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For the first time in forever - Countryside Carer

Family Together For Christmas Sbi 301081216 (1)

As I look outside and see frost and dreariness it feels like the festivities and fun of Christmas are an absolute age ago. January seems to be lasting forever and every ‘new year new me’ resolution has been forgotten about. However, it doesn’t take me long to scroll back in my phone to find my Christmas period photographs and I am instantly transported back to, what could quite easily be referred to as - The Best Christmas Ever. 


Christmas itself came and went. It was full of excitement and gifts and lots time spent with family and friends…to be honest, much the same as every Christmas we have had together. This one, however, had a little something extra. Four days after Christmas the children’s brother (who is in a different placement) came to stay. He stayed for a few days and the first day he arrived was our ‘Second Christmas Eve’. We decided to recreate Christmas Eve (and then the next day, Christmas Day) for one simple reason - our children had never spent a Christmas Day together. They have never opened gifts together, eaten a turkey dinner and pulled crackers whilst drinking child-friendly buzz’s fizz from champagne flutes. They have never sprinkled reindeer dust together or left carrots out for Rudolph (or Prancer, who is actually my favourite of all the reindeer). They have never shared the excitement of a Christmas Eve together and then woken up to gifts under the tree. And to say it was magical, is the understatement of 2023. 


Before the traditions of our Christmas Eve had even started, their brother was thanking us constantly. He recognised the significance of what was happening and was revelling in the Christmas spirit. To see these children experience things that most of us take for granted as really quite basic Christmas traditions was heart warming beyond belief. It made me see a different side of their trauma. A different level of what they had missed out of and been hidden from when with mum and dad. It made me think about the christmases I’d spent with my birth children throughout the years and how, despite ups and downs, teenage trouble, negotiating like a military commander and sometimes finding parenting really tricky, we still have those memories. Those foundations that hold us together, those moments which we can recite without thinking. And my job now is make sure that the three extra seats we have around the Christmas table have the same memories and share the same sense of belonging.


Fostering stories


  • Foster Carer

Date published

27 February 2023

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