Christmas for someone with Autism can be a very stressful time of the year so here are some advent presents tips. One way we have found to help relieve some of that stress is to give advent presents.
For years I tried to make Christmas fun for my daughter and nothing worked. Every year she would get stressed out and every year Christmas was a letdown.
One major problem was presents. When she woke up on Christmas morning to a pile of presents with no idea what they were and with no interest in opening them the anxiety began.
At first, I pushed her to open something. Thinking that would get her into the spirit of things, reluctantly she agreed. When she opened the first present it was the dancing Fimble that she had seen on TV. She was mesmerised and she just wanted to play with that and nothing else.
That’s when I got the idea of a present a day for advent. This particular Christmas the presents lay unopened for days until everything had been appreciated. Why not do a present every day over advent with the main present on Christmas morning giving her the chance to really enjoy the presents that she opened for a whole day each.
You might think 24 presents is a lot but not all of the gifts are expensive. One day she may get a Flake, the next day a book or a magazine.
We got family and friends to deliver their presents in time for advent rather than Christmas and she chose one every day until Santa delivered the “Main” present (usually a game) on Christmas Eve.
So on Christmas Day, she would have one present, she knew exactly what it was and was more than happy spending all day playing with the one thing she had wanted.
I like to pad her Advent Gifts out, she tells us what she wants so we get those few things (she never really wants very much) and then I fill the rest of the days with sensory toys, chocolate, magazine, books, makeup etc. If you get a pack of Flakes on offer for £1 then that’s 4 days done at 25p each!
You could also adapt to the 12 days of Christmas.
This year as Jamie is older we are going to do a different kind of advent. Each day she will put a food item in a basket and on Christmas Eve we will deliver it to the food bank.
Just remember Christmas doesn’t have to be traditional. Make your own traditions, do what makes you, your child and your family happy.
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