Top Christmas Tips

Christmas can be challenging for autistic people. Change can bring anxiety, but there are things you can do to help…

When possible, plan in advance.  Share the plan!  A family calendar or visual timetable might be useful.  If everyone knows the plan, it will reduce anxiety!

Christmas can be overwhelming.  People, lights and noise can be too much.  Create a quiet space where you can go for a break and have time for you to recover.

Plan the most suitable decorations for your home.  You may need to avoid Christmas lights (or it could be lovely and “stimmy”)! Some find Christmas cards are enough decoration to have.  Whatever you decide, consider doing it gradually with everyone involved so that it’s not a surprise.  Autistic people often aren't keen on surprises!

Presents can be overwhelming!  For example, the number of them, the wrapping paper itself and the unwrapping.  To reduce the anxiety, some autistic people go through the presents days before to check they’re working or what they expected.  Others use clear cellophane to wrap presents.  Some abandon wrapping presents at all, do whatever works for you!

Talk to everyone involved and decide what works for you.  Enjoy your festive season, your way!  Remember that Christmas isn't forever - it ends and things will go back to normal!

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