Since having a child with Autism I have really appreciated the basics of Christmas.
My girl cannot tolerate the bright, flickering lights, the sparkly tinsel, the playing of Christmas music.
So we have stripped it right back to basics.
We have a tall, thin pop up tree.
Baubles and bunting.
We have lights up for decoration, but only ever switched on when my girl is asleep.
Gone are the days when we decorated our lounge like Santas grotto, tinsel surrounding every picture.
Gone are the days of 6 sets of lights in various colours and flashing different sequences.
Gone are the days of turkey for dinner.
Gone are the days where every present is a suprise.
Social media is constantly full of photos of christmas trees, outside lights and the antics of elf on the shelf.
Christmas Eve will consist of pictures of presents piled up under the tree.
I used to be the same.
I felt proud of what we had achieved…..I wanted to show it all off.
That is great I still enjoy seeing them.
……this is what I have learnt.
Christmas is not about the lights, the decorations, the tree, the elf.
Stripped back to the basics Christmas is just as enjoyable.
Stripped back to the basics means my girl can enjoy Christmas with reduced sensory input.
My boy still loves every second.
I used to think Christmas was all about making every year better.
A bigger tree, more lights, more tinsel.
I used to join in all the trends so my children would fit in with everyone else.
Now I don’t, I see what we have been missing and I am starting to love Christmas again..
…..however stressful it still is!
It is never going to be easy for my girl. Ever.
But as long as we have chicken dippers for her Christmas lunch, we know we will have got something right!