It’s that time of year again: lots of candy, stuffing ourselves with turkey and that “most wonderful time of the year” – Christmas!
As we have told you before this time can be both fun and challenging at Joy Ranch. What kid (no matter how old) doesn’t love holidays? What kids (no matter how old) does not want to spend them with family?
We work through these situations in a lot of different ways. Here are a few.
- Keeping things as ‘normal’ as possible. While there is no measurement of what normal looks like for everyone, some things are generally universal. Like candy at Halloween. This year, because of COVID, we did a lot of ‘drive thru’ trunk-or-treating. While the kids were disappointed about this at first they were excited to find costumes around the house and even more excited when they each got about two gallon bags full of candy. One of our girls loves Kit Kats. She got sixty-four!
- Making our own traditions. And celebrating theirs as well. If they have a tradition with their family and want to share it, we recreate it here with their Joy Ranch family – as closely as possible. A few examples of traditions we have created here are:
- Watching “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and then having a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for snack – popcorn, toast, pretzel sticks and jelly beans!
- Pickle pops (popsicles made from pickle juice)
- Hal-o-wingo — Halloween Bingo (sometimes with prizes!)
- Everyone making their own GIANT gingerbread man cookies (for the girls) and gingerbread houses (for the boys) and decorating them
- A local lights festival
- Visiting Thornspring Pastures – a farm festival that happens each fall, and
- Christmas picnic – cookies and cocoa in the living room on Christmas Eve, while we read the Christmas story
- The Live Nativity (This year – December 11th at 6 pm)
- Helping them involve their families in any way we can. That might mean a phone call, sending pictures, or mailing Christmas cards to family and friends along with a Christmas letter and photos.For some, when possible, that may include a day visit or visiting for a night or two.
As we seek to impact these children and their families with the love of Christ we know that people want to know how much we care, before they care how much we know. That walking a mile in the shoes of these children means asking them questions and listening carefully to the answers.
Thank you to all of you who help make what we do here possible – during holidays and all throughout the year – whether by your prayers, donations, or offering words of encouragement.