It is incredible how Christmas passes so quickly once it arrives. Maybe too quickly. And as we consider what turned into a very intense day, we are still picking up pieces and holding them together.
Our son needs clear preparation and exposure to all things that will change, so that he gradually becomes accustomed to the changes over a period of time. We thought we had learned so much from the last year or two on how to ease him into such a big event that Christmas is. This proved not to be the case.
As you enjoy the joys of Christmas and preparations for New Year, as well you should. I ask that if you have a member of your family, or even a neighbour or friend that you know struggles in a similar way to our son, please see if they need a little support, or even calm, reassuring company amid all the partying. They may just welcome your contact without having to worry about all the glitz that comes with this season.
We planned, ahead. Looked at decorations before we bought them. Put up a tree without the lights so as to be seen as just another potted plant, we diarised skype calls to greet our distant friends and family, we spoke about what gifts Santa would bring. As our son can no longer manage to get to church, we watched the services on TV, listened to the carols, said our prayers and as the evening grew old, we watched Santa travelling the world on the Norad ‘Track Santa’ web-site. Before we retired for the night, we checked the offerings left for Santa and Rudolph and went to bed.
The following day, Christmas Day, was destined to be too much of a challenge from the outset. A gift too many and unexpected in his Santa sack caused immediate concern, anxiety and mood swing, a planned Skype call had to be postponed …. expectations of what was going to happen, was smashed beyond repair and now four days later, we are just beginning to recover the situation, plan, we hope, for a New Year with as much … ‘business (or life) as usual’ as we can muster.
I know we are not the only family who experience these things and I want to share our experiences in the hope that something in what I say resonates with you and if you know someone who may appear low, they too may have suffered from some sensory overload in much the same way and are desperate for your support. Probably to do nothing, but to be there and reassure them that the world hasn’t begun spinning the opposite way and to encourage them to focus on the ‘usual’ things in their routine.
We will learn again from what happened and next year, hopefully, we will make it special for him.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I wish it a peaceful, healthy and enjoyable 2018 for you.