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Early in the fall, Bulldozer asked if we could have a Christmas party this year. I responded with a maybe and left it at that. Bulldozer wasn't satisfied with my answer, and asked the same question every day for two weeks. It was then I realized he was serious. After much discussion, Jason and I decided to appease Bulldozer and have a Christmas party, inviting all of the kiddos' grandparents. We knew if we wanted a successful party, the kiddos would need to be involved in planning every detail. Assignments were given to grandparents as well, when they received their invitations.
Dinomite also helped decide on, and purchase gifts for all of the grandparents coming. As part of the RSVP to the party, each grandparent was asked to share 3-5 hobbies and/or interests. Dinomite used these lists as he carefully selected gifts for each person. Grandparent received two individual gifts each. So much thought went into them. Everyone LOVED what they received. Each couple also received one combined homemade gift. To go along with our theme, the kiddos and I made beautiful bird seed wreathes.
Bulldozer LIVES for treats, especially cookies. Our party dessert spread had to be quite large to meet his expectations. The kiddos baked all week long. There were no less than 10 cookie options. Dessert was served at the very end of the party.
Knowing my special needs kiddos would need structure during the party, I asked them what else they'd like to do. They all wanted entertainment. As mentioned above, Grandpa Ron led us in Christmas carols. Grandma Jackie followed with a spiritual moment about the Savior Jesus Christ and his birth. Grandpa Rob then shared a story about a special memory he had from his childhood related to Christmas/Winter. The kiddos had so much fun as he brought props for them to act out the memory (Attending horse races on the frozen river, followed by a winter picnic on the ice.) Grandma Toni finished with a couple games, one of which included everyone choosing strings attached to gifts from a bag.
Everyone enjoyed desserts and socialized quite a while before leaving. We were so blessed to have all four sets of grandparents attend, traveling to New York from as far away as Delaware for the event.
Bulldozer had the time of his life. Since his food allergies and adhesive allergies were diagnosed, we've never been able to attend big holiday celebrations outside of our home. This is due to safety issues with wrappings and food. When Princess came to us with her Christmas PTSD episodes etc., it made the holiday that more impossible to share with others. Our first Grandparent Christmas Party was perfect in that Princess felt safe and Bulldozer was able to experience everything and anything he had been missing in years past, in the safety of his own home. Already grandparents are asking about next year's Christmas party, requesting specific duties and wanting to reserve the date. The kiddos are so fortunate to have four sets of grandparents who love them so much!