The holiday season can be challenging for many of our children who are missing their biological families. Knowing that, Crossnore works hard to provide special memories and moments for all of our children. Celebrating the holidays is a priority. Some of our events have become decades old traditions, while others are new festivities. It’s a joy to be able to share just a few of the things that happen in each of the regions we serve!
In this region, Christmas trees grow abundantly. Much of our state and region purchase Christmas trees that come from right here in Avery County. Christmas is a foundational season for this community.
As early as Thanksgiving, festivities begin. All staff, students, and volunteers are invited to a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by the Dining Hall. This offers a time for staff from all departments to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with students and coworkers. It also serves as a big “Thank you!” to our volunteers. The food is always delicious and the energy is always high!
While cottages can plan individual outings and events during the holiday season, there is one other annual event that is a joy for cottages on campus. This is the “Bird Cage” party. The Bird Cage has been a piece of Crossnore history for many years. It is where Dr. Mary Martin Sloop would hide away the most special gifts every year in order to save them for a specific occasion. The room where the gifts were stored was lined with wire, thus giving it the name “Bird Cage”.
Today, the Bird Cage is still where special gifts and clothes are stored for students. And even though the wire is no longer there, the name has stuck. At the Bird Cage Christmas Party, students get to take pictures with Santa and Ms. Claus and enjoy a meal together. Additionally, on the day of the party, every cottage receives a big cottage gift. In the past, cottages have received photo printers and basketball goals. It’s an exciting time for everyone involved!
The Winston-Salem campus also enjoys a campus-wide Thanksgiving dinner leading up to Thanksgiving Day, when cottages celebrate individually. The campus is decorated beautifully to put everyone in the holiday spirit.
This campus also has many years of history! At the front of the Winston-Salem campus stands a tall and beautiful tree. For years, the tree has been decorated in preparation for the Christmas season. One evening at the beginning of December, staff and students, alumni, and community members gather around the tree at the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Usually we also enjoy carol singing, a short message, hot cocoa, and cookies. This is a special and meaningful event for the community of Winston-Salem that continues to honor the many years of history on the campus. Other special holiday treats are shared to usher in the Christmas season.
And if you live in this area, of course you know about the beautiful wooden Nativity scene that graces the front lawn each year. This is a tradition the whole Winston-Salem community enjoys.
While the Hendersonville office does not have a campus where children reside, they are an incredible resource to local foster families in the community. The Hendersonville office hosts a Christmas party for foster families– both families licensed with Crossnore and other foster families in the area.
Families gather for a fun family outing and also receive Christmas gifts. While this is a newer tradition, it is clear that this event makes a difference to these children and families.
Bringing Joy To All of the Children We Serve
Finally, there would be no true Christmas celebrations for our children without presents! For many years, special donors have been purchasing Christmas gifts for all of the children Crossnore serves. We are grateful to be able to provide gifts for ALL of the children, including children who reside on a physical campus, children who are in a community foster home, children who served by therapy or home preservation services at Crossnore, and community children who attend school at Williams Academy on the Avery campus.
In recent years, the process of purchasing gifts has simplified thanks to Amazon Wishlists. All three offices rely heavily on the generous gifts of donors like you who want to make Christmas special for these children. We know that without the support of our donors near and far, Christmas would not be nearly as exciting.
So we thank YOU for helping us make the season bright!