By Marcia Hinds – Megan and Ryan’s Mom
A huge problem with the holidays is that we exhaust ourselves trying to give our family the perfect day and the perfect gift. My AHA moment that things would never be perfect came during the “Dollhouse Christmas.” That year, I spent several weeks (it seemed liked months) picking out the wallpaper, flooring and window boxes (complete with flowers). Frank put the shingles on the roof. I even involved our relatives in my “best gift” obsession. All our relatives hopped on the dollhouse bandwagon and each bought a room of furniture. Megan was going to love it!
I stayed up almost all night Christmas Eve frantically finishing the curtains. I couldn’t take my eyes off Ryan during the day, so getting things done when he was asleep was standard operating procedure.
Christmas morning, Megan walked right past the elaborate dollhouse I had laboriously decorated. She headed directly to Marie and Tommy (her two Christmas goldfish) and watched them swim in and out of their tiny, ugly, plastic fish castle. Megan never did play with the dollhouse. It became Ryan’s present. But that was mostly because of the miniature toilet lid, which he opened and closed a billion times.
So I hope you learn from my mistakes and lose the idea that everything has to be perfect for the holidays. Kids won’t remember if your house was decorated beautifully, or that the wrapping and bows were amazing. How many of us remember the gift we got at age eight? Buying expensive presents you can’t afford doesn’t make lasting memories.
The best gift is the one that doesn’t cost anything. Give your kids the gift of time and undivided attention. Do an activity with them that they love. Make a memory! That special gift can be as simple as hopping in the car to look at holiday lights or decorating Christmas cookies (I would use the ready-made sugar cookies).
***For fast acting relief of holiday stress, remember things don’t have to be perfect. Sometimes the best memories are from the times that didn’t go as planned!
NOTE FROM MARCIA HINDS – Megan and Ryan’s mom:
Ryan became an aerospace engineer, because he received proper medical treatment combined with behavioral, and educational interventions. To preview my book, “I Know You’re In There – winning our war against autism”go to Amazon or my website www.autism-and-treatment.com
Contact info for Marcia: