How does the song go again? I remember now, “Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year.” I’m still in two mindsets about that. In our house, we carry an attitude of tolerance and love about Christmas. We love what it represents to us but there are parts of it that make it challenging.
I’ll talk about it from Em’s standpoint to start. Emelie has a certain expectation about life. Routine and simplicity is what she craves. That’s what she lives for. Knowing what’s coming. She’s all about the routine and expecting it and minimal changes being forecast as soon as possible to help her switch gears.
She loves the music and the lights. She loves the tress and the ornaments. She loves the cookies and the snow still at this point. She loves the break from school. And we’ve always tried to spread out the holiday by not having family all at one time to avoid overwhelming her. She’s never been big into opening gifts. She’s not a fan of the hustle and bustle of the holiday or the rush rush rush and go go go. She’s not a fan of the hurry up and wait or the massive crowds.
The time between Christmas and New Years is a regrouping. It’s about gathering all her energy back and trying to keep some routine. So I guess what I’m saying, she loves the quiet simple Christmas without the commercialism. She loves seeing family throughout the week. She loves ringing in the new year with people she loves.
For me, Christmas is a time of reflection. How Em handles the challenges and routine changes. How she handles the unexpected always surprises me when I compare them year to year. I’m not big into crowds or the hustle and bustle of public places so we’ve always been able to protect her from the noise and sensory issues as much as we could because I automatically avoided those areas.
I love to decorate and bake. I love to wrap the gifts and see my children’s face light up. I love to snuggle up with hot cocoa and watch Christmas movies and snowfalls. I love to snuggle in and read good books. I smile when Em talks about Santa as a creepy bearded stalker dude who is fat and needs to find someone else to watch when they are sleeping or awake. As she just did as we were talking about this blog.
I love the concerts for the kids and the songs of the holidays. I love the candlelight service at church. I find that I love to have that structure that Em craves as well. So when we are late or something switches gears I tend to get a little flustered and panicked. Overall though, we tend to keep the holidays low key and open.
I’m sure some people love the hustle and bustle. We just aren’t one of those families. We love the quiet and simple things that make Christmas special. So we have tolerance for the things we struggle with and could really turn us off to the “most magical time of the year”. And we have an appreciation and love for the traditions we have in our family that are often just the simple family fun.