Foster Care And Christmas
Christmas time for foster kids is most often an uncomfortable time. Ever since that first Christmas in foster care I knew that every Christmas there on out would always make me feel uncomfortable. Its not only the fact that the traditional family situation isn’t there or even wondering who I’m going to hear from on the holidays. Something that really bothered me not only in foster care, but still now, is receiving presents.
Many people find this the best part of Christmas. To some this may be the only part they look forward to. This happens to be THE MOST awkward part of the holiday season for me. I find it uncomfortable for 1 of 2 reasons or sometimes both. The first is my social anxiety. For me it’s nerve racking opening something in front of people when you don’t know what it is. Whatever it is, everyone is going to see your reaction. Maybe it’s not the reaction they are looking for or it’s something that’s in someway embarrassing. The second is it’s awkward being given something by someone, especially when they don’t know you that well. I don’t understand how some people can be so generous while others that you would expect to do great things for you didn’t.
There’s a lot on the mind of a foster kid in care during Christmas. They aren’t with their real family. Some younger kids worry about Santa finding them and if they are getting presents, or even how to receive presents. Some kids have never had a normal Christmas before or been taught about what Christmas really means.
After foster care can be just as hard if not harder during Christmas. I remember my first Christmas after aging out I spent alone. I did have a friend come over for a few hours which really helped but after they left it was just me. The house wasn’t decorated because I didn’t have extra money and wasn’t really in the festive mood. When I did go to Christmas with someone it was always awkward. Even with a significant other you can still feel out of place. It takes time getting used to any family and their traditions.They don’t understand what you’ve been through or how you feel about certain things. Then the receiving gifts from people you may not know very well.
Christmas can be a tough time for those before, during or after foster care. It can also be a tough time for foster and adoptive parents. Take a little extra time to let those around you know that you care. If you’re a foster kid in a good home make sure to thank your foster parents for their great work because its not easy. It’s not easy being an adoptive parent, but I know many that have taken in kids to be like their own. If you’re a parent make sure to give your kids an extra hug and let them know what Christmas really means. You could be the best Christmas present they receive.