The time leading up to Christmas is quite lovely here at Bonnie’s.
Workers begin to decorate their offices and are provided with an Advent calendar. Our group activities usually finish just before Christmas so there are end of group lunches and celebrations happening. There are also many Xmas treats at hand – We’ve had to implement a policy of no more than one chocolate a day per person! All staff take part in Kris Kringle. It’s amazing how stressful and exciting this gift-giving process can be.
The Christmas period can feel chaotic and boisterous yet Bonnie’s continues to provide a quality service to women and their children. Many Services close down during this time so it is generally a quiet time and most vacancies have been filled. But Bonnie’s stays open throughout all of the holidays and welcomes new families.
Bonnie’s client Christmas party is a big moment. The Christmas party is such a social event; everyone mixes together to celebrate, to have fun and share the experience. It is so nice to see the children playing without a care in the world, fuelled by excitement. Often-previous clients call up to see if they can attend too.
There is always an abundance of gifts that are donated during December. Many organisations and small businesses purchase gifts to donate to the families. They have often put a lot of thought and care to match a gift to a mother and child. Each present needs to be allocated and often wrapped. Bonnie’s staff are all on standby to assist in the week leading up to Christmas.
Bonnie’s staff usually take a full day to complete the present preparation; there are toys and presents everywhere and it is literally a circus of tinsel, tape and toys with Michael Buble thrown in for good measure.
It’s a good feeling knowing that the families are taken care of and the children will be happy on Christmas Day. Often Xmas is a stressful time for families – there is never enough money to go around and the children can feel left out. It is also a time where the women and children can feel isolated from their extended family or their community. That’s why we put so much emphasis on celebrating Christmas here at Bonnie’s.
Considering there is so much more to attend to over this time, people at Bonnie’s are friendly and relaxed during this season. It’s a time to reflect and to appreciate everyone – families, colleagues and even ourselves – and embrace the Christmas spirit, looking to a New Year with hope, vitality and an open heart.
Written by Alison