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1914 gift giving at the Old Church Plaza

1914 gift giving at the Old Church Plaza

Jan. 3, 1914: Gifts for 2,000 Mexican American children are spread out at the rectory at Old Plaza Church in Los Angeles.

This photo accompanied a story in the Jan. 4, 1914, Los Angeles Times reporting:

Two Thousand Mexican Children Receive Gifts at Plaza Rectory Through Generosity of Society of El Amigo de los Ninos – Practical Help to Poor.

Yuletide good cheer extended clear over into the first week of the new year for the children of Our Lady of the Angels. Yesterday, the closing Christmas festivities were held in the court and patio of the old rectory, adjoining the church.

The setting made a picture not to be found elsewhere. On all sides arose the archways of the patio; a huge date palm spread its dropping branches over the center of the court, and from this palm to the four corners of the court and to the arc of the archways were sun strings of pennants of red, white and blue.

Around the base of the palm was a square formed by counters. Beside the palm arose a graceful evergreen Christmas tree brilliant in its array of colors and tinsel. Every available inch of the counter space was crowded with gifts for the children of the parish, and there were huge piles of gifts stored on the ground and in boxes. Not a child present of the nearly 2,000 was overlooked. Every little one got bags of candies and Christmas goodies, and besides these some suitable gifts of toys and clothing. …

Santa Claus was on hand in regulation red and white. The good old saint was personified by Jose E. Villasenor. Father Michael gave an address to the children on “The Babe of Bethlehem,” and under the direction of Father Diego the children sang with spirit religious and patriotic selection in English and Spanish.

Then came the long-anticipated event of distributing the gifts. …

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