December, the month of Christmas. I think my sensitivity to stimulation makes me enjoy everything that comes with this holiday much more than neurotypicals. I probably feel the pleasure of the decorations, music and the positive side of the Christmas vibes much more intensely. Usually my sensitivity causes sensory overload in my daily life, but when it comes to things that bring pleasure, I’m happy about my sensitivity. Maybe I see the magic of Christmas the same way as children. My ADHD and Bipolar makes me extremely sensitive to all kinds of stimulation, like movement, lights, colours, feelings of others, sounds etc at the same time. That way I get filled with the Christmas spirit times one hundred. Great, right!?
“Maybe I see the magic of Christmas the same way as children. My ADHD and Bipolar makes me extremely sensitive to all kinds of stimulation, like movement, lights, colours, feelings of others, sounds etc at the same time.”
The downside of my sensitivity to stimulations is that I can’t work full time, actually I can only work a few hours 3 times a week, therefore I generally have very little money and December is the most expensive month in my country; Denmark. Probably in most Christian countries.
We have presents to buy, lunches and dinners events to join or host, Christmas calendars for the kids all month, perhaps adding some decorations to our collection, treating ourselves to all the Christmas candy and cookies we can only get this time a year, Christmas eve, etc
I have to buy at least 6 presents; I’m attending 3 Christmas Events with shared cost and our traditional Christmas dinner events have a set menu with a lot of food and drinks. I have to travel 3 hours to get to one of the Christmas events and that costs quite a bit. I’m addicted to Christmas cookies and then there’s Christmas eve and everything that comes with it.
So, there’s an upside and downside to my sensitivity to stimulation and thankfully it’s all worth it when we get to Christmas Eve. I’ll tell you why.
My mom and I celebrate Christmas eve together, just the two of us. We prefer it like that, because we both get sensory overload easily and this way, we can enjoy it in our own tempo and make it the cosiest day of the year.
We buy a little Christmas tree and my mom decorates it, she also decorates the table (she loves that) while I make my part of the dinner; roasted potatoes, brown sauce and vegan duck. She’s not vegan, but she likes how I make it. The food I make takes longer than the rest of the food, so I start in the kitchen, while she enjoys her time decorating. My mom makes the caramel potatoes, the red cabbage and the Ris a la Mande (dessert), which she has prepared the day before.
We play Christmas music, sing along, put the gifts under the tree, play with her dog. We always open the best bottle of red wine and take our time enjoying our dinner. We then start opening our presents, one by one. We even buy presents from her dog to each of us and he gets presents from each of us as well, which he opens himself. We don’t rush, we enjoy taking it slow with our red wine and Christmas music.
Then it’s time for dessert and my mom always puts the almond in my dessert bowl. A tradition in Denmark is that the one who gets the almond, gets a present. Since we are only two, I usually get it, as I’m the “child”.
After the dessert, we have a few glasses of Gin and Lemon, while watching Christmas movie, snuggled up in blankets on the sofa. Real Danish hygge, with the candle lights and my mom’s dog sleeping on my belly. I usually leave around midnight, with a warm happy feeling.
If you’re a neurodivergent as well, you know how hard it is to be around stressed people. It’s too intense.
I didn’t enjoy Christmas until my mom and I started spending it alone, because people are so stressed. If you’re a neurodivergent as well, you know how hard it is to be around stressed people. It’s too intense. I want to escape and leave early. But now Christmas alone with my mom, is the best evening of the year.
We didn’t use to be close, but now she’s the person I love and appreciate most in the world. Thanks to my neurodivergent brain, which makes me sensitive to stimulation and easily causes sensory overload, I get to enjoy the Christmas magic like a kid and peacefully, with my favourite person.
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