Well, here we are, only 4 days away from Christmas! I can't wait. I've seen a lot of articles and stories about how to prepare for the holidays with autism. While they are all very insightful and informative, I'd like to talk about how things are from one autistic's point of view.
Even though I'm an Aspie, and we are stereotypically known to be "rigid" and not to like surprises, I'm the total opposite. I LOVE them! The break from routine. The time to relax and spend with family. The anticipation for Christmas morning. These are things I live for!
Many sources will tell you to try to keep things within routine and not to drift too far from the norm, so as to prevent stress and/or meltdowns. Not for me. I'm a very spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment kind of person. While I do like to stick to routines in SOME aspects, such as ordering the same foods at certain restaurants, and doing things the same way each time, if I were to have to do the same thing EVERY DAY, that would bore me! Part of the reason I look forward to the holidays is the break from all the monotony.
Another aspect of the holidays that many autistics will tell you that can be overwhelming is gathering with the family. Now, perhaps I've never experienced this because I come from a rather small family, and am not surrounded by hordes of people on Christmas Day, however I look forward to spending time with them. It's usually just my parents, my aunt and uncle, my cousin who lives in the area, my brother, and myself at my grandma's house. We all fit at the dining room table, and enjoy talking and sharing funny stories. I don't personally see anything overwhelming about that.
Now's the time for a disclaimer: my purpose for writing this was not at all to minimize anyone's experiences who do have a rough time with the holidays, but rather to show the point of view of just one autistic person out of many. It is possible to not have some of the stereotypical difficulties, yet still be autistic! It just goes to show you, that when you've met one autistic person, you've indeed met ONE autistic person! I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)