So many websites promote the ‘doom and gloom’ of Christmas with autism – all the ways in which autism makes the holiday challenging. I’d like to counter with a list of ways that autism makes the holiday absolutely perfect.
1. A Focus on Family
Autistic people are loyal and loving. They want to spend time with their beloved family members. This is what the holiday is all about. No need for chaotic parties with strangers. Do the things you love with the people you love.
2. Avoid Shopping Madness
I hate shopping malls in the best of times. I refuse to go for the entire month of December. Just say no to commercialism. Get a few special gifts your loved ones have specifically asked for, whatever they are. Treasure them.
3. Open Gifts Slowly and Mindfully
Our consumer-driven world pushes us to buy-buy-buy and then rip everything open in a frenzy. Autism encourages us to step back. To mindfully open one gift and really appreciate it. Maybe for an entire day. That is bliss.
4. Be Together in Quiet Conversation
The meaning of the season is family. Those you love. Flashing lights and loud noises are distractions. They fill in for those who don’t have that foundation. Treasure what you have. Sometimes that single LED candle in the window is more powerful than a thousand lawn displays.
5. Make Your Own Traditions
What is a tradition? It is something you do together as a family. Families have all sorts of unique traditions. Yours support you in your joy and love. Whatever that tradition is, cherish it. It makes your family unique and powerful.