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The festive challenge

The silly season is fast approaching once again. I’m already experiencing high levels of anxiety about all the extra pressure and expectation that surrounds it. Christmas concerts, sensory overloaded spaces and the ever-emotional challenge of choosing appropriate gifts for the kids.

The additional activities are added strain on our already hectic schedule and are emotionally overwhelming for us all. Non routine performances packed full of people with prying eyes that usually don’t end well…

Tackling supplementary sensory stimuli in all regular establishments, especially school, home and supermarkets, making more clutter, volume and vibrant visuals to contend with.

I keep decorating to a minimum at home with just a few of the essentials and added extras to give it the festive feel.

Probably the most mentally challenging aspect for me as an autism mum is coming up with constant gift ideas for others and ourselves that the kids will actually play with and enjoy.

Although the kid’s speech has progressed, they’re still unable to verbally express what they would actually like. There is no requesting of presents, letters to Santa or anticipation assuming what may be underneath the tree. They’re not necessarily interested in age appropriate ideas and we have exhausted the majority of their favourite, fun things.

Both kids have come so far in the last few years and we are really able to enjoy some joyous moments.

We have separate family Christmas days because it was too many people and presents all on the one day and all at once.

After a few more years’ experiencing Christmas, lots of encouragement and watching kids Christmas movies, they do now show genuine excitement about the thought of Christmas, Santa and opening presents.

The profound positive is that they never really want for anything and they are generally never disappointed.

We are absolutely blessed to be surrounded by such supportive family and friends that are always inclusive but also very understanding towards our needs.

It’s hard to sustain the celebratory spirit but we try to remain positive and optimistic every year. We have to keep things in perspective and for us, the littlest of things in life, can be the greatest gift of all!

Christmas is coming Madi 2019

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