Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Photo by Stephen Hunt

Grand Prairie—For the 100 Grand Prairie families who attended Magic Christmas 2021 at the Pioneer Event Center, Dec. 6 was a magical night.

Underprivileged families from Grand Prairie ISD were treated to a spaghetti dinner, stockings for each child, Christmas music, and a reading of Christmas stories.The evening culminated with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, who distributed bags of toys to each family.

Mary Dominguez, founder of the Hispanic Heritage Ambassadors DFW, credits organizations like Grand Prairie Police Department’s Santa Cop, which donated all the toys distributed, and Grand Prairie ISD Education Foundation for teaming up to make this event happen.

“Magic Christmas is for underprivileged [Grand Prairie ISD] students,” Dominguez said. “Those toys were donated by Santa Cop. That’s why we have the police department here, they are our providers. We could not do this program without them.

“We give the kids stockings. We do a storytelling. Santa comes to the house, takes pictures with the kids. Families have to be from our district. We take care of everybody. It’s a Christmas fellowship program.”

Magic Christmas was held in 2020, but it was a drive-thru affair. To keep attendees as safe as possible this year, organizers decided to reduce the event from 700 families to 100.

“We’re being very careful,” Dominguez said. “The kids are really looking forward to this. They’ve been trying to come in here looking for Santa. They’d open up the door asking if Santa was here.”

Organizers gave parents the option of attending the full event, which included a spaghetti dinner and participating in other activities before Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived, or simply receiving their bag of toys and leaving. Most families opted to stay for the whole program, because they wanted their children to see Santa and experience the holiday cheer.

“They said we want to see Santa. The parents want their kids to talk to Saint Nicholas, and we’re excited about that,” Dominguez said.

Grand Prairie Police Officer Edgar Molina was one of four officers present. Officers handed bags of toys to Santa Claus who read the names on the bags.

As the families came to the stage, they posed for pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and with the officers.

“We’re very happy to be back [in person],” Molina said.“It’s very humbling. We are honored to be here and help out in our community. We love Mary [Dominguez]. We’ve done other projects with her, and every time we get an invitation, we’re happy to help.”

Not only were the children beaming from ear-to-ear when seeing Santa and Mrs. Claus make their grand entrance, but also when receiving their own bag of toys from the denizens of the North Pole.

The kids listened with rapt attention as the timeless story “’Twasthe Night Before Christmas” was read in English and Spanish and displayed youthful exuberance, laughter and enthusiasm, which only kids can deliver while playing together in front of the stage.

“That’s what we’re all waiting for,” Dominguez said. “We need to bring smiles to these kids. They’ve been through a lot, and this is what it takes [to do that].You don’t have to do something big or something fancy, you just need something the kids can look forward to having. This is Magic Christmas. It’s for them. It’s all about the kids.

“It’s all about coming together and bringing smiles to kids. Everybody’s eager to see the kids’ faces. It’s the non-profit community coming together and bringing hope back to the kids.”