More than 100 recent immigrants who now live in Edmonton had the opportunity to take part in their first Canadian Christmas celebration on Saturday.
“This is their first Christmas in Canada, and we’re able to be there to help celebrate with them and do what we can to make it a special occasion,” explained Troy Davies, CEO of Catholic Social Services, which hosted the event.
This event welcomed newcomers from all countries and backgrounds. It offered a wide array of Christmas activities including a traditional turkey dinner.
“A lot of these families that are with us walked a difficult road and a challenging road. This is a special occasion to celebrate their first Christmas in their new home,” Davies said.
“I’m from Afghanistan and it’s lovely to be here in Canada and this is my first Christmas. I’m enjoying it and I’m very excited,” said Eid Muhammad, a newcomer to Canada.
This is the 30th year the organization has hosted this event. Throughout the year, Catholic Social Services helps roughly 14,000 immigrants navigate housing, education and health care.
“Christmas is about joy, it’s about peace, it’s about friends, it’s about family, it’s about being there for one another,” Davies said.
“So much is expressed with a smile… Of the many languages spoken here in this room, we all speak the universal language of a smile, so to see all these beautiful smiles just warms my heart.”