Hello all, it’s almost that time once again….that day we spend an eternity preparing for is so close now…I can’t believe so many days of effort and planning are put into yet we do this every year and by golly, I can’t say that I’d change much about it at all, even though I enjoy complaining about it at every chance I getChristmas!

Every year, my wife puts the decorations up early and I look at how excited she gets and while I didn’t use to get that involved as a teen…I can’t help but get excited as well nowadays, so I know always look forward to the holidays, even if I try to hide that fact from those who know me! When I was diagnosed with Autism, I understood why I was a little awkward at events such as this…why I liked sitting in silence, not contributing to anything as I always felt sorry for myself and was mad at the world…long time ago this but I was not interested in terrible music, dry Turkey…I liked the presents though!  

Do you enjoy Christmas? Is it a fun time or a stressful one where you just wish it was over with? It’s that time of year where the most prepared holiday of the year is almost upon us…I mean when you see stuff for it in shops as early as September, you know that a quarter of the year is dedicated to it, that obviously being Christmas.  When I think of Christmas, I think of music, food, drink, presents and family! A time where I travel to see my family and spend time with them by having a Christmas meal, play games and have a good old time! I have never not enjoyed Christmas Day and that bemuses me because I normally struggle to be that social in most situations, even those involving family, yet on this occasion…it’s never an issue and I always wonder what it is about Christmas that brings out the best in me, is it that I never feel under any pressure to be social if I don’t want to be?  

Over time, I grew to love Christmas once more, just like I had when I was a child, it was her enthusiasm to have a good time and involve me in it that did the trick…it was a nice feeling and it became our thing…now I can’t imagine not celebrating this time anymore! I plan my presents every year now and sing along with the songs when I hear them, I’ve even done some Christmas caroling because of her! I hate the cold in winter and all but I still stand out in it to sing some carols…for her!  It can be one time that an event like Christmas means little to me but it’s funny how one person can change all of that for you…showed me that you should never give up hope, no matter how hopeless it seems, keep believing! Things will get better!

Being around family feels different than being around a friend or work colleague as they know me so much more than anyone else so being aware of how I can be, no questions are asked or any situation that I could perhaps feel uncomfortable in ever occurs! Being around people who are understanding makes a wonderful atmosphere for me, hence why I never have a problem with Christmas at all…well maybe the weight I gain from all the food I eat! And the same music on every single year…and as you get older, you notice your presents get more basic and dull…when you get a pair of socks as a gift, you know the fun part is mostly gone…unless you have children and you watch them enjoy it as you once did!  

As it is well established, someone with Autism might not fully enjoy having socialize with other people for long periods of time, such as in school, work or perhaps even Christmas. On the 25th of December, most of us either travel or have someone come to us for the holidays, if your Americanyou did this in November for Thanksgiving! It’s where we celebrate by seeing loved ones during the Christmas holidays can either be a wonderful experience that one looks forward to or it can be yet another stressful social experience where you could not want to engage in as it feels somewhat forced that your interacting with family members over food, drink and entertainment.  

Yet Christmas isn’t enjoyed by all…some people don’t have anyone to celebrate it with so it’s just another day for them or they just don’t like Christmas which is fine as well but it can be nearly impossible to escape… shops all over with items to buy and music blaring, families buying presents and stocking fillers etc so unless you go and live in a cave for a few months?! It’s something you have to grin and bear! As I say to anyone who moans about it all, it comes quickly so it will go quickly as well! 

However, some people don’t celebrate Christmas because of religious beliefs, hence they celebrate something else…like Hanukkah  yet if you have Autism, any social event can be take a strain on you but what I tend to do is go along with it and try my best, I’m not the kind of guy who wants to beat himself up later if I feel I could have tried better by talking to someone or not sitting in complete silence all day, I mean I have a wife who makes me very happy and a loving family so I love times like this where we get together and celebrate together! I know it’s not the same for everyone though and we all have our own reasons for liking or disliking this time of year but do what makes you feel comfortable and what makes you happy this Christmas time! Have that extra slice of Turkey or drink (unless your driving!) Act daft and have fun or that’s not your thing, let those who do enjoy it, do so! Be yourself and please don’t force yourself! 

If you have Autism, what do you like and dislike about Christmas?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Everyone

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