Many have asked why Ciudad Nueva chooses to have a Christmas store instead of giving gifts. We believe that when you donate to our Christmas store, you give both a physical gift and the gift of dignity.
During our time living and working in the Rio Grande District, we have become painfully aware that, many times, giving can do more harm than good. So we have learned ways to assist families during the Christmas season that bring a sense of empowerment instead of shame. We want parents to experience the joy of selecting, purchasing and giving gifts to their own children, without the loss of dignity that can accompany having their kids receive gifts from a stranger that might be nicer than they can provide themselves. Our goal is for parents to have the opportunity to take pride in buying their children’s presents themselves. The following is an excerpt called Christmas Again, from the book Theirs is the Kingdom, by Robert Lupton. It paints an accurate picture of why we do what we do:
“She knows this year will be no different from the last. All her husband’s hustle, his day-labor jobs, his pick-up work will not be enough to put presents under a tree. They will do well to keep the heat on. His confident, promising deceptions allow the children the luxury of their dreams a while longer. She will cover for him again because she knows he is a good man. His lies are his wishes, his flawed attempts to let his children know what the older ones know but never admit: the gifts are not from Daddy. He will not go with her to stand in the “free toy” lines with all the others. He cannot bring himself to do it. It is too stark a reminder of his own impotence.
And if their home is blessed again this year with a visit from a Christian family bearing food and beautifully wrapped presents for the kids, he will stay in the bedroom until they are gone. He will leave the smiling and the graciousness to his wife. His joy for the children will be genuine. But so is the heavy ache in his stomach as his image of himself as a provider is dealt another blow. Christmas. That wonderful, awful time when giving hearts glow warm and bright while fading embers of a poor man’s pride are doused black.”
We, too, have seen fathers disappear from their own homes when gifts have arrived, so we have tried to celebrate Christmas in new ways. Part of this is the creation of our Christmas Store. We are happy to report that for the last three years, fathers and mothers in our neighborhood come together to purchase gifts for their children, and leave with smiles knowing they purchased the gifts to bring home to their children. We hope to continue to learn as we bring dignity to our families and community through your generous donations and the continued improvement of our Christmas store.
How You Can Help
We need donations! Below is a suggested list of gifts you may find helpful. We are asking for unwrapped new or very gently used items. The store will be held on December 17th from 10am-8pm Please drop off your donations at Ciudad Nueva (528 Yandell, 79902) by Monday, December 16th.
If you prefer to make a financial donation for gifts you can do so here, or by mailing a check to 810 N. Campbell, El Paso, TX 79902. In lieu of Christmas gifts, you may also donate to the Christmas store to honor a family member.
We could also use volunteers the days of the store (setting up, restocking, clean up, gift wrapping, etc). If you have any questions or need more information please contact Jen Kaufmann at 847-323-5140 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a list of gift ideas for our store, or if you’d like to have a printed list while you shop, you can click on the following link to the PDF version of the list.
Printable version: Christmas Store Gift Ideas
Thank you in advance for helping to make this year’s store a success for the families in our neighborhood.
Markers, Colored pencils, Crayons
Drawing books (how-to)
Dry Erase boards and markers
Locker stuff (mirrors, magnets, etc)
Volleyballs, Footballs, Soccer balls, Basketballs
Soccer cleats & shin pads
Shampoo, lotion, body wash
Perfume/cologne, glitter spray
Nail polish, Chapstick
Brushes, Hair clips, headbands, hair bands
Clothing and Accessories
Jewelry, jewelry boxes
Wallets – boys and girls
Skinny jeans, jeans , pants
Sweatshirts, sweaters, long sleeve shirts
Chihuahuas, Cowboys, UTEP, etc.
Girls shoes (flats and boots)
Boys shoes (converse, vans, etc)
Pajamas, Slippers, Socks
Glasses with clear lenses
Coats, scarves, hats, mittens
New or used video games
New or used dvds
New or used Ipods nanos or shuffles
One Direction stuff
Ninja Turtles, Superheros
Star wars toys
Angry Bird Toys
Remote control cars
Sports team posters
Monopoly, Battleship, Life, Headbandz, Twister, etc
Gift Wrapping Supplies:
Items for the Home
Bed Sheets, Towels, Blankets
Plates, cups, mugs
Kitchen cooking utensils
Hot pads/oven mitts, Kitchen towels