My Facebook feed is full of Christmas Trees.
Beautifully decorated trees.
It has started.
The countdown to Christmas.
It started really early this year, but our tree only went up today.
The best time of the year for my boy.
I love it…..I loved it.
It is the hardest for my girl.
So much waiting.
The suspense, the anxiety, so much riding on just one day….
Countdowns are starting earlier each year.
The stress is starting earlier each year.
The stress of waiting for the advent calendar to start…
….the stress of every morning explaining why you can only have 1 chocolate.
The sensory overload.
Lights twinkle, change colour, flicker and flash.
Tinsel glistens, crackles and reflects the lights.
Colours. So many colours everywhere.
Noise. Excited noises. Santas ho ho’ing. Christmas carols everywhere we go.
People dressed up. Not who they really are.
The confusion. The stress.
Still waiting for christmas to come.
The christmas fayres, the santas grottos, the crowds, the queueing.
Waiting in line to get a present from someone she knows isn’t the real thing.
Waiting in line to see a man with a fake beard on his face.
Waiting in line, anxiety growing incase she doesn’t like what she gets.
The anxiety that she won’t like the paper, won’t like the gift…..tell Santa what she really thinks!
The writing of lists, the worry that brings.
‘What ifs’ start to enter an already over stimulated mind
What if he forgets? What if he gets the wrong one? What if its the wrong colour?
The school routine changes.
Routine changed for rehearsals for singing, or playing of instruments.
Schedule changes at the drop of a hat.
Waiting for her moment.
Waiting for the preformance.
Anxiety spiralling. Losing control.
Waiting for Christmas.
The long countdown continues.
Familiar places look different, decorations everywhere.
Familiar landmarks covered in lights and tinsel.
It is all too much. No where is the same.
Everything has changed.
The wearing of christmas hats, of tinsel and christmas jewellery.
The excitement in voices, the upbeat tempo of christmas singing out as we speak.
Waiting for school to finish for the holidays.
For Christmas to begin.
Waiting for Santa to deliver his parcels.
His brightly coloured wrapped up bundles.
The anxiety of not knowing what is in them.
The worry that he has got it all wrong.
The worry he hasn’t got what she wanted.
The stress in the element of surprise.
It just can’t be done. It has to be shared.
Surprises are too much.
School ends for the holidays.
Time for waiting at home.
Finally the day arrives.
Presents ripped open, she knew what they were.
We had to tell her. Needed to.
She sits down in a heap. Exhausted.
Mess everywhere, paper strewn across the room.
Colourful, noisy, pieces clouding her judgement.
Piles of unfamiliar things covering her space.
Everything different. Things in the wrong places.
Excited squeals from her brother, the constant knocks on the door and steady stream of visitors.
Too much of everything.
My girl sits quiet on her own.
……..for the day to be over.