A hairbrush for Christmas?!

“Dear Santa, I would like some hair bands and a hair brush for Christmas,” reads the wish list from Sabrina, eight years old. Together with 403 other wishes from kids in children’s homes in the county, it was hanging on a Christmas tree in Krones’ reception hall in Neutraubling. Shampoo, shower gel or deodorants are also among the wishes – all of them things that most of us casually drop in our shopping baskets at the drugstore. For some of the children, a huge pile of presents under the tree is something they can only dream about. So it’s all the nicer that within 24 hours after the initiative was launched all the wish slips had found a taker.

But back to the beginning: how did we manage to arrange for 404 kids’ wishes to come true? It’s primarily thanks to Santa’s busy elves in Neutraubling , who worked hard to translate the Christmas initiative launched by Caroline Herbst into gift-giving reality. Deft hands and quite a lot of organisational skills were and are required to make sure that everything goes according to plan: the wish slips have all been taken – and concomitantly the pile of presents in aback room at reception is growing.

Christina ReschWhat would Christmas be without a tree? A thought that also occurred to Christina Resch, Assistant to the Executive Board. She arranged for a glittering Christmas tree in the reception hall: it’s decorated with Christmas tree balls, ribbons and fairy lights – so it has everything that a “proper” Christmas tree needs. Next to them, on silver ribbons decorated with stars, hung beautifully painted wish slips.

But where did the wish slips come from? The Christmassy slips were presented to the homes by the project team. Filled in, and in some cases artistically and colourfully painted (on the slips you can admire reindeer, penguins or turtles, for example), they finally arrived in Neutraubling.

All this was arranged through the Regensburg County Youth Office, who were contacted by Christina Resch, and who put us in touch with the county homes.

In Neutraubling, the wish slips were delivered to the safe hands of Julia Renner and Nadine Meier. 404 wishes in all – it would be easy to lose track of them.

Julia Renner & Nadine Meier

But thanks to Nadine all the wishes have now been sorted and catalogued. Together with Julia Renner and some other helpful colleagues, she finally attached the wish slips to silver ribbons, with which they could be hung on the Christmas tree. For Julia, who had spent quite a lot of time on the phone beforehand, to get all the organisational stuff up and running, this was doubtless a welcome change.

Esther RennerChristmas tree, decorations and wish slips have been organised, then. What else is needed? Right, the most important thing of all: the presents!

And this is where another busy elf comes in – Esther Renner. Normally, she handles visitors’ concerns at reception, but in the run-up to Christmas she also sidelines as a gift elf. Esther Renner takes delivery of all the presents at reception, compares them with the list drawn up by Nadine, and then collects and sorts them – so that nothing can get lost and all the wishes will be met.

Because after all this is what really counts: that the work of these busy elves ensures that the children’s Christmas wishes really do come true.