Child Advocates Hosts Holiday Parties for Children and Teens in Foster Care

Event: Annual Holiday Parties

Date: December 16, 2023

Location: Brookside Club of Saratoga, Saratoga, CA

Population Served: Current Foster Children & Youth

Event Highlights: 

The only thing better than a holiday party is a holiday pajama party! On Saturday, Child Advocates hosted two festive events, the first geared toward foster children ages 0–12 and the second for teenagers 13 and older. Over 80 kids, adolescents and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers joined the festivities and participated in various holiday-themed activities, all dressed in their coziest pajamas. 

From reindeer headbands and jingle bell necklaces, to gingerbread snow globes and Christmas tree bowling, children had ample opportunity to engage in fun-filled stations while simultaneously working on key developmental skills. They practiced following directions, making choices, taking turns, building fine and gross motor skills and more. Some drew pictures or wrote hope-filled letters addressed to the North Pole, and all had the chance to say hello to Santa as he served up hot chocolate and snow cones from his very merry Kona Ice truck. A special visit from Queen Elsa and the amazing Spider-Man left many in awe, and squeals of joy were heard as each child received a gift bag specially curated by our staff to fulfill their personal wish lists. 

“The holiday party was magical!” shared CASA Diana. “My youth would not leave the house without her Elsa doll this morning, so imagine her surprise when she got to meet Elsa at the party! Her one request for Christmas was to find Elsa’s sister, and Child Advocates delivered. In her pre-packaged gift, there was a Princess Anna doll inside—she was so excited she couldn’t stop jumping around and hugging her. I even heard the words, ‘Best Christmas ever!’ at one point. It was such a memorable day.” 

In the afternoon, our team transformed the space to welcome teens and young adults, inviting them to participate in activities without any pressure to engage. Offerings included holiday crafting, competitive games, delicious snacks and outdoor sports such as pickleball, soccer and football. One teen expressed surprise at the variety of stations, noting they’d been unsure of what to expect. “I’m used to going to the office,” they said, “so I liked getting to know other staff and youth.” 

“Kids usually get to do all of the fun things,” their CASA added. “The last time I came for a holiday party, they didn’t really have anything for teens, so this is really nice.” Although the teen spoke openly about disliking physical activity, they agreed to try pickleball with their CASA and a few staff members. To their surprise, they discovered it was actually something they liked. “We got to play pickleball, which I very much enjoyed,” they shared. “We also got snow cones, and I’m very artistic, so I really liked all of the craft stations. I’ve had a really nice time.” 

Across both parties, staff focused on creating opportunities for CASAs and their youths to engage in all-important positive childhood experiences. Growing supportive relationships, spending time outdoors, engaging in physical activity and enjoying a balanced diet have all been scientifically proven to help children and adolescents actively combat experienced trauma, and the planning committee ensured these elements were thoughtfully incorporated into both holiday parties. The benefits were immediately evident as staff watched kids and teens transform before their very eyes. Children who arrived wary and clinging to their CASAs’ hands left looking joyful, confident and eager to interact with staff, while teens who were initially withdrawn and reluctant to engage in activities ended the day laughing freely and openly getting to know their peers.

This day was the perfect end to Child Advocates’ 2023 holiday season and was only made possible with the help of the following donors and vendors:

  • Allen Brothers
  • Allera Sports
  • Brookside Club of Saratoga
  • Didi Pham
  • Kona Ice West San Jose
  • Tony & Alba’s Pizza & Pasta

Thank you to all of our CASAs and staff for making this day so special—we look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Learn more about all of Child Advocates’ holiday events here.

If you are interested in sponsoring next year’s holiday party or a future youth-related event, please contact our development department at