Merry 1st day of Christmas, everyone.

To celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas, I’m going 12 Days of Giving again this year. This year starts off… rough. It doesn’t feel very Christmasy, but that’s sort of the point.

The Christmas story is, more than anything else, a celebration of a birth; the birth of an infant who’d grow into a man who told us to care for the poor, the sick, those in captivity, the strangers, and the outcasts. A child who embodies God’s choice to be with us, in every human frailty. A child who almost immediately became a refugee and fled persecution and violence in his native land, carried abroad by his parents, who wanted nothing more than to keep him safe.

We don’t always do a good job honoring that story.

I can’t think of a worse story for Christmas than the fact that the U.S. government let another Guatemalian child die on Christmas day. But here we are. A child, who’s family was fleeing violence and poverty, who’s father wanted only to help him find a better life, was taken by our government and allowed to die. That is what our government is doing — what they are doing in our name. It’s hard to write this, and sort of depressing to start off this way, but I don’t know how I could honestly write this post about anything except this.

Today, as we celebrate the infant Jesus, I’m thankful for the people working to mitigate the damage we’re doing. One of the most important such organizations is RAICES. They provide direct legal aid to refugee and immigrant families along our southern border, and have been strong advocates for justice for over 30 years. And with our current political situation, we need them more than ever.

I’d encourage you to consider supporting their work. Donate soon, and your donation will be doubled thanks to a generous matching pledge by Alyssa Milano. It’s too late for the child who died today, or for Jakelin before him, but we can help the many other children, and their families, in similar situations.

Peace and love. xo