Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Autism, Holidays and Traditions

Traditions for a family with a child who has challenges may be more difficult to establish. We found it much easier when my daughter takes ownership in any set of circumstances. Our family traditions have been simplified to match her abilities. She enjoys putting up the Christmas Tree shortly after Thanksgiving, but requires assistance to get the tree decorated. The special ornaments she has collected over the years seem to bring joy to the entire experience! Her "Barbie" ornament collection are the first ornaments she puts up on the tree. After they are up, she and I take our time going through the boxes of ornaments. We had gone to an after-Christmas sale a few years ago and really found some treasures. Snowballs, Angels, and beautiful crystal balls were marked down to next to nothing! Once we get the tree decorated, we take a break with a snack of cookies and milk.
We have made a "deal."  I wrap all of the gifts and she takes the empty ornament boxes back out to the garage. Most of the time I will have everything wrapped and ready to go under the tree.
Another tradition we love to do is making Christmas cookies. We plan this for an early weekend in December. The easiest cookies for my daughter to make are sugar cookies. She loves to decorate each cookie. We purchase cookie bags, and place the cookies in the bags. During the following week we deliver the bags to friends and neighbors. I believe Christmas is her favorite Holiday!

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