Every time a family moves into their forever home this beautiful season becomes a little brighter. We talked to new homeowners to see how they’re celebrating Christmas. Scroll to see living rooms aglow, much gratitude and some holiday magic.
Avon in Okotoks
“This holiday season is extra special for our family because this will be the first Christmas in our dream home.” Avon, her husband Romano and her two children Lorenzo and Nina have been living in their Okotoks home since January.
“Having this house is the biggest blessing and is the reason to celebrate,” says Avon.
In their home Lorenzo and Nina have decorated the tree, two advent candles are lit and the chocolate calendar is partially eaten. What’s to come are the family photos, Christmas dinner with family and close friends, and annual karaoke.
For this Okotoks family, being together is the most important thing.
“After all the fun, we are going for a family vacation back to our home country,” says Avano.
With Habitat’s affordable monthly mortgage payments customized to their household’s income, Avon and Romano we were able to save this year to visit their family in the Philippines.
“It’s our extended holiday celebration! My mother-in-law has been sick for a while so at the beginning of the year we made a goal to do it. Thank God we have the funds and now it’s happening in January.”
This is the first time all four of them will travel by plane together. “We are so thankful to Habitat for making our family dream possible.”
All is calm, all is bright.
Janice in Pincher Creek
Although they only moved into her new home November 8th, Janice, her husband Clemente, and two kids Chloe and Chase are ready for Christmas. Actually, Christmas is their home décor—at least for the next few weeks.
“We’re planning to have a house warming party, but I’m still waiting for my couch!”
Along with the arrival of a new couch, the house has a tree in the living room and lights on the wall, Santa Claus is the washroom, and Jack Frost outside the washroom. There are lights on the stair railing and stockings in the kitchen. And let’s not forget the Christmas cactus and wine with a Santa hat in the dining area, plus the wreath on their front door.
This Pincher family loves their decorations, but Janice admits they can’t take all the credit. Last Monday, in the morning around ten, a women Janice didn’t know knocked on her door. She introduced herself as Louise and a friend of one of Janice’s friends—Louise heard Janice had recently moved in so had brought with her Christmas decorations.
“She gave me a snowman that sings, and my kids love it,” says Janice.
The kids also love the house, especially little Chase. “His favourite word is no, but when you ask if he likes the new house, it is a big yes!"
“We love the house and we are so grateful for it. It’s a blessing and a home for sure. I am always cleaning. I see a little bit on the wall, I clean.”
Christmas is different this year because of the new house. There is more space and more opportunity to host their friends and family. Janice, Clemente, Chloe and Chase’s hearts are filled with joy thanks to your gifts.
Cathy in Cochrane
Cathy, her husband Tim and their two children Anna and Harry haven’t moved into their home yet, but this is a special season because of what’s to come in February.
“I think it’s worked out right that we’re here for Christmas, it’s our last Christmas and we’re excited for what the new year is going to bring with a new home and new beginnings,” says Cathy.
This Thursday, the family of four will put on some Christmas music, make hot chocolate, and decorate the tree together as a family. Many of the ornaments have been collected over the years. Gifts from family, photographed frames, and ornaments the kids have made.
“I really enjoy doing that because it’s a reminder of what we’ve been through, where we’ve lived and all the different things that have happened.”
Christmas is also a sacred time because of their family's faith. And the decorations suggest that.
“It’s a daily reminder to come back to what this season is really about and how we want to be able to love others and give to others even if we don’t have so much ourselves.”
“We are struggling a little bit financially with Tim’s work, but we still want to be generous. We want to love others and show that love to our neighbours and our friends. That is really what this time is about.”
This is how you’re making spirits bright this special season. Thank you for all your gifts and support in 2019. Donate to our Every Kid Campaign this month and bring more families in southern Alberta into their home for the holidays.