Dear Boy's childcare put on a Christmas lunch today, which we were invited to attend even though he's not normally there on a Friday. A full Sunday roast with all the trimming and Dear Boy's first ice-cream for dessert. No photos to share given the restrictions on taking photos of other people's children but needless to say it was adorable. And very, very, noisy.
It was also an opportunity to deliver some small presents for his carers but this morning I was struck with the dilemma of what to get for them. His primary carer, W, is Muslim, while the assistant carer is Hindu, so all the usual festive type pressies suddenly seem a bit inappropriate. Christmas-themed pressies and decorations were out. They'd also both received large piles of chocolate already (one mother had actually given them a metre-long stick of chocolate - not entirely sure what she was thinking).
In the end, I picked up mangoes and punnets of strawberries and blueberries and decorated them with big purple bows and ribbon, and offered them as end-of-year thank-you presents. Both laughed and said it was a great idea.
Not just giving, but giving thoughtfully when there's a minefield of tastes, cultures, allergies, etc seems to have become all the more intense since having Dear Boy. At the child-care centre in particular, I'm always concerned about how my comments and criticism will affect Dear Boy's relationship with his carers. I'm even mindful about what he eats for breakfast on his childcare days so the boy in the next room doesn't stop breathing if he touches the residue that coat's Dear Boy's face and hands and hair after he eats peanut butter toast.
But it's Christmas. The centre has lights and tinsel festooning the hallway and pictures of Santa on the windows. so I figure no matter what religion you are, you can appreciate the secular sentiment of peace and joy and goodwill to all mankind... and hey, presents are always welcomed.