Valesan's Fresh Air Christmas

“David, my stepson Dalton and I waited until Valesan arrived to cut down our Christmas tree this year,” says Jayne Cahill, of Woolwich, ME. Jayne and David Cahill have been opening their hearts and home to 14-year-old Valesan since 2007 through The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program.

On Saturday, December 22nd, 2012, Jayne, David, Dalton and Valesan went to Green Acre Christmas Tree Farm in Edgecome. “It was just before dark and - as if Mother Nature knew this was a special adventure - it started to snow lightly adding just the right amount of magic to the moment,” Jayne said. “Like most New York children, Valesan was very concerned about his sneakers getting dirty. I always get a chuckle at that.” Valesan and David found the perfect spruce, and after a little instruction and a lot of laughter Valesan cut down his first Christmas tree.

The following morning Valesan and Dalton did the honors of decorating the tree together as David and Jayne watched. “Dalton has always been great with Valesan, very patient and kind. When Dalton left for college in Florida, we took Valesan with us. It was a huge life moment for Dalton, and it was special that he so willingly shared that with Valesan too,” recalled Jayne.

The day before Valesan left to go back to New York City, Maine experienced a large snowstorm. “Valesan had never been sledding, so that night - with flashlights in hand - we all went to the local golf course and he had his first sledding experience! He loved it!” said Jayne. “It was really wonderful to have us all together this Christmas, and after spending six summers with us, Valesan is just another member of the family.”