Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The holidays are here and you know what that means. Loud crowds! Bright lights! Loud music! Crazy traffic! People pushing and shoving! Everything looks different cause of decorations! Family is visiting! Your whole routine is messed up! Makes ya wanna cower under the couch! You just wish you could go into a coma and wake up when everything is over! Its utter insanity! Ok now breath... Breathe in nice deep breath.... Now breathe out nice and slow...Your gonna survive this. I know its gonna be hard but you will survive the holidays. In fact I'm gonna do my best to show you how you can not only survive the holidays but have fun and actually look forward to them next year. I know that sounds impossible. And you might be wondering how that is even possible. First off remember that this is a festive time of year. I know it doesn't seem like it but it is. Christmas is all about giving and sharing and caring. Its about the gift from GOD who is Jesus our Lord and savior. Ok now after you remember that your gonna need a new routine for the holidays. I know right now your saying or thinking "WHOA! WAIT A MINUTE! WHY SHOULD I CHANGE!? I LIKE MY ROUTINE AS IS!" Well because what I call the holiday routine is a whole lot of fun and it will make the holidays no longer scary but fun. Wouldn't you rather have fun then hide in your room?? Wouldn't you rather share with friends what fun you had then feel left out cause of issues that they might not have cause there not autistic?? If you answered yes to even one of those then you need the awesome holiday routine. I made it for myself so I can survive and have fun. I now love the holidays and I look forward to them and enjoy them and no longer feel left out. So now I will share it with you starting with Thanksgiving. If you live in Canada your Thanksgiving is in October. If you live in America your Thanksgiving is in November. To get yourself ready make sure you have your own calender in your room. Circle the date of Thanksgiving and make a countdown from the very 1st of the month. Each day of the month till Thanksgiving learn something new about it each day. Weather it be from a book or the internet or a tv special. Whatever works for you. I find the cooking shows for making turkey dinners interesting though they make me hungry. Watch some Thanksgiving specials as well. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is my favorite Thanksgiving special and I highly recommend it.... Warning to those who have Thanksgiving in Canada. Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is centered on Americans and why they celebrate that doesn't mean you can't celebrate though. And on it you will hear the cartoons mention something about not finished there Halloween candy yet and its already Thanksgiving. That's cause is America Thanksgiving is in November. Just warning you so you won't have a meltdown... Also to celebrate Thanksgiving watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade on the tv. I love watching it. Lots of talented people in it every year. And some things in it will always be the same. Every Macy's Thanksgiving parade has the Rockettes somewhere in it and Santa is always at the end of it. Now family might be coming over and that can be scary. Some of them might still not understand you and you might find it hard to get along with them. Here's what you do. When it comes to sitting to dinner try and plan out who sits where ahead of time. Make place cards if you want. Find a spot for yourself where you will be comfortable and your surrounded by the family your most comfortable with. Discuss this with whatever family you live with and do the best you can to tell them how it will help you cope and survive and even enjoy the holidays as much as everyone else does. Now the harder part though is actually spending time with your family before and after dinner. Now there is the parade and Thanksgiving specials but need other things to do. Guys will usually want to watch football all day. Join in if you like it to. If not go where you won't disturb them and bring the others who don't like football with you and play some games. What games you say?? Good question. You will want to set up and plan these games ahead of time. Make sure its something that not only you like but what others like as well. Board games are really fun. I highly recommend those. But sometimes though you do need a break from the chaos and I understand that. Set up specific times for when you will go out for a walk just around the block aka around the corner. Go to a nearby park if there is one and sit somewhere and just breathe and relax. Show the family you live with your specific set up plans for walks and just calmly explain how it will help you cope,survive and enjoy the holidays. But also make a plan B in case the weather out is yucky and you can't go for a walk for some reason. Plan B is finding a room where you can be alone in silence and not be disturbed. If you have your own room then use that. Again tell the family you live with your plans and calmly explain why. Ok now back to the dinner part everyone is at there seats. Designate someone to say grace. Make it a game if you want. Like put a slip of paper on everyone's empty plate and write on only one of them "GRACE" make sure they can't see through it. Fold up the papers and tell no one who has the "GRACE" paper and on the count of three everyone sees there paper and whoever has the one that says "GRACE" says the grace. Either that or you can just start with whomever is the head of the table and then next year go to the one sitting next to them and so on every year. Whatever works best for you. Now I know some of you have difficulty with some foods. Maybe you don't like the texture or maybe you don't like the smell. That's ok. But you don't need to discuss it at the table. I know its hard but just try to ignore the foods you don't like. Or if you make a fuss every family member will be bugging you about why you should it. Trust me! Better not to say anything. Now after dinner your gonna be very tired. Just sit and relax somewhere and let your dinner rest. Time to make small talk. If your not into this then just go into your room or where you can be alone and do what pleases you weather it be reading or listening to music or whatever helps you relax. Remember though to come out and so goodbye to the family that leaves. Tell them you had a good time and you will miss them and that you love them. You might not feel that but trust me they like to hear it and they appreciate you saying that. And now you have coped,survived and enjoyed Thanksgiving... Now onto the next one the biggie. Christmas. But no sweat you'll cope and survive