Every year during the holidays, we say “Next year, I am NOT going to be this overwhelmed!” or maybe ” I will do things so differently next year”

And what typically happens is that we forget those statements and go right into the holidays and maybe even say them again about next year.

The holidays are truly such fun times. They lighten your heart, give hope and make the chance to make memories with those you love.

But they can make us feel so stressed to from the typical situations like shopping and wrapping and cooking and baking….

And for those who have special needs in their world, there are so many, many more stressors. I think that we carry the feelings of trying to make the holidays good for all and we know that our children with special needs may see all these “fun” things are pretty big challenges.

Maybe the lights that look so good to others are too bright for them or maybe the holiday musical is too crowded or loud

Or the family gathering? Maybe the food isn’t one they like or will eat. Maybe it is too long to sit.

And don’t forget the change in schedules, which our kids typically love so much.

There are more things for sure but the whole thought in sharing this is that the pressure to make a good holiday can really grow too great as we have pressure to make sure our children with special needs are ok with it all. Not really just Ok, but the best they can be.

So for me they phrase, THE PERFECT HOLIDAY, is one that doesn’t exist.

Perfect doesn’t exist for anything, really and for the holidays, that holds true even more so.

I chose to say that what we do, with the best of intentions and a heart full of love, no matter how it all ends up will be the memories we have that year.

Will they be just what we hoped for? Maybe. but maybe not. But that will be okay because you/we will have tried our best.

I offer out to all, after some 25 years of life with my beautiful Elizabeth who has special needs, to simply enjoy your holiday in the way that works the best for you.

With Elizabeth’s disorders of global dyspraxia and Sensory Processing disorder (SPD) we have learned just how much they affect her life each and every typical day. and holidays add so much extra thought and care.

To know you that, as always, you are doing your best for all those you love.


Just enjoy the good, the successes and the fun in whatever way works for you and yours.

And while Hallmark and Lifetime may show those perfectly decorated houses, brimming with smiling, happy guests (who, by the way, are always dressed in amazing holiday wear) the reality is that, we have learned to set aside expectations that the world may think of as “The perfect holiday” and simply enjoy any and all time together and any and all good things the holiday time may bring.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself.