Residents of ~Tent City TM thankful this holiday season

Even though they are down on their luck, residents at Tent City in Harlingen realize that Christmas is more than just presents under the Christmas tree.

For Abel Martinez it doesn TMt get any simpler than Jesus Christ.

Martinez said Christmas is about celebrating Jesus Christ.

"We don TMt expect no Christmas trees, no lights, no nothing," Martinez said.

For a man that has spent the last 21 years of his life in prison, living a Christmas in freedom, with a few friends and a simple life it couldn't get any better.

"I TMm just going to sit around and hope that I get a blessing, Martinez said. And I'm not talking about no hand outs or nothing. I TMm talking about upstairs - so I TMm just going to live my life day by day. I TMm happy."

Like the others living there, Martinez doesn TMt dwell on what some may consider a misfortune or material things.

For residents at Tent City the simple things some often take for granted are the greatest gift.

"(I TMm thankful for) my life, still being alive, still being able to get up and do for myself (and) not having to depend on nobody to look out for me," Martinez said.

For some residents there like Michael Young, living at tent city is a choice.

Young used to work for the circus, but the job got to be too much for his dwindling health.

He chose to give up the job and has called tent city home for the past nine months.

"I TMve started a Sermon out here on Mondays and that's why I TMve come out here - to help these people get out of here, Young said. It's brought out all kinds of help, bringing out all kinds of different preachers out here on Mondays."

Some do admit that not having their loved ones with them on this holiday is sad, but their spirit for life is undeniable.