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Alice – Fostering Blog

Sunday

After all the preparations this week Christmas Eve has finally arrived. We have a few family traditions on Christmas Eve and it is so lovely to now see Alice joining in on them because she too remembers them each year. I always start the day with some food preparations for Christmas day – it begins with chopping red cabbage, it goes in the slow cooker to make braised red cabbage. The smell of the cabbage, mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, balsamic vinegar and wine wafts around the house. It has become such a familiar smell of Christmas.

After lunch we head to church for the Christingle service. Alice feels very grown up that she gets her own Christingle orange and is allowed to join in when the candles are lit. We are sitting very closely ensuring that she does not tip her lit candle up! Straight after the service we get in the car and head for the streets in our neighbourhood. This is our annual event where we look at the top ten ‘crazy’ house. The more Christmas lights the better!! We then head home and have a picnic tea while watching the Muppet Christmas Carol film. We end our evening with a tradition that our American friends passed on to us when they came to visit twelve years ago, and we have carried it on ever since.

We each have one Christmas gift to open – it is not something big, but is something useful – usually pyjamas, or a hot water bottle or a book – something that can be used straight away. All the girls love these traditions and it definitely something we all really look forward to. It is great that we are helping to create positive memories, especially for Alice. Alice’s first few years of life were very difficult and she had a lot of bad memories when she came to stay with us. Contact with her birth parents can often trigger these memories, so we have worked hard to help her have some positive things to think about. We are hoping that she will get some therapy in the new year to help her deal with her emotions and with the memories of the past.

A Less Ordinary Family Fostering Blog