Hundreds of families joined together for some food and presents at the 13th annual Festividad for Christ Community Christmas Celebration at Faith Community Church in Newhall on Saturday.
“We wanted to do something to bless our neighbors, and that’s what the very first Festividad 13 years ago was about,” said senior pastor Steve Jackson. “Just, ‘Hey, how can we give back and share with them through the love of Christ and invite them to come and be a part of what we’re doing?’”
Families climbed up the steep driveway up to the church. Through the help of volunteers and sponsors, families could then pick up a meal and eat from GSC Studio Catering, while children could walk into the church and pick up a present based on their age range. Other donated items were available to be picked up, such as used clothing and Bibles in English or Spanish. Back outside, families also could have popcorn, have their children’s faces painted or go behind the church to the snowy play area for some snowball throwing and sledding.
“We want people to be able to enjoy one another, and for us to hopefully get to know them a little bit better and personally invite them,” Jackson said. “So we try to create an environment where people stay rather than just pick up their close, pick up their food, pick up their present and head on out.”
The Flores family – Sam, his wife Reina and their son Christopher – were invited by their neighbors to go to their second Festividad. Christopher was ready to open his gift, a Star Wars Lego set. They were blessed to be a part of something loving and welcoming, Sam said.
“But the biggest part of it, and the reason why it’s here, is to see so many people here together,” he said. “With so many bad things going on in this world today, and you look at this.”
Before leaving, the Flores family was set to pick up one last item made available for those in attendance: a Christmas turkey, one out of 220 available, to take home.