Christmas 2012

Christmas is celebrated differently depending on where you look, and who you look at. The celebration has its own uniqueness that varies from family to family, from generation to generation. However, there are common aspects shared by many: family get-togethers, great food, and of course, the gifts. That is, of course, for us, the privileged. But have ever stopped to think about how the less-privileged families spend their Christmas? Have we ever thought about the children who wake up on the 25th hoping to find a present from Santa but fail to find any? And if so, do we ever do something about it to change things?IMG_1577

We, at Maersk Drilling Venezuela, like to think that we help a little. Every year –it is customary now- we become Santa’s helpers and plan an event where we give out more than 900 Christmas presents to very poor children from our nearby communities. This year was no exception.

After weeks of preparation and planning, more than 100 volunteer employees –and their families- met before sunrise to attend the Xmas Operation: Reindeer briefing and to give the final touches to the premises in our effort to receive around 1500 people. We kick-started the event at close to 8:30 AM and soon enough the children and their parents flooded our Shore Base. Here’s a short recount of what happened soon after they entered:IMG_1691

-Close to 2000 hot dogs eaten.

-500.000 ml of refreshments poured.

-10 Mill. Corn popped.

-5000 smiles over cotton candy shared.

Right after getting the juice and energy to play, the children headed to our recently-redecorated Warehouse #3. There, four giant inflatable playgrounds awaited and as expected, jumping was done. Next came the time to dance. Entertainers and performers gathered near the playgrounds and started choreographing dances with the children.IMG_1833

It was now the time everyone was expecting: Santa made his way through the crowds to start giving out the much-awaited presents.

At 11:30 AM, every boy and girl left with a huge smile and glittering eyes holding on to that present, rushing their parents to get home soon to be able to open them and play. We, on the other hand, we were left with a great sense of satisfaction, teary eyes, and hope. We ended up feeling like Santa’s Helpers, we ended up feeling like we kept that fire alive in those kids’ hearts. We felt our job was done, we had made +900 children happy in Christmas.IMG_2051

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