The CCA Christmas Fairs of years gone by

It’s hard to sit down to my laptop to write this post without feeling so overcome with emotion. The Childhood Cancer Association {CCA} was started back in 1982 by a group of parents who had children going through cancer. As a parent of two children, I can only imagine the pain and uncertainty these families are facing and it is nothing short of truly heartbreaking. As a Christian, I certainly don’t claim to understand why so many families have to face this or have all the answers to the questions that would be gripping their minds on a daily basis. But in times of suffering, all I have is my faith to hold me through. So when the opportunity for the church I belong to – Edge Church International – to work alongside the CCA to put on their annual Christmas Fair for the families of children undergoing treatment, it seemed like a no-brainer to put my hand up to get involved.
The first year I was able to take part as a team member of our “style crew,” we had a Candy Land theme which was incredibly fun to dream into. We spent a night eating all sorts of treats and watching “Wreck it Ralph” to get into the headspace and make this vision come to life. I remember that night so vividly as I had just found out I was 4 weeks pregnant with our son! Embarking on this journey as I was just entering into parenthood felt like such an awesome responsibility.

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Some of our team back in 2013, including our MUCH loved James who sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2015

The set up consisted of making giant lollies, eating takeaway with lots of laughs and frustrations, setting up endless Christmas trees and transforming anything with a bit of Dacron. But the true highlight of the day was watching the children light up as they came through our building. In fact, it’s the same thing every year.
In the years that have followed, we’ve taken more of a traditional route: white Christmas, reindeer, snow everywhere…basically my fantasy all in one. My role has been to deck out Santa’s Cave with my decor dream partner Naomi. There has been so much laughter, ideas, long talks, overshares and happy tears…all fuelled by Redbull {don’t judge me!}

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My partner-in-crime

But all the fun decor aside, there is a much bigger purpose attached to what we are doing & why we are doing it: because we love God and we love our community. The families that I’ve met over the last few years are the sweetest and strongest people I’ve ever come across. Watching your child battle an illness as relentless as cancer would be one of the most gut-wrenching things to watch. Even though I can’t erase their worries or heal they’re child, I can still help. Sometimes the little things are the ones that touch our hearts the most. I can’t pretend I don’t get something out of it either because it’s quickly become one of my very favourite days of the year. So maybe it seems trivial, maybe handing out candy all day is pointless, but I like to think it’s the heart behind all the volunteers that people see. That for one day, you can just try to forget about the ins and outs of illness and remember what’s important – being together as a family. The privilege of being a very small part of that is nothing short of an honour.

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Behind the scenes of our set up; Santa’s house coming together!

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Santa’s desk where he checks his list twice! You’ll even some some candid snaps of Santa with his family 😉

So much fun to imagine what Santa's living room might look like!

So much fun to imagine what Santa’s living room might look like!

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