20 Ideas for A Successful Sensory Christmas

  1. Try keeping to your routine as much as possible. Using a visual schedule can be helpful.
  2. Remember, it's ok to have only close family over for Christmas.
  3. If you decide to go out, explain your child’s sensory challenges to family and friends ahead of time.
  4. Have a designated quiet space set aside for your child to be alone if they get overwhelmed.
  5. While you are out, remember that it's ok to leave early. Your child will let you know when it's time to leave.
  6. Try to make Christmas Day last for days or a week - Not everything has to happen in one day.
  7. If you are going out for a special dinner, bring your child's favorite foods along.
  8. When you notice your child is coping well, praise their great behavior.
  9. It's important to fill your child's sensory diet during the holidays to keep them regulated. Stock up on Munchables fidgets and chews to help.
  10. Allow time during the holidays for scheduled sensory breaks.
  11. Lower your expectations as most children with Sensory Processing Disorder will have meltdowns during Christmas activities because they get overwhelmed.
  12. If your child has several gifts, open them gradually over days or weeks so they don't get overwhelmed.
  13. Gradually add Christmas decorations to your home.
  14. Before attending events, make a secret signal that your child can use to let you know when it's too much for them.
  15. Don't be afraid to say no to visitors. If you do have guests, it's ok to have a time limit.
  16. Let your child run, jump, spin and swing as much as they need to during the holidays.
  17. Search your area for sensory Santa events. You can schedule a time to visit to Santa privately.
  18. Be aware of your surroundings. Smells can be too strong, sounds can be too loud and lights can be too bright.
  19. Less can be best. Too much of anything will likely be overwhelming and cause a meltdown.
  20. Enjoy yourself! Celebrate Christmas in a way that works for you and your family.