Thursday, 11 December 2014

Christmas Cheers!

The problem with Christmas is that it seems to take ages to get here and then suddenly everything seems to happen at once - and at the same time! (not unlike the storm bomb that the UK is currently experiencing - such a great phrase, 'storm bomb' - it makes great headlines!)

Well, we are currently experiencing a Christmas bomb - I'm not sure how we are managing to fit everything in - in fact, sometimes I don't actually know which event I'm attending. I'm guessing this is how members of the royal family must feel - hurriedly moving from one mind numbingly boring event to the next, making small talk and shaking hands whilst simultaneously wondering if they remembered to set the Sky plus to record 'Casualty' - or perhaps thats just me.

Whilst having the boys in two separate schools has made life so much more bearable in many ways, it's at this time of year that it becomes manic. We have two of everything to attend - carol services, Christmas Fayres (both spelt with in a jaunty medievial fashion - in fact they both pretty much had exactly the same things on offer, although the posh school's one priced everything at double the state school.)

Actually, one really nice thing is that this has been the first year since the boys came to us that they both seem completely immersed in the whole Christmas experience. They wrote proper full-on 'lists' to Father Christmas - completely selfishly asking for everything they have ever seen on telelvision -and then adding a few more. Previously, we have taken a peek at their lists only to find them having barely anything on them - and never anything of value - as if they weren't worthy of asking for nice things. Last year KC asked for stuff for the pets as he 'didn't need anything'.

So I was heartened to see the 'full on' list.

I know it's hard, and I am in no way knocking foster carers, who do an amazing job, but Christmas must be so difficult when you have children in care living with you alongside your own family. For the boys they had an 'allowance' of £20 each from social services for the foster carrer to buy them a Christmas gift - they were with their final carers for 2 Christmases, and I know their foster carer bought more for them - but it can't be the same sitting with another family on Christmas morning and knowing, deep down, that you are not really a part of it. And I'm sure that the boys must have missed their birth families at that time - perhaps they still do, or rather they miss a memory of what they think it was like - fuelled by television shows. I do know that KC is very wary of people being drunk at this time of year.

However, I found out that TJ ripped his list up and decided to change it. He has decided only to put on the things he wants the most - so Santa will get him the right toy (a Nintendo 3DS). I know this because he told the hairdresser last night whilst he was having his hair cut. It was the first I had heard of it - luckily Santa is able to fulfil that wish.

KC, on the other hand, is on the cusp of 'getting it'. I think his list this year is a test - seeing just how much loot he can get if he 'still believes'. He has just turned 10 now - so he has already decided he is too old to actually see Santa, but he has agreed to go with his younger brother.

We put the Christmas tree up this week and as we did so I pulled out all the things they had made over the past few years. KC took one look and demanded that everything he had made be taken down as it was 'rubbish'. I know this is how he views himself. So I insisted that everything went on, despite his mumblings that he hated me, and a little later I spot him out of the corner of my eye just looking at everything he has made.

He is in a funny place - Christmas does that...

But tonight I shall be attending his end of term drama club play (he is worried he might have stage fright - he's a reindeer - but I've told him it doesn't matter, I'll be there anyway and I shall clap really loudly for him) and then we race straight over to the cathedral for KC's carol service - he is still angry that I signed him up to be in the choir, although he loves singing he didn't want to do it in front of everyone.. because, (yes you've guessed it) he's 'rubbish'. I've told him it doesn't matter I shall sing much louder than him anyway.

And where is Papa this evening whilst I am running from place to place? At his works Christmas party!!!! I miss those - actually going out to meet people and drink and have fun - and not talk about exam results or little Lucy's ballet classes (she's doing ever so well...)

Oh well - I'd better start practising 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful' - something tells me I'll be belting it out a few times in the next week or so!

And just as we get school out of the way my mother will arrive - with her ASBO dog! (I've booked the cat into a cattery already - at least he will have a peaceful Christmas...


  1. I'm really surprised by the £20 that your boys' foster carer received. We actually have the opposite issue as foster carers - the Christmas "allowance" for our foster children is very generous, and with the addition of presents from our extended family and friends who all treat our foster children as part of the family, plus those from their birth extended families, the pile of presents they will receive on Christmas morning is huge.

    We don't have our own children yet, but we've had conversations about how we would handle it as a family, because we don't believe in giving to excess and our children might feel like they were missing out.

  2. I guess it differs between local authorities, the amounts given etc...but, as I said, I think most foster carers do an amazing job in making those in their care feel loved. But Christmas is a funny time and for our two, it's also their birthdays and they came to their adoptive family just after Christmas, so there are a lot of emotions for them to deal with.