There’s something particularly magical about Christmas spent with children. The excuse to put up the lights and the tree, pretend that there really is a living elf wandering around the house messing with the loo roll, floury Santa footsteps in the hallway; it’s just an additional level of fun. Even when kids reach the teenage heights of a grunt as they look up from their phone, there’s usually still some appreciation for the nostalgia of Christmas. Without the youthful excitement, it can sometimes just feel a little flat.
We could write a blog about children and young people desperately needing homes at Christmas, tugging on heartstrings, with mentions of finding room at the inn, but actually, we’d like to write about how lovely it is to have young people around the home during the festive season.
For experienced parents whose children have flown the nest to build their new futures as adults, while there is still the joy of seeing them at Christmas, you have to admit, there isn’t quite the same excitement of seeing them open their presents that there was when they were small. That 5am sound of feet on stairs, the sea of wrapping paper covering the sitting room, the poorly decorated tree (because they wanted to help but couldn’t reach higher than halfway). Basically, the Christmases of TV adverts, the ones that make us nod and say, “do you remember when?”
There are also those of us who still have children living at home, or who have never had children in their homes, who want to share their love of turkey with slightly lumpy bread sauce with another young person or child. Sitting around the table with a genuine reason to wear those paper hats out of crackers that don’t fit quite right, because it’s making someone laugh and smile. Passing on the tradition of that random card game that no-one remembers the rules of, but everyone still has to try to play anyway.
For all of us, the festive season is a time for making memories with people that we care about, no matter whether they are family or not. And this is where we take a moment to tug on those heartstrings. It just takes a spare room to help someone else form happy, nostalgic memories so they can one day say, “I remember when” as they watch the latest Christmas supermarket advert.
If you have a spare room that needs a bit of life added to it or are missing the sea of wrapping paper recycling, we’d love to have a chat with you about becoming a foster carer with Affinity Fostering.