Despite efforts to think otherwise, it is difficult to face the holidays without conjuring up an image of some little item of desire. Perhaps a pair of designer sunglasses or a computer tablet with the coveted letter “i” attached to it comes to mind.

For 15 year old Stephenville ISD athlete, Colby Trinkle, and his brother, Hardin Simmons University sophomore and Cowboy Cornerback, Keaton, that highly anticipated Christmas gift was to have been a Mexican Caribbean cruise.

“One day my dad told us we were going to go on a family cruise for Christmas,” Colby said.

The teenager was excited at the notion of a week on a boat sailing to exotic and luxurious destinations with his family.

But plans were to take a different direction when his parents, Jimmy and Kimberly, alerted Colby to a change in the Christmas line up.

“The next day, Dad said, 'God's really calling us, and we think we really need to go a different direction,’” Colby explained.

As expected, the teenager was confused by the new announcement.

“I asked, ‘What is it?'” he said. “They said we needed to go to Mexico and give the kids there clothes and shoes and things like that. It was like one day we were going on a cruise, and the next day we were headed for Mexico.”

The plan was for the Trinkle family to participate in a mission for Sparkles of Love, a non-profit organization originally founded in the city of Monterrey, Mexico.

Although Colby was initially disappointed by the change in itinerary, as he found out more about the mission his parents felt called to accomplish, he began to embrace the new direction of their holiday travel.

Meeting with the local mission leader, Pantry and More’s Tommy Shelton, helped to give Colby a visual interpretation of the project and made him more certain he wanted to be part of the journey.

“Once I got to know Tommy, I saw he was a really cool guy,” Colby said. “Seeing the pictures of the kids we will meet in the village, it's like these are real people. I think it's going to be really fun."

A group of nearly 40 people will travel to the Huasteca Potosina region seven hours south of Monterrey. The mission is likely to make contact with 12 villages in the area.

Huasteca Potosina is a territory where children have never had a birthday party or new clothing. The Trinkles and their fellow Christmas missionaries will be delivering a special gift bag to 1,500 children in the villages.

Tucked inside the gift bags will be a set of clothes for each child, a pair of shoes, crayons, a book depicting the life of Jesus and a Bible. Each bag will cost an estimated $40.

Colby anticipates a deep and profound experience as being his special Christmas gift this year.?“Just the joy of seeing the faces on the kids as they open that bag, it's going to be really cool,” he said. “Seeing how little they have while we have almost everything we need and want. I think it's going to be humbling to see the conditions they live in.”

Keaton echoed his younger brother’s sentiment.

“What my family is doing seems like a good thing we need to do,” he said. “We have always been taught that since we've been blessed, we need to bless others.”

The mission is reported to have amassed bags for 1,200 children, but 300 are still needed to fulfill the proposed goal. Those wishing to donate funds or items are encouraged to contact the Pantry and More at 254-592-9696 for additional information. The Trinkles and their fellow travelers are set to leave for the drive to Huasteca Potosina on Dec. 20.