As we gather together to celebrate Christmas and the holidays, we are mindful that for many of you, this is really a busy time of year. Whether you visit shut-ins, serve meals, hold special services, dress up as Santa and give gifts, you are spreading joy. Your generosity and warmth will be felt by many. Thank you for the investment you make in sharing Christmas joy, love, and hope with others. 
At Plan to Protect ® , we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! We hope you have a very joyful holiday. We are so grateful for your partnership and business! 
Speaking of which, many of you have partnered with us because of our commitment to help you reduce risk in your organizations and communities. Therefore, we want to remind you that the holidays are not cheerful for everyone. Families struggling to feed themselves today will likely struggle at Christmas. A child fearful of a parent or family member will probably still fear them during the special days of the year. Possibly even more so. Often more alcohol than usual is flowing, which can intensify abuse, anger, and harm.
As we extend ourselves financially or physically, by cooking, cleaning, and buying, this added stress is hard on everyone. For all of the stress most adults face, it pales compared to the pressure families face that are in distress. Children are too often caught in the web of the conflict.
In your busyness, please encourage your family and other families within your communities to be vigilant during the holidays. During your added services, concerts, celebrations, please increase security and hall monitors.  

Here are some tips for safety over the holidays:

  • Watch for change of behaviour among children. Are they now withdrawn, irritable, or angry? If so, talk to the child about what is on their mind. Ask them why the are hurting.
  • In your busyness, take time to observe your environment and listen to your children. If they come to talk to you and ask for your attention, please make them your priority.
  • Know where the kids are at all times, even if they are in the house. Who are they with? How long have they been out of sight? Did you know that...
  • 95% of children are abused by a family member or friend?
  • 70% of children are abused by an adult?
  • 30% of children are abused by another youth?
  • Talk to your child about safe body boundaries. Use proper names for private parts when discussing body safety. Don’t force children to kiss, hug, or sit on someone’s lap if they do not want to.
  • Schedule downtime and plenty of time between events.
During December, our staff have been sharing with each other (and on social media) our favourite holiday memories. Interestingly, our favourite memories consist of the quiet, thoughtful moments at Christmas: spending time with loved ones, cuddling up in front of a fireplace, going for a walk on a snowy winter day, drinking hot chocolate with a friend, listening to Christmas music, and attending a candlelight service. 
May we all make happy memories this Christmas! 

All of us at Plan to Protect ®
Watch out for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT coming the first week of January.
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