In what has become a tradition for the Prentice family, anyone of any religion is invited to join them from 2 - 5 p.m. Christmas Day for pony rides, home-cooked chili, cookies, hot chocolate, and maybe even a present or two at their home on 49997 Pierce Drive.
For the fourth year running, the family, including Lori, husband Jay, and children Melanie, 14, Tim, 12, and Ginger, 10, will offer up their home to provide a Christmas experience to all, particularly to families who may be going through hard times this holiday season.
“There are some families out there who are struggling and they just need a hug from someone who gets it, and gets them,” Lori said. “Sometimes people can feel like a failure if they can’t buy toys for their kids, or something like that. But we want them to know that one, you’re not alone, two, you’re loved and accepted, and three, you haven’t failed, you are in a temporary situation that gets better with support.”
Ponies available for kids and their parents create Christmas memories are Night Fury and Stardust, returning from last year, and new additions Cisco and Mercedes.
“That’s the closest my husband will get to something that’s sleek, black, and fast,” Lori joked about Mercedes. “We put jingle bells and everything on them, it’ll be great.”
The Prentices, who transformed a bedroom in their home into a small apartment for those who have found themselves temporarily without shelter, was featured in the Sierra Star on March 21, 2013. Jay and Lori have operated a homeless ministry out of their own home, bringing in complete strangers. Lori published a book, “The Best Dinner I Never Ate,” that has inspired others to do what they can about the growing child homeless population across the country.
Lori said her family wanted to show others that the holidays are about love and acceptance, not material goods.
“There’s this feeling of being overwhelmed,” Lori said. “Our society keeps pushing people for more and more, and what we often don’t realize is that we, and our families and friends, are already enough ... we are put on this Earth to be a comfort to other people and serve others, and we are more than happy to help put a smile on anyone’s face this Christmas.”
Her husband Jay, and her children, echoed those feelings last year.
“It makes me feel good that I’m helping people that need it,” daughter Ginger said, “and I end up making lots of great friends.”
“We make it clear to the guests, that though many times we do have gifts for all the children, the biggest gift of all is spending time with family,” Jay said.
Lori said anyone of any religious belief, or lack thereof, was more than welcome at the Prentice home. She said numerous people of the Mountain Area community have dropped by with donations such as turkey dinners, which her family will be more than happy to pass out and help create a special Christmas Day.
For directions and details, call the Prentices at (559) 641-2211.