Share your top Xmas tips!

Chris ContactChris Contact Community Moderator

Christmas is just around the corner and before we all know it, it’ll be THAT day again, so do you have any pearls of wisdom or top tips on how to survive all aspects of Christmas this year?

From dealing with the change in schedule for your children and keeping up with their expectations, to coping with countless visits to a from relatives - we’d love you to share your Xmas survival tips to help other families keep it together over the festive break.

To get you started here are a few brilliant tips you’ve already shared with us.

“My twins struggle with unpredictability and the social expectation of how to 'react' when opening their Christmas gifts so we wrap one gift from Santa  - the one gift they have asked for in their letter - so the surprise is minimal but the delight is off the charts when they do open it- which is lovely for us! This year we will try wrapping their stocking gifts in cling-film  - so they still get the experience of unwrapping them, but without the pressure or uncertainty of a fully wrapped gift.”

“We spread out the presents so they start opening gifts from when they break up from school through to Boxing day.  We don't place too much emphasis on the actual exchange and just let the children manage it in their own time. That way the surprise element isn't too extreme.”

“My son really struggles with the disruption that the school play brings to his normal school routine. Last year after the half tem he started making himself sick before bed.  It felt like it had come from nowhere and it was only when we spoke to his class teacher that we realised his anxiety stemmed from the Christmas play rehearsals which they had just started.  So this year we've tried to be a bit more proactive and are working closely with the Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) to manage this. For example by taking photos of rehearsals which I can add into our own social story to help him put it all in to context and setting up a daily liaison book in which the LSAs and I report on how he’s behaving so we can identify anxiety triggers early on and keep in close communication. The school also doesn’t insist on attending all the rehearsals so if he doesn’t seem in the right mood, he’ll go off an do another activity.”

“We make sure that expectations are realistic:  The boys are not forced to sit still in silence for the full performance of the school Christmas play.  They have fidget toys and a copy of the script which they enjoy following.  Their teaching assistants sit closely with them throughout and if they start to get a bit loud or wriggly they go for a little brain break and then return a bit calmer.  They are not forced to wear hats or face paints or tinsel if they don't want to which also helps!”


  • Hi all we really struggled with Christmas so much so we absolutely dreaded it and had we not the other 2 children we probably would have given in. Until one Christmas morning it was 10am and we hadn't had a meltdown and everything was good. I said to JO what have we done different this morning? We both looked at each other and racked our brains trying to figure it out and we then realised Lucas got up first and went down stairs first. Seems so simple but previous years the girls have got up first and gone downstairs and Lucas has been last. Obviously then he has had sensory overload and found it difficult to process. Since then We have repeated this every year since and it's been easier and a lot more bearable. 
  • ContactContact Community Manager
    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for sharing your story. That's a great example of how making a small change can make things easier. We know from parents a lot of it is about trial and error, so we're happy you've hit upon a good solution!

    Does anyone else have anything similar?


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