Stories Family Service Centre Stories A Very Whanau Christmas Christmas is nearly upon us, so we asked a few members of our FSC Team to share the way their whanau celebrates the season… Starsim Simecki, Social Services Team Leader (Papakura) “I have three Christmases in total. First up is Christmas Eve dinner with my dad siblings and their families and my family. All up there is almost 50 of us, as I am the oldest of nine and have lots of nieces and nephews… Christmas morning we do a champagne breakfast with my Dad’s whole family – uncles, aunties, cousins etc. This one is massive (50-150 people), and one family (dad or one of his siblings) will take turns hosting it each year. Christmas Day Lunch is with my mums' side and is a lot smaller. On mum's side I only have one brother, so it’s just us, our partners, kids and mum - usually a roast meal with all the trimmings. Unfortunately, this will change now that mum has gone. Mum passed away in April this year mid-lockdown of cancer, so this will be our first Christmas without her…” Amanda Reid, FSC Administrator (Papakura) “We usually have a big Christmas, with family and extended family. Usually around 30 people for Christmas lunch which can be a full on - luckily it is not my turn to host the lunch this year! The thing I look forward to the most about the Christmas season is the beach. We usually travel around the North Island doing day trips to different beach locations.” Kyla Scott, FSC Administrator (Takanini) “This is only my second Christmas as a mother so each year I’ll be looking forward to experiencing it differently through the eyes of my daughter as her curiosity and awareness grows. We celebrate with my husband’s side of the whanau with a leisurely lunch and my side of the whanau with a beachy BBQ. We have Santa visiting our home now too so that will add a heap of excitement to the day in years to come. It’s all about whanau and aroha for our Christmas!” Deepika Sarmah, Family Service Centres Manager “Greetings from the Family Service Centres team. The Christmas holiday is about celebration. Celebrating ourselves, celebrating each other and the mahi we do. Christmas is about spending time with our whanau and friends and feeling grateful about what we have. It is a time to reflect. This year has been an exceptional and difficult year for everyone and as a country, but it is our kindness, support for each other, resilience and strength that kept us going and will keep us moving. Wish you all a safe and relaxing holiday. Go well. Kia kaha!!” FSC team members with hampers which will go out to Papakura whanau who need them.