Home for the Holidays

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“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

The holidays are about family and friends gathering together.  Each gathering is as deeply personal as the individual. The feasts and gifts are a pleasant part of the festivities, but the fellowship and love are the most important parts.

Here are some ideas to help make your holiday season a little brighter.

Decking the Walls

How do you make your house a home for your guests during the holidays?  Add candles!  Candles give a warm ambience and some have lovely fragrances to enhance the comfy, toasty feel of the event.  Now there are even flameless candles in a variety of scents and holiday shapes!

Spruce up by inviting nature indoors with sprigs of greenery in fall colors or Maidenhair ferns, orange lilies, or green hydrangeas, even autumn leaves!  Wooden bowls of apples, pomegranates, or tangerines are a delicious and attractive addition to any seasonal decorating.

Making Spirits Bright

The holidays can be an especially joyful time for children.  Here are a few ideas to make a special season even more so for them.

Start a tradition of allowing them to open one present on Christmas Eve and make lasting memories before the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day.

Bake and decorate a gingerbread house together and proudly display it on your holiday table.  If you’re short on time, decorate gingerbread cookies instead.

Wrap each person’s presents in a different color paper. This will simplify identifying the recipient without searching through and reading labels and make the children feel extra special to have their very own wrapping paper.

Decorate the kids’ rooms. One good idea is to string paper-cut Christmas decorations onto a rod and hang it out of reach. Allow the children to make their own room decoration, putting their individual stamp on a paper chain.  Simply provide strips of pre-cut construction paper, washable markers or crayons, and double-sided tape, and you have a fun activity and time well spent with your family.

Remembering Others

With all the warmth and joy of the season, even if you live where you don’t often experience a white Christmas, families come together to celebrate in different ways. At this time of year, it is good to remember others, some less fortunate, like the children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect and thrust into a new environment, often being moved from home to home, which is unsettling and often traumatic.

Every child deserves to be in a secure, safe home for the holidays.  Each deserves the affection of a permanent family. You can help.

CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County needs volunteer Advocates to represent the best interests of these children while in foster care and give them a voice in court.  It’s a volunteer experience like no other, perhaps, but it can be an extremely rewarding experience.

Can you spare 10 hours a month to help a child who has suffered from abuse or neglect?  We would love for you to visit our website and come to one of our introductory sessions to learn more about being a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).

As you celebrate this holiday season, we at CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County offer our sincerest wishes for happiness, health, and a joyful New Year.

Learn more about Volunteering with CASA >