12 Ways to Support Foster Families During Christmastime
For most of us, the holiday season is a time we look towards with anticipation. Crisp weather, holiday foods and family traditions. But for many kids from hard places, the holidays are a time of remembering emotional stress, financial struggles and substance abuse. These memories can cause a lot of chaos in a foster home. If you or members of your church are looking for ways to care for foster families during this time of year, here are a few ideas:
Wrap Gifts - Offer to store and wrap gifts for all children in the family. Including needed batteries would be an extra-special surprise.
Stuff Stockings - Fill stockings with small, fun items for children and parents. Include practical things like funny socks, lip balm and colored pencils along with a small toys or game.
Trim Trees - Provide an extra pair of hands to decorate the tree or put up Christmas lights.
Little Santa Helpers - Help children make or shop for gifts for biological and foster parents. A framed original drawing, hand-crafted ornament or photo mug are just a few gift ideas.
Snap Photos - Snap pictures of individual family members or a family Christmas photo. Provide prints so children can share with mom or grandpa. Remember, photos of children in foster care may not be posted on social media or distributed to anyone without prior approval from the family.
Assemble Toys - Assembly required may mean a late night for tired foster parents. Having those bikes and doll houses already assembled would be a huge relief!
Create a Life-Book - Collect photos and memorabilia for one of the children and create a life-book. Children in foster care often do not have baby books or scrapbooks and these can become a cherished treasure.
Host a Game Night - Host a game or holiday movie night for the children so parents have opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.
Create Traditions - Research and carry out a tradition that is a part of the child’s heritage or past Christmas celebrations.
Pamper Parents - Gift foster parents with a dinner out, hair cut certificates or a coffee gift card and opportunity to enjoy a little downtime.
Pray - The holidays may trigger painful memories for some kids in foster care. Pray specifically for peace and healing during the holiday season.
Give Hope - Send an encouraging note or card. Text a daily verse or funny quote.