Our daughter suffers from anxiety, and this is the worst time of year for her. With Thanksgiving, parties, special activities, Christmas, school break, New Year’s…plus her birthday in January, she gets high strung on anxiety. Even though it’s all fun, there’s just too much all at once for her to handle.
Then there’s sensory overload on top of it — lights, music, sleigh bells, decorations, special foods, extra people, disturbed routines…
Over the last few years, our family has discovered the joy of laid-back holidays. Trying to cram everything in takes some of the joy out of it. Holiday meals are usually just our family of 5 and my dad, occasionally a friend or two, so there’s no need for a fancy meal. I still cook a turkey, mashed potatoes, and some pies, but we don’t need five side dishes and everything served on fine china. We have a meal together, laugh together, play board games together, watch movies together. The “together” is what’s important, not whether my table looks good enough for a magazine cover.
The kids have really enjoyed this too. We have given ourselves the gift of calm.
How do your sensory kids handle the holidays?