If you meet together
When meeting up these Christmas holidays aim to use as many of these layers as possible. To achieve this, we recommend discussing beforehand and agreeing upon the ways that those attending Christmas day celebrations will interact with each other. If it isn’t discussed it is likely that protections some would like maintained will be ignored. For example, if one person decides they feel awkward wearing a mask so doesn’t put one back on after eating, then others are likely to follow suit. If it is discussed and agreed on beforehand this is less likely to happen. Don’t forget to discuss beforehand what to do if someone who is meant to be part of the occasion becomes sick on the day, even if its potentially just a cold.
Consider meeting apart
Many of our disabled community have lowered immunity so we may decide that it is necessary to stay within our bubble a while longer. Hopefully our friends and family can be understanding of this as with a bit of creativity it can still be an inclusive time. Here’s how:
Focus on what you CAN do
Whether you will be meeting together or apart, focus on the family Christmas routine and traditions that you normally do and are possible. Some of them might be second nature so you may need to think about what your traditions are. Even the smallest of things can help recreate our feelings of holiday Christmas cheer.
Create new traditions
For some traditions you’ll need to come up with ideas of how to continue them in a new way or create new ones. For example:
Attending a Zoom Christmas is probably not what you hoped for, but it doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You could:
Put together a schedule of events for the Christmas holiday period and Christmas day. Whether in words and/or pictures, this will allow people to know the planned order as well as what the rules and expectations are around what can and cannot be carried out around other people. It could be pictures on a calendar, or a social story that you’ve tailored to fit your situation. Whatever visual supports you may use try to make it as personal as possible. For example, you could incorporate the use of photos from previous Christmas times.
For some people Christmas can be a time of great stress, even without Covid in the mix. We may see significant behaviour changes and challenges at this time due to sensory overload and general feelings of being overwhelmed, schedule changes or the fact that we put Christmas decorations up around the house.
So, this year it could be a good time to keep it simple rather than trying to fit too much in around Christmas time. Most importantly let’s focus on connecting with each other while remaining safe.