Christmas morning is the most wonderful day of the year– right? It can be… or it can send you running for that champagne chilling in your fridge for New Year’s Eve a little early! Let’s be honest — the success of this holiday will be defined by one thing and one thing alone —  Will your child tantrum on Christmas morning ….

Here are 3 Practical Tips That You Probably Haven’t Thought of That Can Make or Break Your Holiday ….

Tip 1

We know that children with Autism can be epically impatient. They want what they want and they want it now! They will be super excited to unwrap their presents. They will see their brand new Thomas the Train and will hardly be able to contain their excitement. But in the time it takes you to go get the scissors to rescue Thomas from what will feel like the seven hundred zip ties restraining him to the box– your child will go from elated to a complete and utter meltdown!  Save yourself the trouble…

Cut zip ties off of the toys before you wrap them!

Your child will be able to play with Thomas the second the wrapping paper comes off and you will be spared a whole lot of frustration.

Tip 2

Some kids with Autism love hugs and some don’t but let’s be honest. If you have a big Italian family like me- the sheer amount of people you have to hug and wish a merry christmas can be a little overwhelming!

Explaining Autism to your family can be really tricky.  Grandparents tend to have a really difficult time understanding that their grandchildren do love them but the bear hug and lipstick stain kiss on the cheek is just too much for them …

There is a way you can make sure your child feels comfortable without overwhelming your child.

When family arrives or you arrive at a party — Have Your Child Pass Out Cards Rather Than Hugging as a Greeting.

Do not put the card in an envelope. Make sure they can read it easily.  Have it say something simple like — “Merry Christmas. It’s Too Much For Me To Hug You Right Now but I Love You and It’s Great to See You.

If your child is able to you can have them decorate the card and pass them out themselves or you can help them and do it for them.

It may be the difference between being able to stay for dessert or having to leave early due to a meltdown and we all know the best part is always dessert!

You may be thinking- my mother in law just won’t understand. Honestly – that may be true. But- you did the best you possibly could in a loving way.  Some people will never understand. But your child is your number one priority and you can be confident you did your best.

Tip 3

Bring Food Your Child Will Eat!

One of the least talked about but most common problems that children with Autism have is that kids tend to eat a very limited variety of foods and avoid things that are different! Pizza is not pizza. They may eat it from one pizza shop and be offended by what may look to us like the exact same thing from another.

Bringing food with you will make sure your child eats which will increase the likelihood of a success outing. It will also keep a new and different experience as familiar as possible.  If your child will eat the food that is there– let him but — it cannot hurt to have something with you just in case!

I hope these tips help you and your family have an AMAZING Christmas morning.

I know not all of my readers celebrate Christmas….

Whatever holiday you are celebrating this season, I hope these tips come in handy.

On behalf of Hope Education Services,

God Bless and Happy Holidays,

Jessica Leichtweisz