I love the build up to Christmas. The decorations, the songs, the shopping etc. I love to get wrapped up in the excitement of it all. It’s like a mini escape from life, a life that quite frankly can sometimes be a little too harsh for my liking. But then again, I think we all feel like that.
For me Christmas is predominantly a religious holiday. But I freely admit that for me it has another side. It’s a fairytale that not only invites children in to live and feel the magic, it invites adults in too. And when do we most feel that magic? When our children’s eyes show that dazzling reflection that confirms they are well and truly living that fairytale. They are engulfed, in a fantasy world. And it’s beautiful.
For an autistic child, imagination can be difficult to embrace or even understand. But such is the commercialism of Christmas nowadays, even those who struggle to live in a fantasy world would believe that they are shopping in Santa’s workshop or seeing the big man himself. And for this I am truly grateful.
I never ever thought in a million years I would be grateful for the ridiculous, over the top, in your face approach that the retail companies throw themselves into at Christmas. Yes I love to do Christmas shopping. But I also loved going to church as a kid, being in the nativity and most of all attending the local carol service with a big brass band and a candle lit atmosphere that was more festive than any attempt from a garden centre grotto.
But this year, my opinion has totally changed. Because the commercialism of Christmas has actually saved us as a family. Why? Because kiddo doesn’t have to use his imagination. He doesn’t need the idea that Christmas is coming explaining to him. He knows, because the whole western world is living it. It’s exciting him, and for the first time since he was born, I can see that magic sparkle in his eyes. He’s living it.
Of course he doesn’t understand the religious element yet, but there’s time for that. When he has more control over his sensory systems I will take him to a carol service, for he so loves to sing.
But just for now, I am grateful for the commercialism of Christmas, because it allows my family to enjoy the festivities with everyone else. Imagination isn’t actually necessary for a child anymore. Santa is a real physical being for kiddo to see. Reindeer are real beautiful animals for kiddo to view. For once, we are a typical family doing typical Christmassy things. The commercialism of Christmas has made our family more festive than ever this year.
And that’s something I never thought I would ever hear myself say…
Thanks for reading,