It is only twenty four hours since Christmas and already it is beginning to feel like a blur. All that planning and preparation that took place over the last few weeks and it is over in what seems like a blink of an eye. Twenty four hours ago we were here celebrating Christmas Day and today – Boxing Day we are sitting in our pyjama’s sat in front of the television watching repeats and films that we have seen many times before. Yesterday was a real mixed bag. On the one hand it was a very special day – for us we are celebrating the birth of Jesus – it is one of the biggest celebrations of the year for our family. On the other hand – all of the things we “add” to the celebration – the food, the decorations, the tree and all the gifts, somehow seem to distract us from what it is all about. It is easy to forget what it is all about when we spend so much time and energy trying to create a perfect day, and another Christmas passes by and here we are on Boxing day with left over turkey and all the trimmings.
For our family the giving of gifts have always been a joy – we actually feel the pleasure of giving a gift and see the joy of the receiver as they open the gift. Our foster daughter does not always show gratitude when given gifts. She has no inner monologue and she often makes her displeasure known – even in front of the gift giver. Lauren and Annie have learnt to be polite and thankful even when they receive something they don’t really like or when they get something they already have. They have learnt the art of tact and having a poker face when needed.
Alice however, shows no mercy. It can be very uncomfortable – particularly when it is someone outside of the immediate family. Whilst we know that she does not always mean it personally, you cannot help but feel disappointment, especially when you have bought something for her – chosen it especially, having put much thought in to it. There is also the embarrassment when it is with a friend or someone who has given a gift who doesn’t know the family so well – we feel the urge to explain things or make excuses.
We also have the drama of the opening of the gifts that her birth parents gave her. I don’t think it would matter what they gave her – you can pretty much guarantee that whatever they give – that tends to be her favourite gift of Christmas. It is usually something totally inappropriate for her – either clothes that are far too big or far too small, toys that were popular two years ago or DVD’s that are unsuitable. WE become the bad guys when she wants to watch the DVD and we have to make an excuse as to why she can’t watch it.
A Less Ordinary Family Fosdtering Blog.