Christmas is fast approaching, bringing with it the festive atmosphere created by family gatherings. The tree decorated with lights of all colors, and the perfect Christmas music. For the first Christmas in their home, what more could a family offer their young foster child?
In reality, the greatest gifts they will provide would be tolerance, compassion, understanding, and the story of Christ.
Some foster kids embrace the holiday season joyfully. However, for others it too often resembles the lights of a police car, the loud noises connected to painful memories, and the strangers they have learnt not to trust.
Since 2008, the needs of vulnerable young children have been met by Kids First. We have observed that for many adults, spending the holidays with foster children is both magical and eye-opening. However, with a little preparation, honest communication, and flexibility, it can be a magnificent time when foster children’s eyes see the real joy of Christmas in a brand-new way.
Here are a few tried-and-true approaches for building relationships with foster kids this holiday season.
Make Decorative Christmas Cookies
Particularly simple and enjoyable ways to include kids in the Christmas celebrations include sugar biscuits, huge chocolate chip cookies and gingerbread people. Find out if there is a holiday recipe you can make to recreate the happy memories of a foster child. It creates a welcoming environment for talks and story-telling.
Introduce your favorite movies to kids while letting them also chose their own. A cozy blanket, a spot on the couch, along with some hot cocoa and delicious treats, should be provided for everyone.
Christmas Light Cruising
One thing you may do with your family is drive around the neighborhood and admire the lovely Christmas lights. This offers a relaxed space where you can speak openly with children. You can include your favorite holiday music, bring snack packs, and even put on Christmas pajamas! Plus, you’ll ultimately arrive in front of a house with a beautiful nativity scene, which can open a discussion on why we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
Try to Involve Biological Parents
Look for ways to interact with biological families at community holiday events in neutral environments. Find out whether your kids want to make them ornaments or bake them cookies. Be open to them wanting to buy gifts to send to their family, regardless of what your emotions may be telling you.
Most families find that having a fun advent calendar is important because it gives them a daily chance to reflect on the Savior’s impending arrival while also associating it with a treat.
Bake a Birthday Cake for Jesus
No matter their upbringing, children nearly always enjoy events that include cake and candle-lighting. You can set the mood by focusing on the most significant gift of all by starting Christmas morning with a special “Happy Birthday Jesus” celebration. Reading the account of Jesus’ birth in Luke on Christmas morning is a good family tradition.
Support a Foster Family
Even if you don’t have children in foster care, you can still be a blessing to foster kids. If you get along well with a foster family, offer the parents a night out on the town or some time to do some Christmas shopping. Share some of your traditions with the children in your care during that time, and you might even be able to help them to create their foster parents a special card or gift.
Wishlists for Children in Foster Care
If you want to help children in foster care have a blessed Christmas, the Kids First Wishlist program is wonderful. Visit the Wishlist page and adopt a foster child’s wishlist to make their Christmas dreams come true. And if you have any questions about children in foster care, Kids First is here to help. Contact us today.