The Christmas Aspie

The perfect image of Christmas, what would it be? So many of them are full of joy and colour, light and noise. Where did the solitude go? The safe places? The get-out clause (no pun intended) which means you can vacate the scene if it's all too much?

No stone is left unturned at Christmas when we are meant to be brighter, better versions of ourselves with more kindness and time to spare for our fellows. With this level of pressure, is it any wonder that aspies don't cope?

It all changes at Christmas, when the normal rules don't apply. You can't avoid your obligations or say you don't feel like it - if you do, then you have Failed, readers, failed at Christmas! How dramatically awful!

I don't want to fail at Christmas, I just want a Christmas that suits me rather than shaping the season to fit everyone else.

I don't do parties, or even gatherings. I don't care about cards, so rarely send them. I like fairy-lights and tinsel, the glittery side of the season. I like to dress the cat up and take his picture for Facebook. I like to take the dog out in his Santa suit.

I don't really want to interact with real human beings dressed up for Christmas as that tends to bring out the hugs in people and the kisses and the pushing to have a drink, when I don't drink anything stronger than Tropicana.

I like the old fire at Christmas, the light in the darkened room, the sense that this season brings us closer to all the people who went before, sitting in their safe places while the wind howled tales of dread and demons.

I love the lights on the trees as I pass by, the feeling that they bring some element of magic to our winter nights, reminding me of childhood days when I went fairy hunting in summer and laid traps for elves in winter (sorry, yes, that was me).

I really like the idea that Christmas is a time of giving, of becoming a little of the person you hoped to be, without caving into the pressure of doing what you think you should. There is such a vast difference there.

Most of all, I like the quiet days after Christmas when everyone has gone home and I am safe to sit by the fire, dreaming away the time as winter slumbers on.


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