The radios in my car and home are tuned to my favorite stations that play holiday music 24 hours a day, greeting cards are arriving in my mailbox and more and more houses are twinkling when I go out at night.  It’s official – the holidays are here!

I’ve been thinking about the holidays and how to write a blog about best tips to survive and enjoy them if you or a loved one has ADHD. Then I started reminiscing about past seasons with my children and decided to go a different route by celebrating the joys that ADHD can bring this time of year:

Opportunity to educate others on ADHD. When we visit relatives, I always make sure to take some time with my family and friends to talk about ADHD. We might talk about the latest information they’ve learned or books they’ve read and how it relates to our family… since ADHD is always different for everyone. It opens up a chance for frank heartfelt discussions about challenges met, milestones reached and humorous catastrophes avoided.  These are conversations that may not happen other times during the year.

Discovering the growth in my children. When my children were young, before every social event, I would prepare them with ‘the Remembers and Make Sures.’ Remember to say hello to Nana, Remember your table manners, Remember to say thank you even if you don’t like the present, Remember hitting is not O.K., etc. It was a thrill when my children reached the age when they remembered these without need for prompts.

Permission to walk my talk. During this time of year, I take the time to relax, unwind, and enjoy the moment. I find pleasure in the simple things- decorating my home, being with family and expressing my thanks for all the blessings in my life. I don’t want to miss a moment of the magic so I consciously make the effort to be present…at least a few minutes every day and give myself permission to slow down to do so.

Last minute sales and shopping. My ADHD mind either forgets one or two gifts or thinks of one or two gifts that cause me to run out to the stores on Christmas Eve. That and I really like the chaos and energy of the stores when the most important of my shopping is done. I’ve found that this is the best time of the year to shop for those “something extras”.  I treat myself to my favorite latte as I browse to my heart’s content, take advantage of great deals and enjoy the season as I pick up any last minute gifts.

The chaos of Christmas morning. Even though my children are older, opening presents in my house always results in pure chaos. Wrapping paper everywhere, boxes ripped opened and tossed in the corner, ribbon stuck to the dogs’ head and those most important tiny pieces of a gift hiding under the mess.  But it’s okay, because the unbridled excitement and happiness on my children’s faces makes it all worthwhile. In fact, I wouldn’t trade the pandemonium of Christmas morning for anything. It’s also why we open presents in one room, and have our family dinner in another.

What about you? How does ADHD add to the joys of your holiday season?

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