people who love and support them.
Years from now, when they look back on their time at Boys Ranch, they’ll fondly recall Christmas as a time spent decorating the tree, caroling with their peers or hanging beautiful lights on their Boys Ranch home.
Whatever experience stands out to them, it’s guaranteed to be one of friendship and family — because here in the rugged Texas Panhandle, Boys Ranch shines as a community where being each other’s neighbor is still important in ways our broader society all-too-often forgets. Here, our youth learn the importance of brotherly love, of being available when the people around you need a helping hand or a caring shoulder.
Of course, there’s something else you can be sure our young people will always remember about Christmas — and every other day — at Boys Ranch: Here they learned, sometimes for the very first time, about the God Who loved them enough to send His Son to a humble birth so many years ago.
At Boys Ranch, our young people see — not only in the words of our chapel staff, but through the lives of every man and woman with whom they come into contact, that the Christmas story isn’t myth or mere history. It’s a living word that changes lives and heals broken hearts every bit as much today as it has for the last 2,000 years.
That’s a Christmas legacy of which I’m proud to be a part, year after year. And, regardless where life finds you this Christmas season, you have a place in our hearts. Your commitment to our young people makes their merry Christmases possible. You’re a most important part of our Boys Ranch family, and I’m glad you’re sharing this Christmas with us!