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Tips for Keeping Spirits Bright this Holiday Season

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Amid a global pandemic, we all know this holiday season will look different from in the past. We've put together a list of our favourite ways to keep spirits bright in your home when you and your foster child and family may not be feeling your usual jolly selves.

1. Build relationships through co-parenting – As foster parents, we always need to build a relationship with the child in our home and their parents. Connection above all else is critical, now more than ever. How do we create connections when COVID-19 guidelines are in effect or with someone under quarantine?

  • Spend the day baking with your foster child - for their biological parent(s). Dropping off cookies on a doorstep or sending it along on a visit can be a simple way to share holiday cheer!
  • Create a safe space in your home for a family visit. Not everyone has this ability, but since foster families fall under co-parenting guidelines, you can still plan a holiday get together with your child's parent for a holiday catch up.
  • Make use of technology. There are so many online platforms available to have an additional virtual visit.

2. Create new memories and share past ones (if possible) – Ask your foster child about the traditions they honour. Then, incorporate them into your celebrations! Creating new memories together can bring real joy - whether it's decorations your foster child is fond of, food they enjoy during the festivities, or cultural traditions they hold close to their hearts!

  • Want to keep some semblance of tradition and still cook a feast? Why not ask your foster child what they would like to have for a meal one day during the holidays? There's nothing wrong with mixing things in a strange year and having a "make-your-own-pizza" on December 25th! Unique times call for creativity!
  • The 12 days of celebrations leading up to the holidays don't have to finish on December 25th! Try creating your own "12" themed celebrations based on your foster child's favourite food or drinks. For example, try 12 different caffeine-free teas or hot chocolates during the holidays. Simple moments of choosing flavours and sipping on warm drinks can become a cherished routine for your foster children and family.

3. Plan indoor and outdoor events the whole family can participate in - Activities don'thave to be costly. Right now, we all need flexibility!

  • Attend an annual outdoor light display, try taking up a new hobby as a family (like snowshoeing), or schedule a games night.
  • Why take the kids for a drive in their jammies, with hot chocolate in hand, to look at neighborhood lights?
  • Campout in the living room with sleeping bags and s'mores!
  • Visit a local sledding hill you've wanted to go to with your foster and bio kids - but just haven't had the time! 

Think outside the standard expectation, and you might rediscover the joy of the season! Maybe you'll even take a run at that sledding hill.


For more tips on celebrating the holidays as a foster family, read our Thanksgiving blog hereFor more fostering support and resources, check out our website at fostercalgary.com.

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Looking at the "Big Picture" (not just the Turkey)...

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