and enjoy this to. First step begins like before. Circle the date of Christmas on your calender and make a countdown and each day learn something new about Christmas. Now you gotta buy gifts for your family. That is very difficult. You can do what I did this year and write a personalized letter to each family member sharing with each one a different poem or story you like. But if you have decided to go the store and buy them things well its gonna be harder. But not impossible to cope,survive and enjoy. First off the traffic. Weather your driving or someone else is its stressful. If your driving put on some Christmas music but only if your cure you can concentrate with that on. If not then when someone yells or something just smile and shout "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" Do that even if someone doesn't yell. If your in traffic and feel stressed just smile and shout "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" Also take a few deep breaths. If your not driving and someone else is take something to listen to some cheerful Christmas music on and close your eyes and relax till you get there. Now for inside the mall. It looks scary but you can cope,survive and enjoy. If your a visual learner like me you can picture what isn't there. Use your imagination. To make it a little funnier picture everyone as dressed up like an Elf or Santa Clause or Mrs.Clause. Can't help but smile at that. Malls usually play Christmas music over the speakers. Listen to the music it'll make you feel better. Now people are still crowding you and there still pushing and shoving. Remember there not trying to attack you there just trying to get to something before you do and the earlier you do your Christmas shopping the easier it'll be. Some people shop for Christmas presents all year round. If your able to do then go right ahead. When it comes to crowds and people pushing and shoving it can get very uncomfortable. Just remember to take deep breathes. And picture something in your head that makes you smile. Or think of a funny memory or a funny dream. Take breaks every once in a while. Set up a schedule for yourself with set up times for you to go outside and breathe for a while or visit a coffee shop inside the mall or outside near the mall. Just sip your drink slowly and don't think of anything that'll stress or worry you. Concentrate on something happy the whole time. This will help you with your shopping days and make sure its your time and your schedule not anyone else's. Discuss this with the family you live with and tell them your schedule and explain calmly that this will help you cope,survive and enjoy the holidays. When it comes to the bright flashing lights wear sunglasses. Maybe get a red or green pair for Christmas. Who cares what other people think its what makes you comfortable. Now remember Christmas is about the birth of Christ and about giving and sharing. Please include in your routine to give to food drives and toys for tots so that the less fortunate can have a very Merry Christmas to. You could be helping someone else on the spectrum and it might just help them cope,survive and enjoy the holidays. Also there's lots of Christmas specials to watch. Here are the one's I highly recommend... Scrooged starring Bill Murray,A Christmas Carol starring Alistar Sim,White Christmas,Frosty The Snowman,Frosty Returns,Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer,Elf,It's A Wonderful Life,Miracle On 34th Street, Bah Humduck!,A Garfield Christmas,A Charlie Brown Christmas,A Christmas Carol starring Tim Curry and Whoopi Goldberg,Polar Express,How The Grinch Stole Christmas starring Boris Karloff,How The Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carry,A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carry,A Christmas Carol starring Kelsey Grammer,The Flinstone's Christmas,The Jetson's Christmas Carol,A Flinestone Christmas Carol,Yogi Bear's Christmas and finally the Macy's Christmas parade. As always the Macy's Christmas parade has the rockettes somewhere in it and Santa Clause at the end of it. There are other Christmas parades on on Christmas day throughout the day. But with the shopping you now have to decorate the house. That can be crazy but with help you can cope,survive and enjoy this to. First off have some Christmas music playing in the background. Designate each person to have a job with decorating. And make sure they have enough help especially when it comes to decorating the tree. And make sure there is a star or an angel on the top of the tree. Before designating people though again talk to the family you live with about it and calmly explain that this will help you cope,survive and enjoy the holidays. The same goes with the outdoor decorations. If you have snow where you live go out and build a snowman. Trust me it's alot of fun. Put a scarf and hat on him. Give him eye's of coal and a button nose. Or a carrot nose. Draw his smile with your finger or make his smile out of raisins. Put a branch on the left and right side of the snowman to make arms. Make sure to name him as well. Also if you have snow build a great big fort. Make snow angels. Throw a snowball at someone but careful they might throw one back! Go sledding or skiing in the snow. If its snowing out go out and try to catch snowflakes on your tongue. I think snowflakes taste good. If there is an ice rink nearby go and try and ice skate a little. Go slow no matter what anyone tells you you don't have to go fast. Go at your speed. Again the same rules apply with the family and dinner as they did for Thanksgiving. And now you have coped,survived and enjoyed Christmas. Now the last one. New Years eve. Every New Years Eve I like to watch Dick Clark's New Years Rockin Eve. I highly recommend it. Don't go anywhere that night unless its an emergency trust me it's not worth it. This year I am going out for the first time with friends to a church for New Years Eve. But I've known them almost a year now so I'm ok with it. Just because everyone else goes out doesn't mean you have to. Get some snacks. More fun watching with snacks. That's it for New Years Eve. You have now coped,survived and enjoyed New Years Eve. Now for two more important things. Here in America in November there is Black Friday and in Canada the day after Christmas day is Boxing Day. DON'T GO OUT UNLESS YOU HAVE TO ON THOSE DAYS! It's just way to much to handle. Just stay inside on those days trust me your better off. Now you can cope,survive and enjoy the Holidays with everyone else. Sorry I have nothing for those who are Jewish I know nothing of those customs. But I hope this mostly helps. HAVE A VERY MERRY SPECTRUM CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW SPECTRUM YEAR!