We began holiday celebrations at Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles, a residential treatment program for teens, with a Harvest Festival designed as a celebration of the fall season.
On November 24th, 2011, we enjoyed a Thanksgiving Day dinner where our staff served all of the residents who ate together and gave thanks for what they valued in life. After this event the parents came in and visited the residents for a dessert social. All families were invited to enjoy Thanksgiving treats together.
On December 4th, the Academy hosted a Tree-lighting Ceremony. A lovely tree decorated in blue and white was surrounded by 130 youth and their families who gathered to reflect on the meaning of holidays. Residents spoke about the traditions and meaning of Hanukkah, Ramadan, Kwanza and Christmas. A viola-player, Ben, played Christmas carols. At the end, Santa came to light the Christmas tree.
On December 11th, the Christmas Extravaganza includes breakdancers, singers, dancers and poets who came to share their art forms with teens and staff. There were 175 participants in this lively and youth-oriented event.
On December 18th, 36 families will come together to make tamales with our kitchen staff for the residents to enjoy on Christmas Day. Making tamales together as a family is one of the most cherished Latino Christmas traditions.
On Christmas (December 25th) we will have the sharing of gifts, delivered by families or donated by the supporters of our program. Parents will be invited to come in for a Dessert Social on Christmas Day.