Each year, World Vision offers a glimpse into Christmas celebrations around the world through a collection of photos. We see how different the holiday might look, depending on where you live. But this year, Christmas will likely look and feel a little bit different for everyone — both near and far.
Perhaps we won’t gather with the loved ones we thought we’d see on Christmas morning, or light candles with our church communities to sing Silent Night. All around the world, families have faced challenges in 2020 that might turn our holidays upside-down.
This year, we don’t know yet what Christmas will look like for the children we serve around the world. The photos below were taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. But we do know that, thanks to your commitment to partner with World Vision, children will continue to feel the hope of the season through cards, special gifts, and emergency relief.
From us here at World Vision to you, we wish you a happy holiday season, and we thank you for partnering with us to bring joy to children like these around the world.
Thirteen-year-old Zar in Myanmar was elated to receive a Christmas card from her sponsor in the United Kingdom. She said that receiving these cards make her feel very special. “There are hearts, stars, Christmas ornaments, birds, bells, and snow on this Christmas card. It is so beautiful! I like it very much.” Despite limitations from the current pandemic, World Vision staff will still deliver Christmas cards like this one to sponsored children around the world. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Khaing Min Htoo)
Children play under the rising sun at World Vision’s “New Generation” Child-Friendly Space in Bidibidi refugee camp in Uganda. Over 1,200 refugee children come here to play each day. During the December holidays — like when this photo was captured — children arrive as early as 7 a.m. and play until late in the evening. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Aggrey Nyondwa)
On December 14, 2019, Semi Ojeleye of the Boston Celtics and World Vision brought Christmas a little early to a group of underprivileged kids in Boston. The boys received wrapped presents and bags of goods to take home. But perhaps the greatest gift was hanging out and playing games with one of their local heroes. (©2019 photo courtesy of Scott Eisen/Boston Celtics)
Christmas is around the corner, but for children living on the streets and child laborers, merriment is often chased away by frigid cold. That’s why World Vision donors in Australia put their skills to good work knitting blankets for children in need in Afghanistan. Christmas came early for 9-year-old Sarah when World Vision delivered a cozy handmade gift from afar. “This is the first time someone has given me such a colorful blanket. I have always shared a blanket with my sister. Tonight, I will use my own blanket,” she says with a smile. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Narges Ghafary)
A choir of children, many of them sponsored, sing Christmas carols during evening services at a Romanian Orthodox Church. (©2019 World Vision)
Neddy, mother of four, is a teacher in Bolivia who learned how to make Christmas ornaments from a World Vision training. She sells them to earn a little extra income for her family at Christmastime. Learn how you, too, can make your own homemade Christmas crafts. (©2019 World Vision/photo by José Luis Roca)
Eleven-year-old Kalkidan in Ethiopia holds the Christmas card he received last year from his sponsor in the United Kingdom. His favorite part of the card was the stickers that came inside of it. When asked how he and his family celebrate Christmas, he said, “On ‘Gena’ Christmas holiday, I wear special clothes and celebrate the day with my family.” They play musical instruments, and he likes to play “a drum that is made from animal skin.” (©2019 World Vision/photo by Meron Belay)
For many, Christmas will look different this year not only because of COVID-19, but because of natural disasters hitting their cities and homes. This is especially true for families in the Philippines, who began Christmas celebrations on September 1 and were hit by two devastating typhoons in the month of November. To help them through this difficult season, World Vision is providing families with emergency shelter and Hygiene Kits, blankets, mosquito nets, and plastic mats. (©2020 World Vision/photo by Florence Joy Maluyo)