Recently, there were a few flurries and my adult foster son was out helping to put up Christmas decorations. He confided that he had never decorated a tree before to us. Wow. Its conversations like that one that make foster care our ministry. To provide for a child, even an adult, the opportunity to do something so basic as decorating a tree makes all of the rages worth while. This is a very thankful child - a rarity in our world.
Christmas is a horrible holiday for most of my kids. Holiday Hell is aptly named for us. No amount of moderation can bring calm. The only thing that helps is time. Time with us. Stability. All of the things that time brings: the knowledge that we will continue to be there for them regardless of their horrible memories. Sometimes that means not living under our roof. We are there for them though. We will celebrate in whatever way they can handle.
Lexy covets the time with family. There was a time when she could not bring herself to have a good time. Now, she finds the memories and traditions what she loves. She never forgets the food. Our celebrations are usually the same around food. There can be an adjustment for a new person, but most of them love the food we serve from the homemade doughnuts during Chanukah to the Christmas ham and the potato casserole on Christmas morning. Lexy never forgets and needs that yearly stability that I need too.
It will be Holiday Hell. We will survive. We will even enjoy ourselves, because we have learned much through the years to keep expectations to a minimum and celebrations appropriate for our group of the year.