Christmas with special needs
I have faced the question of what do we do for Christmas many times. We have lots of special needs of varying degrees, but mostly our kids don’t attach to things. They don’t have a favorite toy, a favorite place to snuggle (when they let us snuggle), or a favorite food. And since we adopted them when they were able to recall life before, we can’t do Santa. I can’t explain to them why he suddenly started coming, but had not before.
So here is Christmas at our house. The week before, we make candies from each person, so that we have a bonding experience. The night before, all the kids camp out in the guest room and have another bonding experience. And for gifts we don’t give stuff. They ignore stuff (even $400 video game systems, they just don’t care) so we give experiences. A pass to the Zoo, aquarium, children’s’ museum, dinosaur museum, a trip to a bounce house place, and a meal out. Those are things I can take pictures of and things they will get to do over and over throughout the year, well most of them are.
We skip a lot of the decorating. Too much is too much, and it leads to breakdowns. So we have one string of lights on our house and one tree and a tiny nativity and that’s it. We play Christmas music for an hour a day and that’s it. We skip Santa at the church party, and most of our grandparents don’t invite us over that day.
The day after we work together to box up and clean up. The next week we always go sledding. And it’s on to the next birthdays. That’s all. It’s not the holiday consumerist America wishes we would have, but it is all we can do, and it works for us. I find myself apologizing about Santa all the time, but it’s what I know and it’s what works here. So happy holidays and I am grateful for new friends.