Christmas came to Rock Hill Monday, and it had a name -- Qaid Luqmaan.
Qaid, 7, showed what Christmas is supposed to be, and is.
Three children, ages 6, 4 and 2, two boys and a girl, came with their mother to the annual St. Mary Catholic Church Christmas Day meal open to all in Rock Hill at Bannon Hall across Crawford Road from the church. Everything was free: Food, gifts, and love.
The little kids ate, then were taken into a room where gifts were in boxes and bags and on shelves collected throughout the year through donations. Qaid ushered all the kids to the toys and other gifts, and helped them find great stuff.
Qaid even put his arm around the 6-year-old boy and said, “You like football? I got you!”
Qaid found a football toy for the younger boy.
The two put their arms around each other.
“Merry Christmas,” Qaid said to that new friend.
The little boy walked out with a smile he did not have when he arrived. Qaid’s smile was pretty big, too.
“Christmas means to me helping people out,” Qaid said. “”It doesn’t just include your family, and your friends. It means the people around you.”
That spirit spread throughout the meal and gift giveaway at the church hall on Christmas. Scores of volunteers lined up to carry more than 600 to-go meals around the city, as dozens more volunteers cooked and plated the food. Bryan and Michelle Settle volunteer at the annual event every year as delivery drivers.
“This is what Christmas really is,” Michelle Settle said. “Giving.”
More volunteers served the needy and hungry who arrived to eat at Bannon Hall’s Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen. Christmas was so special that all the food was served by volunteer waiters and waitresses, right down to the tea and cake. Sisters Erin O’Rourke, 17, and Megan O’Rourke, 13, happily waited tables on Christmas for people who needed a meal.
Erin said giving to others is what Christmas is all about. Her sister called their service a kindness that is important.
“It is serving people to make our community a better place,” Megan O’Rourke said.
The people who ate the sit-down meal received gifts, too. Everybody ate -- and left with presents.
There is a name for all that giving Monday. Qaid Luqmaan said that name was this: “Christmas.”