Christmas at UGM-TC 2022

Posted: December 25, 2022

For many who live and work at Union Gospel Mission of Tarrant County, our Christmas celebration is one of the best parts of being at The Mission. The beautiful and sparkling decorations, the children’s anticipation for Santa’s arrival, the parents’ appreciation for being able to provide Christmas presents for their families, and the holy and precious reminder of God’s greatest gift to earth, Jesus, all come together to create an extra special spark of joy in the air.

This year’s Christmas celebration was certainly a special one, with over 50 children connected to our program. We started off the festivities on December 18th with the opening of our on-site toy shop. Parents living at UGM-TC and The Vineyard on Lancaster apartments had the opportunity to pick out 7 gifts for each child. Once the gifts were chosen, volunteers wrapped them to make sure they were Santa-approved and ready to go back with the parents for Christmas day. Adult resident gift bags were also prepared and taken back to each residential building for their Christmas parties.

After five days of great anticipation, our Christmas celebration took place on December 23rd. At 6:30 AM, The Mission was already bustling as volunteers and staff prepared the donated Angel Tree gifts, specifically requested by each child, for Santa Claus to hand out. As soon as Santa arrived, the families took turns greeting him and receiving their presents. The energy in the room was ecstatic as the children saw what each wrapped gift held – dolls, games, headphones, toy dinosaurs, and so much more. The smiles on the parents’ faces showed it was just as special for them as they watched their children become overwhelmed with joy.

Once the families received their gifts, each residential building had its own Christmas party, where the adults received gift bags. In addition to the UGM-TC and The Vineyard on Lancaster residents, outside guests also received special Christmas gift bags distributed by our warehouse staff. Each bag was filled with blankets, gloves, hats, snacks, and hygiene products to help them through the harsh winter months.

After the campus-wide gift distribution concluded, everyone gathered in the chapel for our Christmas service, led by Father Andy and Pastor Gregg. Familiar Christmas carols were sung, and the story of Jesus’ birth was told. It was a beautiful moment of unity as everyone reflected on the true meaning of Christmas, the true hope of the world.

Revelation 21:3— “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

Next, it was time for Christmas lunch! Plates filled with ham, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, rolls and desserts were served to UGM-TC residents, The Vineyard on Lancaster tenants, and outside guests. Hearts were happy and bellies were full as they communed together.

 Year after year, no matter what the circumstances of the world are, there’s nothing like the joy of Christmas at UGM-TC. We are blessed to have a safe and warm place to celebrate the blessings God has given us and, most important of all, celebrate the tiny baby that was born in a manger to redeem the world.

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