Feeling festive

Naomi Aldridge by Naomi Aldridge Additional Needs

Naomi Aldridge

Naomi Aldridge

I am a special needs blogger who writes about mine and my son's special needs journey. I love being a mummy to Ethan and I want to share the highs...

Feeling festive

There is so much pressure at this time of year to feel festive. Social media provides us with so many wonderful accounts of people who basically are breathing out Christmas! They seem to be able to create wonderful Christmas experiences and it then snowballs and the expectation to join in becomes immense.

This time of year is my absolute favourite. I love the lights, the smells, the food and all the time spent with loved ones. Since being a parent to a child with a life limiting disorder it's become increasingly more important to make the most of each precious moment at this time of year. I have however had to manage my expectations over the years and have tried to not put pressure on myself to ensure that it's the most perfect experience.

We try to keep it very low key and choose generally just one trip to see Father Christmas not multiple. We make one special day of it and it doesn't matter where we see him. Some years we've done big days out and others we've visited him in the local display in town. Each as magical as the other and you really don't need to worry because each display creates wonderful memories no matter how big or small.

The smile on my children’s face is the same wherever we go.

In the past I've done advent experiences and done something festive each day of advent. Some years we've forgotten calendars and have to add in as we go along! It really depends what type of time we're having when December hits!

Some years we've all had lovely matching pjs and other years we've worn the same ones from the year before. This however meant that we could show the children that you didn't need to buy new all the time and that reusing is just as good.

Some years I've made sure my children have beautiful crafts to make and other years we've done nothing. Some years we had fun baking lots of festive treats and other years I've had to throw out the mincemeat further on in the year as it didn't get used.

What I have learnt along the way is to not have to conform to what's around us.

Not to put that pressure on to create the perfect Christmas. Just being together is magical enough. This year will be no exception as we're currently still in hospital after 9 weeks just hoping to even make it home to be together.

We had to cancel our Christmas break away this year which was really hard as it was our only trip away for 15 months as a family. We don't get away much and we chose Christmas this year to be our one together.

Our lives are super busy day to day and adding in Christmas or any celebration can mean you really don't feel like being festive.

This year I'm trying to make it a little more festive in hospital, which is no mean feat, but I'm also not going to make myself feel bad if we aren't conforming to all those perfect Christmas's that happen across social media. Our lives are different to those families already so as per everything else we will celebrate in our own special way!

Please just do what you can this Christmas and enjoy those special moments of just being together no matter what situation you find yourself in.

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