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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristmas parties are a tradition at the Ruse complex. Why do we bother writing about something we have done repeatedly?

Well, the 2015 party was a record-breaking event in terms of the numbers of children who attended (more than sixty).  The  Christmas celebration is something we take very seriously because it touches the lives of a large number of families. It draws together young clients from the centre for street children and the centre of social support, foster children and those who have had the good fortune to be adopted, children with significant special needs from our small-group homes and young volunteers, sons and daughters of our staff.

There were push-chairs and piles of outdoor clothing left in every corner of the complex. How many families? Who can guess? All had come together to watch the children perform, sing, dance and play games. The action was led by Snow White and , by the time Santa Claus made his entrance, the audience was left in no doubt that there is a great deal of talent and enthusiasm among the children that we work with.

Every year, it takes longer to distribute gifts and Santa needs stamina to distribute boxes of all shapes and sizes and say a few words to each child. Photos are taken of every child and loaded onto our computer system. Distributing these mementos to all the different families is a major exercise in itself.

As the children drink their juice and eat their sweets, parents and staff search for coats, scarves and boots. It’s like a game for the adults getting tired-but-excited children ready for their journey home. And once they’ve gone, our team members breathe a collected sigh of contentment because of a job well done.

Yes, it’s a tradition. But tradition binds our little community together. Our parties leave memories and scatter joy among the children, mums and dads.

A big thanks to Ven from Arena Media who provides the music. Thanks to all who took part – it was a great party!