Tag Archives: festive

Coping with Christmas

Christmas affects us and our children in different ways.

For many, the change in routines at school, the excitement, the number of parties, anxieties about the school play add up and make it difficult for children to manage.
For others, birthdays, Christmas and other celebratory times can bring mixed emotions and feelings – with reminders about past times – good and bad.

As much as we try not to show it, as parents we get stressed about shopping for presents, managing money, inviting the relatives over and cooking that big turkey dinner.

And there are many more reasons for stress around this time.

We wanted to bring you a post that had some tips and advice and we’ve been collating these from our followers, readers and contributors. We recognise that not all of these will work for everyone. You know yourself and your children best, so pick and choose what you think will suit you…and if you have any tips of your own, please leave them in the comments for others to see.

Keep it low-key.  Fewer presents and fewer people will mean less stress, judgement and excitement for everyone. Matt, an adoptive dad.

It’s not for everyone I know elf on the shelf– but we do Elf on the Shelf. We’ve tweaked it so it works for us – the kids look after the elf, rather than the elf spying on the children and reporting to Santa. We find it takes the focus off Christmas day, spreads the build up making it more manageable on a daily basis, and the children are more interested in what the elf is doing rather than arguing/fighting/stressing themselves. Helpfully, the elves also bring activities (crafts usually) for after school and weekend entertainment. Vicki, The Boy’s Behaviour.

Think like snow deep crisp and even!
Deep: stories and candle for each night of advent. Crisp: choosing favourite food meal to share one evening of Christmas. Even – even though it’s Christmas, keep the gentle ‘normal’ routines of bed times and rhythms going. @wonkywarrior, via Twitter.

My son struggles with Christmas, he loves the idea of Christmas but cannot manage the emotional connection that previous Christmas’ have given him so we keep Christmas very low key and short. Christmas decorations and tree go up a couple of days before Christmas and come down soon after so it’s not too drawn out. Donna, an adoptive mum via Facebook.

Structure to the days – presents eked out over time -i.e. Santa Christmas morning, other relatives gifts after lunch – similarly with selection boxes! Limit parties, take long walks, go swimming / biking etc. Take 2 ibuprofen with a large quantity of wine and retire to a dark room til jan 6th. We also take down decorations just after New Year’s Day so that we start the run up to school with a clear (ish) house. Helen, an adoptive mum via Facebook.

Hibernate and wake up in January. @jayandaitch, via Twitter.

Keep it low key…no mad rush to open presents…make plans that work for you, don’t worry about upsetting others. Naomi, via Facebook.

adventNo tree/decs up until they’ve broke up school. Home is Xmas free apart from advent calendars. @purdy2233, via Twitter.

Work hard to reframe advent with different / new experiences and constant narrative. Also use “less is more” approach to events, keep excitement / new stuff low. Instil family rituals -Xmas film/ repeat events. @elhypno, via Twitter.

 

Making up own traditions is one delight of adoption actually. Mine choose anything they like for breakfast. This Christmas breakfast has been lemon curd on ice cream for button! @wonkywarrior, via Twitter.

We go to park to feed ducks & let off steam between opening pressies! Xmas eve always go for lunch the 4 of us, local posh cafe. Wearing Xmas jumpers! @Purdy2233, via Twitter.

We stagger presents. Family presents when they visit/or we visit. Boys have special jobs. Homemade chocolate truffles by the bucket load (boys love the smell). @3beesandahoney, via Twitter.

Def echo visual diary. And escape route. Son can whisper in my ear if he needs to get out and we seek peace together no matter what the situation. Other than that v low key here. No pressure to join in with games etc. And Santa was busted v early on as too scary. Difficult keeping that a secret from other kids though. @sallydwrites, via Twitter.

And if you need any more tips, then Adoption UK have a Coping with Christmas article on their website.

We’d love to hear how you manage Christmas, or perhaps you’d like to share the things you find especially difficult – as a parent, as an adoptee or as a birth parent. It can be a difficult time for all…

Secret Santa fun on The Adoption Social

  xmas gifts 1

I’m going to mention a word in a minute. I’m giving you warning because I know some of you don’t like to think about it too far in advance, so if you’re not quite in that festive place yet, look away now…

CHRISTMAS!

It’s fast approaching and here at The Adoption Social, we’ve been thinking about ways we can include a bit of festivity in our blogging. So we’re going to host a Secret Santa. No, no don’t worry we’re not asking you to buy gifts and send them to strangers, we’re going to ask you to use the skills we know you already have – your writing skills.

This is the first time we’ve done something like this, although it’s a sort of extension of the linkys we already run – The Weekly Adoption Shout Out and Memory Box. Part of the reason we encourage the use of social media tools for support is because at times we’ve personally felt isolated. We’ve struggled to find people who share the same challenges and feelings. Some of us adoptive parents have felt unable to work because we’ve been needed at home full time. So this, we hope is another way to get involved and find new support and friendships.

We also feel this is a great way to share posts from all sorts of people who are connected to adoption, whether you’re an adoptee, a birth parent, a social worker, other professional, extended family or an adoptive parent.

Just like any normal Secret Santa, we’ll pick two names – one as the writer and one as the host. The writer will write a guest post about something adoption related, and the host will feature it on their blog, linking up to WASO too if they want. It could be a full written post, a photo or a poem, just make sure you include your blog details somewhere so your host can link back to your blog. Once we’ve picked names out of a hat, we’ll let you know who your host will be, but we’ll keep it a secret about who’s writing for you…

If you fancy joining in and having a bit of festive fun, then add your blog details below – just like our other linkys (if your email address isn’t clearly on your blog, please drop us a line with it in too). It’ll close on 1st December, so make sure you sign up now if you want to join in.

We’d like the posts to be featured during the week beginning 16th December, so ask that all of your posts are sent to theadoptionsocial@gmail.com by Friday 13th December at the latest so we can send them onto your hosts.

We know lots of our readers don’t blog, but if that’s you and you still want to get involved, then drop us a line at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com to talk about other ways you can join in – perhaps you could write a guest post for us here on The Adoption Social, or we can share a festive photo through Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook for you.