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Managing Christmas

Top ten tips to manage Christmas


Keep one routine. This will help ground the individual when other areas of the day feel overwhelming.


Involve children or young adults in decisions (what decorations to put up etc).


Prepare them for the gifts they will be receiving. Don’t feel you need to wrap gifts, particularly if they may find this overwhelming.


Create a Christmas free safe space in the house that is free from decorations.


Use visuals to help them prepare for what is happening when, quantifying the activity by giving it a start, middle and end so they know exactly what to expect.

Eg. We are visiting a family friend, we will drive to their house, go in and open presents, play games and have dinner, say goodbye and drive home.


Discuss the child or young adult’s needs with family and friends.


Allow decompression time when school breaks up: don’t plan any big trips, outings or visitors for the first few days after breaking up from school.


Discuss what everyone wants to eat for Christmas, don’t just stick to the tradition of turkey for the sake of it – know that it’s okay to have your usual meal.


Towards the end of the holidays, begin to set an alarm to wake up and get dressed, have meals at regular times to re-establish routine, and be ready for the return to school.

No. 10

Slowly put up and take down Christmas decorations with your child or young adult to avoid making sudden changes – being involved in the process can help manage any feelings of being overwhelmed.