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Autism: Christmas Celebrations

29 Dec

Once again it is snowing. We are supposed to get 5-10cm, my husband told me. But I am in my home, under a blanket, and quite comfortable. Let it snow!

It sure is pretty on the trees and mountains. I love to look out the window and see it, and to feel the freshness in the air as we take our dog for his walks. There is something just magical about this season – although if I had to drive, or go anywhere, I would more likely be anxious than thankful.

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But I am home, and the world looks beautiful from here.

We were blessed to have a white Christmas this year. We haven’t always been so lucky, but somehow it always feels more like Christmas after it has snowed.

My husband, son, and I stayed home this year. The entire day, I didn’t even go outside… but that is okay, I very much enjoyed myself just the same. It has been a rough year this year, and we didn’t have a lot of gifts under the tree – but what we did have was given with love, and was gratefully received.

It is easier on my son to stay home… even on Christmas. He becomes so overwhelmingly uncomfortable when we go places, that he usually just ends up sitting alone (trying to blend in with the furniture) and waiting for it to end. I can understand that. I get that way, too, and have experienced more than my share of social events feeling the same… but I like to do something different for Christmas – just to show that the day is different than any other.

On Christmas Eve, my husband and I went to the candlelight service at our Church. As I missed church last Sunday (my husband was singing out of town, and I was too anxious to drive there and go alone) I was really looking forward to that service – and I was not disappointed. It was amazing! Just so well done, and I was near tears in thankfulness while listening to our Pastor speak. What a wonderful way to start the holiday!

Then on Christmas day, my family decided to take out a puzzle to celebrate the day. My son and I both love puzzles. I find it to be a relaxing way to socialize. I don’t have to talk much. I just have to be there – and even when I am severely anxious, puzzles are one way I can overcome my discomfort and participate.

For my son, I think it is an area where he feels competent. He has amazing spacial awareness. He always has. I bought him his first real puzzle at the age of 2 (he had just turned 2.) It was a 48 piece ‘Dudley the Dragon’ puzzle, which I purchase after his grandmother had told me that his birth dad was doing puzzles by that age.

We got home, and I opened it up for him. I went to do dishes, and was going to help him with the puzzle after – but when I came back out of the kitchen, I found him with his puzzle completed.

He has always been good with puzzles. So it was a really good way for the three of us to spend the day together, and I very much enjoyed myself – in spite of, or perhaps because of, the quiet of the day.

Thankfulness.

It is found in the little things: The quiet moments with family; the snow coming down on the trees; Hobbit puzzles, warm quilts, hot mugs of tea… What a great Christmas!

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