Chrimbo Limbo

How can you survive and thrive in the strange days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

Handschuhschneeballwerfer – German word. Definition - ‘glove snowball thrower’

Handschuhschneeballwerfer is a mildly derogatory term for someone who wears gloves to throw snowballs, as opposed to a more ‘hardcore’ snowball thrower who goes gloveless. There’s no equivalent word in English.

However, not even the German language has a word for that time between Christmas and New Year, affectionately called 'Twixmas’ by some. It’s the time of year when no one is quite sure what day it is or what you’re ‘meant’ to do. Many people relish the lack of structure and an opportunity to slow down, eat and sleep at random times without the pressure of a fixed schedule. Whatever your personal preferences, if you’re raising care-experienced children then this is probably not an option you have!

So how can you survive and thrive in ‘chrimbo limbo’?

Set expectations and be creative!

Be realistic about this time. If you know that your family can’t manage structure-free down time, flexibility around mealtimes etc., then don’t aim for it. This can be hard if this kind of relaxation time is what you love (and feel you need). It’s important to acknowledge how you feel, to grieve for what cannot be and then to set your focus on the family you’re called to.

Are there creative ways to meet the needs of your family so it feels festive, but is also achievable? When our expectations are realistic, we are less likely to feel frustrated at what isn’t happening and more able to be present and look for the joy in what is.

Find your rhythm

If you need a plan on a visual timetable for each day with your family, then do it. If you need to have the same mealtimes and visit the same places, embrace it, even though it may feel different to every other household around you.

The external pressure for Christmas to ‘look’ or ‘feel’ a certain way and to conform to the ways of the world (or the version we see on social media) can feel overwhelming. As those doing a brilliant job of loving and raising care-experienced children, you will know the things that reduce anxiety, increase felt safety and bring greater peace to your precious family, so continue to do those things.

Perhaps you need to build in rhythms that allow for one exciting morning activity, followed by some calmer moments at home. There may be places of festive joy that you know this year will offer too much sensory input for your precious ones to handle. You may need to communicate your plans with your wider family and friends and help them understand why. They might not get it. They may step in and flex with you out of their love for your family.

Find your rhythm for the season and throw yourselves in to it with energy and joy.

You matter

As you find your rhythm and work out plans that serve your family well, remember to include things for you too. Maybe it’s a treat meal or food (just for you!) or time out with friends or family?

What are the things that give you life? When you’ve identified those things, prioritise them in the schedule too. These are the things that fill our cup and means we’ve got more to pour into others.

So, whether you’re thriving or surviving during these strange few days between what has been and what is to come, we hope and pray that you find moments of loud laughter and deep rest with those near and dear to you at this time. Happy Christmas and new year, from all of us at Home for Good!

Author:
Claire at Home for Good


Date published:
December 2021


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