Autism · family · Holidays · Life · WTeF

Autism and Holidays

It is Easter afternoon (maybe evening by the time this actually gets posted), and as usual, my family isn’t doing anything. Other than buying my kids a few toys, and trying not to get sucked into a weird conversation about “what is Easter”. Much like Christmas, and every other holiday, we just go through the motions without any real meaning. My kids both know about Santa and the Easter Bunny, but not because we are religious (probably the furthest thing from actually), more because I want them to have a “normal” perception of childhood.

Christmas (and to a lesser extent, Easter) were always special when I was young, and not because of any religious beliefs, but because of family (and the gifts…). We don’t live close enough to any family to visit every holiday, so I pick and choose. However, I want my children to at least experience this normal, by today’s standards, but strange concept of consumerism society, masquerading as love. I don’t actually want them to fall into the consumerism “pit”, but I also don’t want them to feel like we have, or are, less than.

This is actually a hard thing for me…

I would rather just buy them what they want when they want it, but that leads to spoiled brats. And, as much as I try to explain the real meaning of holidays (beyond the religious underpinnings), they are too young, or too mentally immature, to grasp the concept; and so I buy them things… But never with the “from Santa” lie; I have explained the truth to them, at least as far as mythological, present bringing, house invading, creeps go.

Is it enough? I don’t really know. I was told the same old “Santa’s real” crap for most of my early childhood, and I remember being devastated by the truth; I’m hoping to save them that heartache and disappointment. At least I can take solace in the fact that I have never lied to them (only omitted facts they would not understand).

So, we got up, like any other morning, and started about our day; until about 30 minutes had passed and my addled brain remembered what day it was. I grabbed their baskets and asked them if they knew what day it was. My daughter immediately shouts “It’s Easter”, while my son just looks at the basket. They apparently weren’t expecting anything today, which became very obvious when my daughter says “we get presents on Easter?” So maybe, as they get older, it will be easier to explain the “tradition” of gift giving on holidays and separate it out from the “meaning” of said holidays.

It’s been an hour since they dug into their baskets, and they have already forgotten the moment… Maybe next year I will start a new tradition, something fun that will stick with them. Until I figure out what on earth that may be, I have my wine…and it’ll have to do!


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