THE HOLIDAYS

Christmas is rapidly approaching. As such, I am starting to get into the “Holiday Spirit”. I would like to share with you what Christmas means to me, as well as some of my family’s holiday traditions. First off, and probably most importantly, Christmas means LOTS OF PRESENTS! Just kidding! That’s part of it, but Christmas means a Hell of a lot more than materialistic things to me. Most importantly, Christmas means family. I adore my family and absolutely cherish every moment I have with them! Unfortunately, my youngest sister, Abbey, and her boyfriend will be in California for Christmas this year celebrating the holidays with her boyfriend’s family. But to compensate, she will be home this weekend for an early Christmas. My other sister, Caroline, will be home for the holidays so at least I have her to look forward to.
Having said that, Christmas is kind of bittersweet for me. See, as I just said, Christmas is first and foremost, a time to spend with family. My grandfather, who we called Da, was born on Christmas Eve. Every year, my grandmother would have a Christmas Eve/birthday celebration at her place. Da died in 2018 so to me, whenever I think of the holidays—Christmas in particular—I think of Da and get emotional.
My grandmother would also host caroling parties every year around the holidays. These were always fun times! Unfortunately, this stopped a few years ago. However, last year, Caroline revived the tradition at her house in Philadelphia. While I am bummed it’s not at my grandparents’ house anymore, I am at least glad it stayed in the family.
Of course, Christmas dinner is an inevitable given, as I am sure it is with a lot of families. We usually alternate between my house and one of my Aunts’ houses for dinner. This is always a great time! All my aunts, my parents, usually both my sisters, and me all together in one place? Yeah it’s a lot of people and yes it can get a little crazy—especially when it comes to a game called Left Right Center—but we’re family so it’s all good. One thing I miss is my mom making us Scrapple on Christmas morning. Oh, well…maybe this year?
I am a kid at heart and absolutely LOVE the Christmas season! I am more of a Halloween guy, but love Christmas just as much. Having said that, one thing I love doing on Christmas morning is getting up early and seeing our tree all lit up with presents from “Santa” underneath it. It sounds cliché to say that and to visually imagine, but I love it! It’s a little chaotic at my house when we all rip open our gifts simultaneously, but at the same time, it is also very intimate. This is early, before anyone else is over. Just me, my sister(s), and my parents.
One “after Christmas” tradition I love and plan on doing for a long time is ceremoniously burning our Christmas tree after the holidays. We always get a real pine tree, so it crackles and smells amazing!
So those are my family’s holiday traditions. What are yours? Thanks for reading!
-Tom

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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