Our Christmas Story

Here we do the opening presents on Christmas Eve. Basically it goes as follows– A nice dinner with large family and then opening presents and then ice cream for everyone. It ends up with a CRAP LOAD of prezzies under the tree. The next day, Christmas day, is a dinner with immediate family only (in my case me, the two ASD kiddos, my brothers and sis in law). Then on the 26th, which we call the second Xmas, is more dinner, not really formal but many choose to have it formal. Anyway, so it sounds simple enough I guess. But when you throw ASD in the mix it becomes rather complicated.
So our Xmas dinner went okay I guess. Me and the kids went to my brother’s house for dinner. The kids watched as members of our family and my sis in laws family showed up dropping presents under the tree and their excitement grew. The ONLY thing they care about is the presents. As with most kids. Tunnel vision with these two. The entire dinner my boy was anxious to open the gifts, and asked about it every few minutes. My three year old refused to eat, she ran from chair to chair hanging off the back.. tried to climb in her brothers lap and a fight ensued. I kept having to drag her off the chairs and putting her on the couch, why bother trying to get her to eat once she has made up her mind, it wasnt going to happen. So I gave her my phone to watch videos, which I had to get up every couple of minutes to change it because she wasnt happy with whatever she was watching. I still managed to over eat, not even sure how, since I barely sat at the table haha. So then the kids had to wait, omg the dreaded wait, for everyone to finish dinner before opening gifts. I made it a point to not make them have any expectations as to what they were going to receive this year… As you know with these kids it is rather hard to please them sometimes haha. When it came time to open gifts they were made to sit patiently (or something like that) on the couch as one gift was handed to them to open, then they had to watch others open some, and then back to them. My girl was so excited she kept trying to open everyone’s presents. I think for her just opening stuff was fun. Even when she received clothes she was so happy to get them she wanted to try them all on. My son’s favorite was the toy car that made noise that I got for him. My girl got two baby dolls and a bunch of stuffed animals and clothes. I learned a long time ago that a nice trick is to separate even outfits and wrap separately to have them have more things to open so we can drag it on a bit while others open theirs as well. I got some pretty cool gifts, hand made things from the kids, pajamas that say  NEED COFFEE NOW, two books, a gift card to use anywhere, another gift card for free eyebrow magic, lol, and my younger brother got me a gag gift of stress balls shaped like testicles. Perfect holiday.
This Xmas has been the best so far. I attribute that to the fact that I have learned, over time, ways to get passed the pesky things like what may seem like ungratefulness from the kids. Because I know it actually isn’t ungratefulness, it is rather that they expected things to be a certain way and they weren’t, which can easily ruin it for an ASD person. My expectations remained rather low, so everything was a pleasant surprise. Yes there were meltdowns, yes there was fighting and noise and these kids tested my patience throughout the entire evening. But that is the life w/ Autism, things are always like that. I knew it would happen so I never let it ruin the holidays. Since Im ASD I did what I could to remain as stress free as possible, I avoided trying to go for all the stuff that most people expect. I did not go “all out” when it came to the tree or decorations due to having the Destructo Beast around. No big deal. I kept the presents out of their sight until the day of opening them (which made a big difference). I made it a point to explain to the older ASD kiddo exactly what order everything would happen in. I never took anything personally when their reactions weren’t super happy… and neither did any of the rest of the family. We were all just happy to be there, happy to have each other, the kids were happy enough with their toys . I say this was an excellent Xmas.

About DruJoKat

Autistic, mom, writer, poet, science enthusiast. Just trying to survive in this world made for the extroverted typical brain.
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