Naschitti celebration includes presents, Jesus, welcome announcement

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

NASCHITTI, N.M., Dec. 19, 2013

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(Times photos - Alastair Lee Bitsóí)

TOP: Church members from the Naschitti Baptist Church act out the Christmas Nativity scene of when and how Jesus was reportedly born thousands of years ago, according to Christian theology, during the Naschitti Chapter Community Christmas Program and Dinneron Dec. 14.

BOTTOM:Three-year old Zoey Whare introduces herself to the public at the annual Naschitti Chapter Community Christmas Program and Dinner on Dec. 14 at Naschitti Elementary. Whare and the rest of her preschool classmates from Naschitti Head Start sang, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and also won $100 for their float in the Night Parade on Dec. 13.

From the hundreds of gifts that were donated by the Naschitti Baptist Church and the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President, three-year old Zoey Whare tore open a gift she called a "princess thing."

"There's earrings in it, too," Whare said, while explaining her newly acquired princess-themed dress-up kit. "I like Christmas."
The joy exuded by Whare and the rest of the community last Saturday as they opened gifts and shared a meal was what Llewellyn Stevens and the Nasch'id Community Youth Organization envisioned when they planned this event.

"We're Naschitti," said Stevens to the hundreds of community members who turned out for the annual Naschitti Chapter Community Christmas Program and Dinner, held Dec. 14 at the Naschitti Elementary School.

Stevens, who recently founded the Naschi'd Community Youth Organization in an effort to empower youth, solicited Gallup businesses for door prizes that totaled about $2,500 in cash value as a way to give back to his community.

"Obviously that (Gallup) is where most of some Navajo money is located, spent," he added.

Stevens was able to secure door prizes like eye exams and glasses from Gallup optometrists, oil changes from Rico Motor and Gurley Motor, dinner certificates from establishments like Virgie's and Panz Alegra, and various other prizes. There were more than 100 raffle prizes, Stevens said.

In addition to the donated Christmas gifts for the youth and the raffle prizes, members of the Naschitti Baptist Church treated the community to a Christmas Nativity scene – a play that reenacts the birth of Jesus.

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